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KLINGER Australia Streamlines Operational Efficiency with Epicor ERP

“Precise Business Solutions was integral in recognising the requirements we wanted from our Epicor ERP system and taking us over the finish line.”

KLINGER Australia

 

HIGHLIGHTS

CHALLENGES

  • 20-year-old ERP system with limited analytics
  • Reliance on Excel spreadsheets and time-consuming manual processes
  • Inefficient and stressful work environment

SOLUTION

  • Translating several Excel spreadsheets into three product configurators
  • Creating custom dashboards to monitor orders and leverage of Package Control functionality
  • Utilising a Real-Time Analytics and Business Intelligence tool

RESULTS

  • 50% time savings in locating and picking completed manufactured products
  • 300% faster response time on request for quotes on manufactured products
  • Ability to respond quicker and make better decisions based on Real-Time Analytics and Business Intelligence

Challenges

MANUAL PROCESSES HINDER MANUFACTURER EFFICIENCY

For more than 130 years, KLINGER has remained the trusted leader in the manufacture and supply of gas and fluid sealing, fluid control and fluid monitoring systems.

“Our products are used in critical applications to ensure plant integrity and to minimise unplanned downtime,” the KLINGER team explains. “For our customers, it is crucial we deliver products on time.”
Before Epicor, KLINGER Australia relied on a legacy ERP system and a number of non-integrated external record sources to keep operations running smoothly.

However, part of maintaining a reputation for excellence is embracing digital transformation — and KLINGER saw this need for change.

KLINGER required key integrations that would help the company streamline order fulfilment. They wanted to eliminate the need for manual inputs on spreadsheets, increase accuracy and improve the overall customer experience.

In Epicor ERP, KLINGER’s executive team saw an unmatched opportunity: they would be able to improve business processes and fine-tune customer service levels in one move.

“We had many manual and cumbersome processes,” KLINGER says. “This caused a long response time in quoting make-to-order products and did not facilitate real-time analytics.”

Updating their ERP system and optimising processes was KLINGER Australia’s top priority. But KLINGER’s leadership team knew the company would also benefit from improvements to all business processes, including sales, manufacturing, purchasing, warehousing, updating their manufacturing floor layout, and customer service.

“We follow what’s called a jobbing manufacturing environment, described as high mix, low volume manufacturing, with relatively short work-in-progress. This means we manufacture a lot of different products in relatively short lead times,” KLINGER says. “It’s a specific kind of manufacturing method, whereby you can’t make batches of everything. It requires a unique approach.”

To get the most out of a new ERP and optimise it for their company, KLINGER needed both a platform built for its business model and to work with an ERP solution provider who had experience in their specialised field.

“We had many manual and cumbersome processes. This caused a long response time in quoting make-to-order products and did not facilitate real-time analytics.”

Solution

A NEW ERP, IMPLEMENTED AND OPTIMISED IN PARTNERSHIP WITH ERP SPECIALISTS WHO HAVE HANDS-ON MANUFACTURING EXPERIENCE

KLINGER Australia’s management team chose Epicor ERP based on its functionality — it’s a complete business management solution for manufacturers. Additionally, to help guide them through the optimisation process, they decided to partner with Precise Business Solutions.

“We were impressed by their offering, and it was a distinct advantage to use a service provider that operates here in Western Australia,” KLINGER says. “But most of all, we were impressed with their hands-on manufacturing experience. Lots of consultants have experience in distribution or retail, but high-mix, low-volume manufacturing adds another layer of complexity.”

One of the first things Precise Business Solutions helped KLINGER Australia set up was Epicor’s Product Configurator for three different product groups. This allowed them to eliminate six different Excel spreadsheets and made it possible to cost and quote a make-to-order product accurately, without having to create the component in the system to do so. It completely streamlined the product cost estimation process.

“We have significant improvement in turnaround time of product costing. Epicor now does it automatically,” KLINGER says. “It’s a huge time-saving benefit for our customer service staff, who can now provide customers with a price without having to spend time creating a new part in the system.”

Product Configurator delivered expected efficiency gains.

“Our efficiency and data quality have improved immensely thanks to the product configurators,” KLINGER says.

By using a modern ERP system like Epicor, KLINGER Australia was able to make full use of the data analytics tools, creating custom dashboards that were specific to their needs. With the help of Precise Business Solutions, KLINGER Australia is now able to track critical-path activities and processes, such as urgent order production progress, in a single dynamic dashboard.

“We use the dashboards on a day-to-day basis — especially the urgent orders dashboard,” KLINGER says. “Everyone monitors it. Our purchasing, manufacturing, warehouse, and customer service teams all keep a close eye on statistics. It’s crucial to our process now.”

Precise Business Solutions also suggested that KLINGER Australia adopt Epicor’s Package Control functionality, which would merge all of the manufactured lines for the same order against a single industrial plastic tote. This optimisation reduced the time spent locating and picking completed manufactured products by half.

“Before that, all manufactured lines would be staged in one large area,” KLINGER explains. “Precise Business Solutions suggested we make the change and it cut down on the time that was wasted locating the products.
We can now easily find the tote, which contains all manufactured and stocked parts for that order.”

Through both the initial implementation and then post go-live of the new system, Precise Business Solutions helped KLINGER leverage Epicor ERP’s capabilities and agility to improve order velocity and fulfil their ultimate goal: meeting the demands of valued customers, even during challenging times.

“We really wanted to take the Epicor ERP a step further, and Precise Business Solutions helped us do that.”

“The systems and processes we now have in place allowed us to pivot quickly in these uncertain times.”

Results

INTEGRATIONS STREAMLINE OPERATIONAL EFFICIENCY

With Epicor ERP, KLINGER Australia was able to recover quicker than most manufacturers during one of the world’s most uncertain and trying times. Today, they continue to exemplify reliability — one of the attributes their customers value most.

“When our customers experience equipment breakdowns or need to undertake plant maintenance, they rely on us. This hasn’t changed, despite the fact that we’re facing more disruptions than usual,” KLINGER says.”

Replacing labour-intensive manual processes with integrated systems proved incredibly important to KLINGER’s resilience and their journey towards Industry 4.0.

KLINGER Australia was also able to triple their efficiency on requests for quotes on manufactured products, significantly improving response times to customers.

But the most important aspect is having a trustworthy partner. Precise Business Solutions has proven to be a valuable long-term partner for KLINGER, and they continue to help KLINGER gain the best value possible out of Epicor ERP.

“Thanks to Precise Business Solutions, we utilise every module in the system. There’s not much we don’t use in Epicor,” KLINGER says. “It’s the central source of truth for everything we do across the business.”

Paving the way forward, the successful introduction and use of Epicor has also been integral to KLINGER’s ability to integrate IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) technology and customer-focussed platforms that will enable the business to keep improving and growing into the future.

“Thanks to Precise Business Solutions, we utilise every module in the system. There’s not much we don’t use in Epicor. It’s the central source of truth for everything we do across the business.”

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