Wellborn Redesigns its Cabinet Making Business

Hitachi Consulting provides the glue to help Alabama producer to reengineer its processes, deploy industry-specific SAP solution

Hitachi Consulting provides the glue to help Alabama producer to reengineer its processes, deploy industry-specific SAP solution

Dallas — April 1, 2005 — Wellborn Cabinet has deployed SAP Mill Products, an industry-specific solution for made-to-order manufacturing in the paper and forest products industry.

Ashland, Alabama-based Wellborn, a family-owned, high-volume provider of semi-custom cabinets, operates production facilities that encompass more than 1.3 million square feet and an integrated timber processing mill.

Wellborn weighed its long-established processes and realized it needed to fix a disconnect between order input and production. The company's legacy system left open too much room for error, forcing Wellborn to seek an innovative way to gain competitive advantage.

Starting with a Clean Slate

Knowing how critical it was to have the best processes and systems in place, Wellborn executives chose Hitachi Consulting to help reengineer the company's disparate business processes.

"We took 40 years of historic processes that had evolved over the different phases of our business and started with a clean slate to reengineer our business from the time we take an order to how we deliver our products to the client," said Kevin O'Neill, general manager at Wellborn Cabinet. "The project was successful across the board and laid the foundation for where we are going in the future."

Hitachi said its business process experience allowed Wellborn to gain better visibility into each phase of its production cycle. "The biggest impact noticed by all at [Wellborn] is the reduction in inventory part numbers from more than 500,000 to approximately 50,000," said Michael Pack, a senior manager at Hitachi. "These beneficial results led to a more streamlined order and production process to automate the handling of thousands of daily production orders, as well as a more predictable supply chain."

Lessening Dependency on Legacy Systems

The SAP Mill Products solution was the selected as the remedy for Wellborn to revamp its long-established processes. Hitachi provided best practices and a detailed implementation plan, which affected the areas of sales and distribution, financials and controlling, variant configurator, production planning and execution, materials management, human resources, payroll and business warehouse.

The solution has enabled Wellborn to build complex orders to exact customer specifications to order entry and utilize the information to drive the entire manufacturing process through shipping and invoicing. Wellborn is only the second domestic cabinet company ever to implement SAP. The cabinet maker went live with the complete system this past January.

Wellborn has been a Hitachi Consulting client for more than five years, beginning with manufacturing and distribution process improvements and strategic project planning to lessen the company's dependency upon its legacy system and position the organization for the large SAP upgrade.

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