Milwaukee, Wisconsin - US foam fabricator Federal Foam Technologies says in this 'New Economy,' it has not only used cost-cutting initiatives, but has looked at all potential productivity enhancements.
And according to a 6 July statement from the Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based group, the Cost Calculator tool from Progressive Edge has delivered on both accounts.
By being able to analyse profitability effectively, the foam company has been able to identify products and processes which have been costing them more than they thought. The Cost Calculator has also improved productivity by instantly providing effective information on production, costing and project management.
Cost Calculator is a flexible Business Intelligence (BI) tool designed for Consona's Made2Manage ERP System. While cost analysis is a major part of this tool, its use is not limited to finance, Progressive Edge says.
Project managers can see exactly where a projects stand from a material, labour and estimate-to-complete stand point. Procurement departments can see vendor history and analyse vendor performance, and plant managers can get labour and workstation efficiency reports to analyse routing effectiveness.
One of the biggest benefits Federal Foam gained has been with the Calculated Actual feature. Previously, costs were "lost" (trimmed) as the product move from one level to the next, but this feature allows Federal Foam to see the actual costs of a part at all levels of the product structure, including all of the sub-components and child parts, even if they are stock components. They no longer have to guess at the true profitability for their Make to Stock items.
According to Cathy Longtin, controller at Federal Foam, prior to using the Cost Calculator, "either we could not get the information, or we had to combine several reports together with different pieces.
"The Cost Calculator pulls data out of Made2Manage into an easily readable report that provides valuable information. Custom reports and queries are no longer needed to see the information contained in Made2Manage now that we are using the Cost Calculator," Longtin added, in the statement.
Customers also appreciate that with Cost Calculator they do not have to write reports, said Kenneth Roy, president of Progressive Edge. "We have done all the work for you."
Federal Foam has only been using the system for a few months. Asked about justifying the cost for it in these lean times, Longtin said, "It wasn't hard. The Cost Calculator is very reasonable to start with and it provides information that was either not available before or took too many hours to get." In addition, "Progressive Edge has provided excellent support and been very responsive to questions and suggestions."
Federal Foam is a custom foam fabricator specialising in agricultural, industrial and unique applications. It has two locations in Wisconsin with individualised processes and markets, while another plant in Minnesota specialises in bonded polyester applications. Federal Foam has been using the Made2Manage System since 2003 and has 97 users accessing the ERP System in various capacities.