Equipment Manufacturer Doubles Productivity, Cuts Inventory and Lead Times in Half

UPCO mines capacity for more business from the gains provided by Infor scheduling and planning solution

Atlanta, GA — January 6, 2006 — Leading oilfield equipment manufacturer UPCO Inc., of Claremore, Okla., said it recently added Infor's Easy Lean solution to its Infor VISUAL Enterprise resource planning system. The company reported that within just a few weeks it was able to uncover significant capacity for new business as a result of simple changes in its business processes.

UPCO President Bill Ridenour reported that the newly added Infor technology had enabled the company to reduce both work-in-progress and manufacturing lead time by 50 percent. Simultaneously, productivity rose from the previous $65- to $70-per-man hour to $130-per-man hour — and then to $147-per-man hour a month later.

Lean techniques made possible by Infor not only have cut UPCO's costs but also increased its sales, Ridenour said. With the productivity gains and less work-in-progress inventory, UPCO was able to take on 35 percent more business because it now had the capacity to handle the additional work. Previously, the company had been held back by its long manufacturing lead times, excessive work-in-progress inventory and less-than-desirable productivity.

Ridenour said he decided to implement Infor's Easy Lean scheduling and planning solution after he attended an executive session presented by the Infor PSO Throughput Improvement Group during the Infor 2005 User Conference.

Following a two-day Infor assessment of his company's processes and the subsequent implementation of Infor's Easy Lean scheduling and planning software, Ridenour said, In just two days, the experts from Infor helped us understand where we could quickly improve our work flow. We realized significant benefits from their recommendations even before we installed Easy Lean.

Ridenour added that with Easy Lean the scheduling and work flow processes have become manageable and routine. Now, I can allow my plant manager and vice president of sales to be out of the plant at the same time, he said. It gives Infor's Easy Lean the ultimate test, and it works great. Every operator in the factory now can see and follow the right priorities.

The Infor Easy Lean scheduling software — an element of Infor's Manufacturing Essentials suite of solutions — supports lean manufacturing, often delivering results in as few as 30 days after implementation by incorporating pull-oriented scheduling techniques to enable better decision-making on releasing inventory at optimal times. It automatically creates work orders when quantities dip below replenishment levels and provides detailed reports and performance measurements on value added and throughput.

— Lean is still a top priority for many organizations, and now leading enterprises are applying lean principles to the supply chain. Read about the challenges in building a "lean supply chain" in "The Value of Being Out-of-stock (Almost) Everywhere," the Final Thoughts column in the April/May 2005 issue of Supply & Demand Chain Executive.

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