In the fall of 2009 when Brad Albright, President and CEO of Hendricks Box Company began searching for a solution to their system needs he knew he wanted a complete, integrated system from a single software provider. He’d heard stories and had his own experiences with solutions comprised of multiple software packages that were disjointed and disconnected. Invariably this type of environment results in unexpected costs, inefficiencies, duplication of data and repetitive data entry as well as significant shortcomings and frustration. After careful consideration, review and fact collecting, Brad and his team settled on Kiwiplan.
With the help of Kiwiplan, Hendricks installed the Kiwiplan Enterprise Sales Processing (ESP) system and a collection of software modules that comprise Kiwiplan’s Manufacturing Execution suite. The result is a tightly integrated system that provides Hendricks with powerful order management, costing and pricing capabilities, shop floor data collection, automated scheduling, inventory management and more.
“One of the immediate benefits we’ve seen with Kiwiplan is a dramatic improvement in visibility” indicates Brad. “Also more accurate and complete information now flows from Customer Service to Planning to the Factory Floor, eliminating costly mistakes.”
Brad purchased Hendricks Box in 2005. “For the first 3 years we focused primarily on growth and new business. We have grown considerably and are now at a point where we need to start looking very carefully at the profitability of each item we run. We need to measure and analyze, make better decisions to improve the bottom line and do everything smarter, better and faster.” Regarding profitability Brad indicates “If we aren’t making money on an item we are now focused on determining how to make the item profitable. That might mean working with the customer to identify alternatives or design modifications, increasing the price or ultimately walking away from the business.
Kiwiplan now provides us with the visibility and critical information we need to analyze and determine profitability at the item level.” “Additional benefits we’ve experienced with the Kiwiplan system include: significant improvements in shipping and loading efficiency and our ability to manage and track inventory, the elimination of paperwork and paper dependent processes and improved communication between all departments. We are now aware of potential problems and issues sooner and are able to deal with these circumstances before they become serious problems.”
In Customer Service: Liz Clayton indicates “The order entry process is now much faster and easier. When it comes to warehouse items we can quickly lookup inventory information and determine what we have on hand in terms of WIP and FGS. We can also easily identify what is on order. And the process of entering inventory replenishment jobs is more efficient. Kiwiplan has enabled us to eliminate a great deal of manual effort and paperwork – we no longer print job tickets or pre-print load tags.” Customer Service staff also now have immediate access to accurate backlog information for each machine.
Controller Whitney Allman reports that “Kiwiplan has significantly improved how we track and manage complaints. We now have more information regarding why an item was returned as well as a detailed trail and action plan for every customer issue or complaint. The process of issuing a credit is also much easier.
On the factory floor Plant Manager Rich McNealy indicates: “The Kiwiplan system has enabled us to reduce overtime, increase kicks per hour and increase the amount of time our machines spend running (by decreasing setup and downtime). And because we now run more efficiently we have increased our capacity for sales.”
Production Superintendant Kenny Ping admits that at the beginning of the implementation the amount of change required was difficult and seemed overwhelming. But today he sees the benefit of change and is extremely appreciative of the tools he has available. “There’s a lot this system can do. It’s now up to us to utilize the features, options and capabilities.”
According to Cory Franklin- Director of Continuous Improvement: “The Kiwiplan system provides detailed accurate production data in real time including run times, setup times, downtime, waste and more. This information has allowed us to set productivity goals, measure progress and drive improvements. In addition, the Kiwiplan system has enabled us to identify specific problems (instead of guessing) and resolve these problems.”
Hendricks also reports dramatic improvements in terms of load planning efficiency and inventory management. According to Cory “The inventory management component of the Kiwiplan system has provided instant visibility regarding work in process and finished goods. We are leaps and bounds ahead of where we were before. We no longer waste hours searching for units in the warehouse; we now know exactly where each and every unit is located.
Hendricks Box is the first user of Kiwiplan’s new Material Management System (MMS). MMS supports Hendricks’ ability to order and manage sheet requirements more efficiently. Paula Ping reports she can now clearly identify exactly what sheets need to be ordered and when they need to arrive to ensure product is produced and delivered to Hendricks customers on time. We are now operating based on a true “pull philosophy”. We order sheets based on exactly what Kiwiplan tells us we need. Since installing Kiwiplan we have been able to increase on-time delivery to 97%.
Management and personnel at Hendricks Box look forward to doing more with Kiwiplan tools in the future including: utilizing Apple iPadsTM for sales staff to initiate design projects and improve communication between remote Sales staff and Customer Service; providing capabilities for customers to initiate returns via a web client login; and installing the Kiwiplan Quality Management System (QMS) to further improve their quality management process.