Company wide installation of production scheduling technology timed with acquisitions
CLEVELAND (July 31, 2009) – FACTIVITY, a leading provider of factory floor IS solutions, recently integrated Fortis Plastics Groups’ facilities with leaner technology for the injection mold supplier’s manufacturing process. All aspects of the company’s information systems and applications at its six facilities were converted to one in five short months—considered record timing in both manufacturing and IT worlds.
“We’re committed to operational excellence and customer service,” says Jack G. Nestell, VP of Information Technology for Fortis Plastics Group, headquartered in South Bend, Indiana. “Our CEO and President, Joseph Mallak drives the value of reacting quickly to market trends, improvement opportunities, and lean manufacturing. We understand that it’s a matter of survival of the fittest, and this doesn’t mean just having the right tools, it means having the right tools now.”
The installation of Preactor, a PC-based scheduling and planning system courtesy of FACTIVITY was timed with recent acquisitions of facilities in multiple states at the time operating on disparate information systems.
The installation of Preactor began in early 2009. “The conversion was critical from an efficiency standpoint,” says Gary Schaum, FACTIVITY’s Senior Consultant and Project Manager. “All facilities, existing and newly-acquired, needed to be utilizing the same system for standardized production monitoring and reporting throughout the company.”
“Internally, Fortis set a very aggressive time frame for installation and training. And, I was confident Factivity would met our schedule and deliver as promised,” says Nestell.
FACTIVITY responded well within this request; Preactor was installed and the company’s employees trained to use the scheduling software by the end of May.
Dale Kukla, Senior VP at FACTIVITY is quick to point out that all facilities required QAD, and despite this, FACTIVITY’s team delivered an integrated solution on schedule. “I have been involved with many ERP implementations over my 35 years in manufacturing systems and the time, effort and resources needed to change a single site operation are enormous. Not only did Fortis change seven (7) sites, we had to find a way to quickly get the Fortis production team trained and the Preactor product installed and integrated into the QAD system in record time.”
Assisting FACTIVITY in the installation and also credited for the quick turnaround was FACTIVITY’s UK based Partner, Resource Management Systems (RMS), a global leader in finite scheduling software; together, FACTIVITY and RMS offer the large breadth of Preactor and add-on manufacturing execution systems (MES) with offices across the US in addition product and support in the UK and Europe www.FACTIVITYRMS.com.
Regarding working with an overseas company, Nestell says the operations team had no qualms about it. “The conversion was well coordinated between the two and most importantly, was prompt and professional.”
He continues, “You can’t rule out value added relationships just because the companies don’t reside on the same continent.” “Resource Management’s alliance with FACTIVITY took precedence, and we were confident we would receive the necessary support.” Having Preactor support organizations on multiple continents will be a big benefit for potential Fortis future acquisition targets in both the UK and Europe.
In just five (5) months, the plastics manufacturer has production visibility of the factory floor, from all shops and all machines, and of all employees. And, the return-on-its-FACTIVITY/Preactor-investment is showing through improvements in procurement and scheduling, as well as reductions in risk and cost.
Of the others vendors queried for the job, Nestell says FACTIVITY Inc., the Cleveland-based company was selected because of its expert status in lean manufacturing. “We did our research, and FACTIVITY has ‘been there, done that’ across multiple industries,” he says. “They were not only backed by a state-of-the-art product offering, but a proven skill set and top tier customer service.”
“Hindsight being 20/20,” he continues, “FACTIVITY took ownership of the project, and we feel is and will be vested in our long term success as we more forward with acquisitions and now with a competitive advantage.”