Get With the Program
Today's software companies have developed a range of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software programs and systems that cater directly to the needs of the plastics industry.
May 1, 2007 by Umair Abdul, editorial assistant
Many Canadian plastic processors are operating in a “waste not want not” climate, where the success of a business is defined by its ability to remain efficient and under control. As a result, a growing number of businesses are in the market for enterprise resource planning (ERP) software systems. These enterprise-wide resources take an integrative approach to business management, allowing operators to control different aspects of their business using a single system platform.
Choices about ERP systems should be made after carefully weighing the products’ features against your business’s needs. Thought should also be given to how easily a program can be integrated into your business, and what training or upgrading may be required.
Canadian Plastics has compiled a list of ERP systems for plastic processors from some of the major software system providers in North America.
B&L Information Systems (Bridgman, Mich.); www.blinfo.com
Suitable for: injection molding, blow molding, thermoforming.
Features and benefits: B&L’s enterprise software, Odyssey, is a suite of integrated business applications with the benefit of specific features for the plastics molding industry. Odyssey is written for a Windows platform utilizing a Progress development environment. Odyssey’s base system consists of accounts payable, accounts receivable, general ledger, cost estimating, forecasting, order processing, purchasing, requisitions, scheduling, quality, shop floor data collection, production, inventory, shipping & invoicing, job cost, sales analysis, and tool management. An optional maintenance management module is available. B&L also offers a business intelligence module, Intelligent Views, which provides easy access to any ODBC/ADO database.
Sales offices/representatives: Janet Wcisel, B&L Information Systems; 269-465-6207
CMS Software (Richmond Hill, Ont.); www.cmssoftware.com
Suitable for: injection molding, blow molding, pipe and profile extrusion.
Features and benefits: CMS Software offers completely integrated ERP solutions that allow operators to run and manage every aspect of the supply chain with maximum optimization. The system integrates almost every aspect of the processor’s business — from purchasing and inventory to shipping. CMS offers real-time process monitoring at the shop floor level, and also allows full control over tracking, production and material usage. Additionally, the touch-screen systems can generate radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags and barcode labels with unique serial numbers for each box of produced parts. CMSi5 is designed to run exclusively on IBM eServer system i, while the CMSm5 runs on Microsoft .NET platforms. CMS’s ERP systems also support electronic data interchange (EDI), which helps businesses better manage incoming and outgoing transactions and allows customers to monitor their orders online. As an added benefit, CMS has its own support team of trainers and implementation staff for its customers.
References: ABC Group Inc. (Toronto, Ont.); blow molding
Progressive Molded Products (Concord, Ont.); injection molding
SCL A-1 Plastics Limited (Brampton, Ont,); injection molding
Sales offices/representatives: David Gunn, CMS Software; 905-224-2222
Consona Corporation (Indianapolis, Ind.); www.consona.com (formerly known as Made2Manage Systems)
Suitable for: injection molding, blow molding, extrusion, film and bag processing, thermoforming, compounding.
Features and benefits: Consona Corporation currently offers two software solutions to address the needs of today’s plastics industry. DRT Plastics ERP enables plastics companies to gain better control and visibility of enterprise-wide operations by providing comprehensive industry-specific support for every aspect of the business, from customer relationship management, quoting and sales, to production scheduling, inventory management, order costing, finance, and business analytics. Encompix is a leader in ERP solutions that enables moldmakers to improve profits and on-time delivery. Encompix was designed to follow the specific business processes of engineer-to-order (ETO) and project-based manufacturers by including critical functionality to support estimating, production and costing.
References: Weber Manufacturing Limited (Midland, Ont.); moldmaker
Dreco, Inc. (North Ridgeville, Ohio); injection molder
Wisconsin Film & Bag (Shawano, Wisc.); film and bag converter
Sales offices/representatives: Consona Corporation; 888-CONSONA
CyFrame International (Montreal, Que.); www.cyframe.com
Suitable for: injection molding, blow molding, extrusion, film and converting operations.
Features and benefits: CyFrame’s adaptable, advanced web ERP software helps processors to realize complete integration, automated workflow, and total enterprise visibility and control. CyFrame implements process-specific components such as custom client order management dashboards, fully integrated machine monitoring with statistic process control, and customer specific, self-service client login areas. This comprehensive flexible solution and allows your organization to realize its true potential, from needs analysis to implementation, training and support. The web architecture is such that all data remains on the customer’s servers, while users connect solely with Internet Explorer. No software installation is necessary, and CyFrame’s software does not require the use of expensive third party products such as Terminal Server or Citrix to enable multi-plant file sharing capabilities.
References: E Hoffman Plastics (Orangeville, Ont.); injection molding
Tecniplast (Montreal, Que.); custom extrusion
Meredith Springfield (Ludlow, Mass.); custom blow molding
Sales offices/representatives: Rick Dunne, CyFrame International Enterprises Inc.; 1-866-293-7263 ext. 235
IQMS (Pasa Robles, Calif.); www.iqms.com
Suitable for: injection molding, blow molding, extrusion, thermoforming, compounding.
Features and benefits: EnterpriseIQ is designed specifically for all repetitive plastics processes, and IQMS has created separate Bills of Materials that offer unique terminology and requirements for each of the plastic processor functions. Single-source and RealTime are two unique features that set IQMS apart. Many competing ERP systems can handle similar functions, but they do so using third-party applications. IQMS has designed EnterpriseIQ as a single database with full function, and no third-party integrations are required. Additionally, EnterpriseIQ also offers RealTime Machine Monitoring. By tying the actions of the machines directly to the scheduling and inventory areas of EnterpriseIQ, manufacturers get a more accurate picture of parts left to produce, material left for consumption, and actual machine capacity based on real time run information.
References: Pano Cap (Kitchener, Ont.); injection molder
Silcotech (Bolton, Ont.); extruder
ITW Deltar (Concord, Ont.); injection molder
Sales offices/representatives: Lee Filbert, IQMS (Thornhill, Ont.); 905-886-7357
PlastiSoft Corporation (Toronto, Ont.); www.plastisoft.com
Suitable for: flexible film extrusion, lamination, flexo printing, film and bag conversion.
Features and benefits: PlastiSoft Corporation develops TORI-FLEX, a fully-integrated ERP solution that meets the specific needs of the flexible packaging industry. Companies who use the system have expanded their competitive edge, reduced costs and improved profit mar
gins. TORI-FLEX allows companies to better manage, forecast and track inventory status with a greater level of accuracy. Orders are priced accurately from the beginning to end, keeping the price on target with the original forecasted margins. Processors can reduce duplications and mistakes by gaining control over manufacturing processes to better respond to and correct errors that occur during production. Companies can also access key information in report format, which allows management to make strategic business decisions in a timely manner.
Sales offices/representatives: Ron Bourne, PlastiSoft Corp.; 416-667-9292