When NSW central coast spring manufacturer Gibbens Industries wanted to expand its move into the export industry, it had to replace its manufacturing system with a more robust and contemporary technology.
To this end, it implemented QAD's MFG/PRO enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. The integration was mostly driven by Gibbens, with the assistance of an IT consultant and occasional support and training from QAD.
Gibbens had a pilot program set up in 12 weeks and the system rolled out across all its product lines in another 12 weeks. Fast integration was one of the keys to the project's success.
ARN talked to Gibbens' product manager Bob Miller (below).
What made you decide to partner with QAD?
Miller: We were looking for a solution that wasn't too big, like SAP's, but big enough to grow with us. A few other organisations on the Central Coast are using QAD and we relied on their advice and did some research into a lot of mid-range packages before we decided on QAD.
Why did you need an ERP system in the first place?
We had an old manufacturing system that wasn't Y2K compliant. This gave us the opportunity to not only replace our old system but expand on it and gave us the chance to decide where we wanted to go and what we really wanted to do.
And that was to broaden our export horizons.
What have your impressions of QAD been so far?
The system they provided has been excellent. It offers a lot more visibility in our manufacturing system and gives us more ability to plan for the future. It will reduce inventory on hand by up to 30 per cent and delivery times by 10 per cent.
And although we have done most of the integration ourselves, QAD has given us all the support and flexibility we've needed. When we just don't understand something QAD will give us a couple of days training or provide us with particular support.
What are your impressions of the broader integration market?
I think the people that know a business best are the ones that run the business. It is best to be self-sufficient for as long as possible.
But there will come a time when it will become too much for the one IT expert we have at the moment and we'll need to expand the IT department.
Manufactures springs and wire products for aerosol cans, mattresses, motor vehicles, tilt-a-doors and trampolines.
Employs 60 people in Gosford and 12 in Brisbane.
Produces 30 million springs a month.
Growth estimates are 15 per cent per year.