With 13 locations, 3 manufacturing sites, and over 70 major manufacturers represented, Indelco Plastics leads the industry in quantity and variety of products. Indelco has grown by acquiring strategic companies and using the experts at Business Automation Specialists of Minnesota (BASM) to help merge, streamline and automate processes across the organizations.
According to Ron Ketterling, President of BASM, “We’ve been working with Indelco since they had just one location in Minneapolis. As the company grew through acquisition, their software systems needed the ability to expand with them. We moved Indelco to Microsoft NAV; providing the ultimate flexibility for a complex array of needs and growth. As new companies are acquired, they are merged into the NAV solution, so this is an ongoing effort for all involved.”
Ron stated that one of the most complex issues for Indelco is their multiple discount structure. “Pricing on plastic products is very fluid and is based on volume and location. Their discount structure is very complex. Prior to automating the process, it was time-consuming and error prone. We created a custom pricing grid that simplified the process and makes sure that all customers are getting the right price. Implementation is always a great time to streamline processes and Indelco did that by standardizing more of their pricing.”
“Having access to what has traditionally been back end software really makes sense. We can make changes on the fly without having to wait for a developer to do it for us. NAV is an awesome product that way, and really gives us great flexibility.“
Aimee Johnson, IT Manager at Indelco
While NAV’s inventory and production orders are great, BASM developed a custom quoting module to quickly and accurately provide custom manufacturing quotes for customers and prospects. The quoting module expands NAV quotes and ties in the bill of material, and routing; using material (whether in inventory or a new material), subcontractors, labor, machine, and other variables (like quantity breaks from subcontractors) as the basis for the cost. Utilizing standard margins (with the option for manager approved custom margins), it develops the pricing of various quantities. Additionally, when the customer accepts the quote, the quoting module automatically generates the bill of materials, routing, NAV standard pricing schedule and sales order in NAV; so there is no duplicate data entry. After production, the estimator can compare actuals to quotes to verify accuracy or pricing changes.
Jeff Gjerdingen, President at Indelco Plastics appreciates how flexible NAV is; especially the visibility it gives him into the organization. “Consistency is key throughout the organization. Things that were done on spreadsheets or even manually, are all done on the system now, and they are all done the same way at every location; allowing me to see what we are doing as an organization so I can make confident decisions based on solid data. This is invaluable. The custom quote module is key to our business being profitable, while providing our customers with the best possible price and service.”
Jeff added, “BASM also helped our IT Manager, Aimee Johnson, extract and manipulate our data with custom scripts so she can “cut & paste” into NAV. Manually moving information from one system to another is so error prone. We don’t have to worry about that as each new acquisition is done with a custom conversion, and I get access to the new company data in NAV almost instantly.”
Aimee Johnson, IT Manager at Indelco, appreciates that she can edit all her own reports and forms either in Word or NAV developer. “Having access to what has traditionally been back end software really makes sense. We can make changes on the fly without having to wait for a developer to do it for us. NAV is an awesome product that way, and really gives us great flexibility.”
“Consistency is key throughout the organization. Things that were done on spreadsheets or even manually, are all done on the system now, and they are all done the same way at every location; allowing me to see what we are doing as an organization so I can make confident decisions based on solid data. This is invaluable. The custom quote module is key to our business being profitable, while providing our customers with the best possible price and service.“
Jeff Gjerdingen, President at Indelco Plastics
Ron added, “In addition to the custom price grid, quoting solution and many other small enhancements, BASM also wrote an Inventory Locator for Indelco, using NAV’s Fact Boxes in a unique way. The Inventory Locator lists what inventory is available at Indelco’s other locations. Other customizations included one for non-stock items with specific pricing and one-time customer orders. This allows the purchase price of the non-stock item to be tied to the finished lot, takes the guesswork out of pricing and results in considerable time savings by automating the cost tracking for commissions. We also enhanced our Shipping Integration to interface to FedEx and Spee-Dee Delivery to meet all of Indelco’s carrier requirements.”
Ron noted that the manufacturing process is significantly better in NAV versus Indelco’s prior solution, which only offered “assemblies” and didn’t do a great job. BASM is also in the process of implementing time tracking for Indelco’s manufacturing plants. The time tracking solution will be customized so that the system selects an open machine in the work center when the employee scans onto a route step. Indelco is always looking for time and error saving automation to speed up and simplify their processes.
Jeff concluded, “NAV is a phenomenal tool. You need to look at it as a template that allows you to mold it into what you want it to be for any department. Other ERP systems are too focused on specific uses (i.e.: just distribution, or just retail) – they don’t have the capability for flexibility in situations where it is needed. NAV is a blank slate that can be molded and adapted to what our specific needs are. It’s fully adaptable, providing individual departments customized menus specific to their tasks. It’s exciting that it can grow and change with us. We also work with a terrific team at BASM, who know how to make those modifications, so we can manage the business the way we are used to doing it or want to do it. NAV is also a very stable environment and allows us to make many changes ourselves. We just couldn’t be happier with NAV or our trusted partner, Business Automation Specialists.”