Manufacturer improves production with shop floor data

A surplus of information with processes sub-managed in various departments was hampering the growth of a Vancouver-based high-end residential furniture manufacturer with business partners across North America and Europe. With sales more than doubled in two years and sights set on Europe and Asia, Bensen Inc. was basically hamstrung by one system accounting focused, another system manufacturing focused, and a third tracking workflow relating to customers.

Looking for a single system that consolidated that information and had the flexibility to fill future needs as the company continued to grow, Bensen became the first Canadian firm to go live with SAP Business One.

System implementer Coastal Range Systems Inc. deployed the software’s data migration toolkit so Bensen’s bill of materials and inventory data was readily transferred from the old system to the new. That included furniture almost built to order and a catalogue of nearly thousands of fabrics.

IT manager Brendan Young reports that Bensen found SAP was the easiest to implement due to the streamlined interface and having everything in one central database, with the ability to add custom fields and custom tables to any portion of any module. “Anything the system needed could usually be added in a matter of minutes,” he recalls.

Young appreciates its ability to track all related information. “The speed at which you can get information from the system increased ten-fold. An invoice to a journal entry to a G/L account — anything that relates you can quickly drill down to find its source. If I want to see which dealers had a particular item on an open work order, I could do that in five seconds [with the drag and relate feature]. Without it, 15 minutes just slips away trying to track down a document or backtracking through the paperwork to find where the connection lies. We have so many options of how we want to do our reporting that we’re looking at how we can restructure the company now that we have the business visibility to see where our bottlenecks are and how we can improve production.”

The system went live this past winter.

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