Best Brands improved company-wide interaction by implementing PRMS in acquired plants through:
- Consistent and immediate access to plant-level data
- Consolidation of multiple sites’ financials to a single general ledger
- Automated interaction between plants for materials planning and resupply
Best Brands was a successful company that grew over the years, sometimes by means of mergers and acquisitions. With each new site, they also acquired a new ‘ERP’ system, new financial reporting, and new pricing and cost systems. While some plants operated on an actual cost basis, others operated in a standard cost environment. Part of the business fell into the manufacturing category, while other segments were predominantly distribution environments, including their own fleet of trucks and delivery routes. Product lines between the plants range from frozen or baked goods to the ingredients and mixes used to produce them.
Best Brands needed to bring the plants together on one system, using a common basis for pricing and cost. They needed to provide more effective methods for communicating demand between plants and to accomplish all this while utilizing existing operations that optimize the unique aspects of each plant.
Best Brands chose VIRTUTEM (Software Alliance Corporation) to help implement and provide multi-year support for PRMS in the new plant environments. VIRTUTEM consultants:
- Educated users on PRMS functionality in each module, making them aware of options, such as:
- choice of manufacturing environments (repetitive, discrete, or pull)
- standard costing definitions and use in PRMS
- Determined functional solutions to individual issues within each plant, such as:
- corporate functions (i.e., accounts payable) must be the same across plants – review of functionality in existing plants to ensure they too are making the best use of functionality available
- forecasting methods and the use of forecast families are specific to plant and their product lines
- Trained users on functionality used, such as defining and setting cost elements, daily use of Production Schedule Workbench to plan and schedule each production line, and performing Customer Order shipment transactions
All users in the company learned to speak the same “language.” The company’s financial and performance reporting needs were accomplished on a timely basis. Information was made available to all interested parties in a common format. Initial supply and demand between plants, as well as changes to each, were constantly visible to all. Time wasted creating purchase orders, or customer orders was eliminated, as well as the time lost between the initial knowledge being acquired and the affected plant receiving the notification. System maintenance costs were reduced by eliminating the need to retain “experts” on multiple systems. An initially undefined benefit of implementing additional plants was to review the functionality being used in existing plants and find instances where implementing unused functionality or re-implementing functionality differently was beneficial to all plants.
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