Like many companies, The Rodon Group recognizes our customers are our most valuable asset. We pride ourselves on the ability to develop turnkey manufacturing solutions that meet their demands on time, every time.
So it is no surprise that we utilize an ERP system (Enterprise Resource Planning system) to improve our efficiency and our customer’s bottom line. This tool allows the manufacturing team at Rodon to monitor jobs from the minute they are initiated to the time they are delivered including all of the downstream impacts. According to VP of Manufacturing, Tom Moore “The team manages to our customer's requirements. By monitoring production runs throughout the day, we can ensure the needs of the customers are met. We manage the efficiency of each job. These measures ensure we always have the materials and products required.”
While the ERP system can’t replace the input and experience of manufacturing managers, it does help improve efficiencies within the factory. This, in turn, creates savings for the customer.
How an ERP System Works
The first step is creating a sales order. Once the order is established into the system, a bar code job order is created that will be used to track the job and all related components including part number, color and resin type. The job is then assigned to an injection molding machine, and the set-up team begins prepping the mold, materials, and auxiliary equipment needed to run the job. All of the steps in the process are tracked wirelessly through hand-held devices.
As the job runs and boxes of parts are filled, the machine operator prints a barcode label. The label is affixed to the box, and the system is updated with information on how much additional product is needed to complete the job, how much material and color was taken from inventory, and how much longer the machine will run. When the job nears completion, it is highlighted in the system and alerts the staff that the machine will be available to run a new job order.
“We know how long a job will take based on the benchmarking we do for every new job. However, the team monitors cycles constantly to ensure we obtain maximum efficiency” says Moore. “It is a real-time process. On any given day, we can be running over 25 different resins on 85 machines. Many variables can impact the process, and we continually monitor to guarantee the best possible quality parts.”
Purchasing, shipping, and quality control personnel all access the system to determine the future needs of the business and the clients. A bill of material defines how much resin will be used on a particular job. This material then is deducted from inventory.
The Rodon Group produces over 1,000 different types of parts in a given year. So, monitoring stock part levels and customer inventory is critical to meeting our customers’ demands. When sales releases an order for parts, the system is used to alert shipping, and the number on the order reduces the inventory levels. Over time, the manufacturing staff has developed safety stock levels for these parts. When stocks get depleted, the scheduling staff will put the part in the queue for manufacture.
Help, We Ran Out of Parts!
Occasionally, our clients may have an unexpected or increased need for plastic parts. The ERP allows the team to react quickly to these requests. Each new job is given a priority ranking. The machines are refitted for the new job order which requires changing the mold and coordinating the materials needed for the parts. Our automated facility provides additional efficiency in meeting any urgent requests.
Strategic Demand-Driven Planning
Our demand-driven planning allows us to meet the Just-in-Time manufacturing demands of our discerning clients. Rodon’s manufacturing team’s experience with cycle times, resin properties, and part demand have resulted in a 99.8% satisfaction rating. When you are looking for an injection molder, ask them how they monitor and manage workflows and processes. Professional companies should have manufacturing systems in place that help improve efficiencies and lower costs.