Manufacturing Operations Management Best Practices and Strategies
How a manufacturer maintains its manufacturing operations plays a significant…
“Most companies may wait until a project is completed before they start pulling the pieces together for billing. We’re now so organized that we can invoice the day the product ships, which has improved our cash flow.”
CONTROLLER AT FRANK MAYER & ASSOCIATES, INC.
A young mother maneuvers her shopping cart down the aisle at Target when a Calphalon cookware display catches her eye. Although intent on buying kids’ sandals, she suddenly decides she needs a new saucepan. Target and Calphalon have just made a sale—thanks to an innovative product presentation by Frank Mayer & Associates, Inc. (FMA).
Frank Mayer & Associates, Inc. creates point-of-purchase displays for major retailers such as Wal-Mart, Target, Ace Hardware Stores, and True Value Hardware Stores, as well as interactive kiosks for clients including Nintendo, Panasonic, and Nicklaus. The company does it all—graphics, signage, and structure construction, delivering a turnkey product that is almost guaranteed to appeal to consumers. In addition, they provide considerable support for their retail customers by running promotion programs such as contests, sweepstakes, and coupons, picking winners, and providing purchase incentives. Frank Mayer’s wide variety of custom activities makes for complicated accounting, costing, and invoicing tasks.
While demand for FMA’s displays was growing, the company’s DOS-based accounting system wasn’t keeping up. Also, the system didn’t allow for fast turn-around and could not electronically integrate the multiple aspects of the firm’s job-type organizational method.
“Every one of our displays is custom-made,” says Steve Etzelmueller, controller of Frank Mayer & Associates, Inc. “This means we must cost and estimate projects individually, order special parts, and keep track of jobs from sales order to delivery. So, when we decided to upgrade to Windows technology, we knew that at the same time we had to find a software package that would centralize all facets of each order.”
The answer—Sage 100 ERP with the JobOps module developed by Scanco Software, LLC—provided a surprisingly low-cost solution. The price was so reasonable, in fact, that Bill Miazga, the executive vice president at FMA, wondered at first if the new system would be powerful enough to meet the company’s needs.
They need not have worried. Not only has Sage 100 with JobOps been a great value, but it has also surpassed the company’s highest expectations for functionality.
The new system completely eliminated data entry of all warehouse receipts. Previously, receiving was done using paper records from vendors. But now, as soon as products are received in the warehouse, they are scanned into a barcoding system. Sage 100 job costing is electronically updated with one click of the mouse. “Sage 100 is saving us at least 20 hours of manpower time every week, and has improved accuracy significantly,” observes Etzelmueller.
From the moment an order comes in, it’s set up in Sage 100 utilizing the client’s purchase order, and an invoice is drafted. “Most companies may wait until a project is completed before they start pulling the pieces together for billing,” Etzelmueller notes. “We’re now so organized that we can invoice the day the product ships, which has improved our cash flow.”
Another feature that Etzelmueller especially appreciates is the flexibility to add user-defined fields that are accessible via Crystal Reports®. “I can’t expect any software product to contain all the reporting features I need off the shelf,” he comments. “So, it’s great to be able to do my own custom reports with Crystal Reports.” He participated in Advanced Crystal Reports training with his reseller, and then the two of them worked together on a tailormade application—that perfectly suits Etzelmueller’s needs.
From the warehouse floor to the managers’ offices, Sage 100 and JobOps has made Frank Mayer more efficient and effective. “We’re able to analyze project profitability much better now,” says Etzelmueller. “That’s because we have both sales and costing information right there in the system, thanks to Sage 100 and JobOps. That is exactly what we were hoping for. We’re glad we found Sage 100 and JobOps—and glad that they’ve worked out so well for us.”
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