2005 Supply & Demand Chain 100 Case Study  CGR Products Inc. / Intentia Americas

Profiles in Supply Chain Enablement: Midsize manufacturer deploys Intentia solutions to ramp up planning, improve customer response

Profiles in Supply Chain Enablement: Midsize manufacturer deploys Intentia solutions to ramp up planning, improve customer response

Company: CGR Products Inc. (Greensboro, NC)
Company Size: Midsize
Company Sector: Manufacturing
Area(s) of Enablement: Order/Demand Capture, Sourcing, Fulfillment/Logistics, Customer Relationship Management, Supply Chain Integration & Infrastructure
Enabler: Intentia Americas (Schaumburg, IL)

SDCE 100 2005Case Study: Based in Greensboro, N.C., CGR Products Inc. specializes in precision cut gaskets and components, offering a range of services to such industries as electrical enclosures, hand-held power tools, automotive and aerospace, among others.

CGR's legacy IT system could no longer handle the company's growth. The way the company processed orders was outdated and slow. CGR needed to install an integrated system that would provide real-time, end-to-end information flow to enhance the performance of all its operations, from front-end order management, through production, to back-office processes and customer fulfillment.

When the company set out to transform its business through technology, its objectives were clear and ambitious: faster internal communications, streamlined order processing, improved production scheduling, quicker customer response time and a centralized financial management and accounting system. CGR's long-term goals were to increase customer service levels while improving profitability and building a solid platform for growth.

Ramping up Planning

CGR Products chose the Intentia Business Engine solution to manage the following business processes: financial management/accounting, material resource planning, enterprise resource management, customer order management, electronic data interchange (EDI), procurement, manufacturing, order fulfillment, and production planning and scheduling.

"We were looking to IT to effect substantial improvement in our internal operations, supply chain, and customer service and fulfillment," says Chuck Keeley, president of CGR Products. "We chose [Intentia Application Suite] as our enterprise management software solution because it offered the robust functionality to fulfill these needs, and because Intentia has a track record of successful implementations."

A key component in CGR Products' new enterprise system is Intentia's Advanced Production Planner (APP), a supply chain application that automatically schedules production orders against available raw materials and plant capacity. By providing global visibility and optimized scheduling capabilities while taking existing constraints into account, APP allows planning and operations personnel to maximize production capabilities, according to Intentia.

The provider's Movex APP solution is based on the Theory of Constraints, and it enables CGR to deploy machines and operators where they are most needed and to work first on orders for which all materials are available. In make-to-order operations, there will always be bottlenecks, but APP lets the company see where the bottlenecks are so CGR managers can strategize around them.

Improved Productivity

Today, CGR Products is reaping the rewards of its investment, reporting productivity gains of more than 30 percent and an enormous improvement in customer service and on-time delivery rates. The company credits this success to a clear vision, the extraordinary dedication and teamwork of its people and its ongoing partnership with Intentia.

In fact, shortly after implementing the Intentia solution at its state-of-the-art facilities, CGR Products experienced an unusual result. In using the solution, the company's customer order and production processes had become so automated that shipping workers were almost overwhelmed. "We had to quickly reorganize our shipping department to cope with the speed," recalls IT director Ray Katz.

Many of the benefits CGR realized from the new solution relate to customer service. Customer inquiries that once took hours for a response now take only seconds or minutes and require just a few clicks of the mouse. Internally, the ease and speed of accessing information have improved significantly.

Teamwork Ensures Smooth Implementation

CGR Products implemented Intentia Application Suite in just ten months and the system now supports over 50 users. Implementation went smoothly since modifications to the software were kept to a minimum. Both plants went live over a single long weekend, with the CGR Products and Intentia implementation teams, as well as CGR employees, putting in extra hours prior to the transition.

"The key ingredient in our being able to implement [Intentia Application Suite] so quickly was teamwork," Katz says. "Chuck Keeley made this a team effort right from the start by communicating how important the project was to the company and to all of us. As a result, attitudes stayed positive and people were excited about the new system. In fact, having been involved in several similar technology projects in the course of my career, this was the smoothest implementation and cutover that I've ever seen."

According to Katz, CGR Products remains vigilant on its path of continuous improvement. "We are constantly evaluating our business processes to find new ways for [Intentia Application Suite] to create value for us and our customers. That's the beauty of an integrated, component-based system. You can improve things incrementally, with an eye towards optimizing processes for increased profitability and customer service."

"Our technology transformation is a real success story. We let Intentia change the way CGR Products does business — and it changed us for the better," Katz concludes.

For more stories of successful supply chain implementations, read the "2005 Supply & Demand Chain Executive 100" article in the June/July 2005 issue of the magazine. Also watch the Today's Headlines section of SDCExec.com every Tuesday and Thursday for more in depth best practices drawn from this year's Supply & Demand Chain Executive 100.