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Case study: Mar-Bal Incorporated

Plastics Manufacturing ERP Software

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In summary:

  • Over 5,000 potential machine hours saved
  • $60,000 saved annually with more efficient inbound and outbound EDI and ASN order processing
  • Need for physical inventories eliminated saving over $80,000 annually
  • Over $20,000 saved annually with quicker month-end close
  • IQMS' RealTime™ interface delivers significant savings through accurate production reporting
  • Accurate reporting of global material purchases leads to savings by enabling volume purchase negotiation.

With four manufacturing facilities in North America, Mar-Bal specialises in plastics injection moulding and glass insulators, supplying the appliance, electrical, transportation and industrial sectors.

Despite growing demand, legacy back office software was severly restricting Mar-Bal's ability to increase manufacturing capacity. Their software system didn't have the ability to:

  • Process inbound EDI orders efficiently, while outbound EDI was non-existent
  • Scan inventory from the shop floor, making inventory management a manual and time consuming process
  • Monitor consigned inventory or what was on hand at the customer site
  • Add or reduce vendor managed inventory (VMI) based on shipments and consumption
  • Effectively monitor performance as there was limited reporting and forecasting tools - month end took up to two weeks to perform.

Hampered with time-consuming manual processes and significant loss in production time, Mar-Bal turned to IQMS to transform their manufacturing operations.


A Complete manufacturing ERP System That Streamlines and Improves All operational Areas

Deciding not to pour more and more money into a legacy application, Mar-Bal compiled a list of ERP providers offering software for the plastics industry, which could also be used for assembly and finishing. Priding itself on being a one-stop manufcaturing provider, Mar-Bal required a software system that could differentiate cleanly between its multiple manufacturing types.

Following an exhaustive process, IQMS was selected as their preferred solution.

“EnterpriseIQ has the functionality to support not only our molding operations but also our other manufacturing needs. IQMS’ support capabilities and experience in manufacturing, plus their impressive cooperation with users, made the choice of EnterpriseIQ clear.”

Director of Business Process Systems, Mar-Bal

Seamless Flow and Visibility of Manufacturing Operations delivers Proactive Approach to Issues

Following implementation at Mar-Bal's headquarters in Chagrin Falls, Ohio and across their four manufacturing facilities, Mar-Bal saw immediate results.

  • Receive real-time order updates from customers through IQMS' robust and native EDI module. As well as cutting down on inbound processing time, outbound EDI functionality embedded with the auto-invoicing feature in EnterpriseIQ enabled more than 100 invoices to be transmitted within minutes, all by one employee
  • IQMS’ Warehouse Management System (WMS) has enabled Mar-Bal to track the movement of all inventory through each of its facilities. Barcode labeling and scanning has eliminated the need for full physical inventories on a monthly basis. Proactive monitoring and configurable alerts also means Mar-Bal is warned of any potentially damaging inventory shortfalls
  • Real-time plant floor production monitoring and remote access capabilities has significantly improved system visibility and communication
  • Month end processing reduced to only four days through new reporting tools such as Crystal Reports and spreadsheet Server for financial reporting
  • Annual savings in excess of $270,000 and a potential 5,000 machine hours available for increased production through IQMS’ innovative RealTime™ Production Monitoring system.

IQMS has enabled Mar-Bal to gain a significant competitive edge through better understanding of costing and profitability at both the micro and macro level. They have a 360-degree view of their material, production and labour costs and can quickly and confidently send accurate quotes to customers.

Immediate, real-time transfer of information through EnterpriseIQ enables employees to quickly respond to customers when a delivery date needs to be changed and/or items can be delivered sooner than expected.

“A culture of continuous improvement, coupled with the capabilities EnterpriseIQ offers, gives us a distinct advantage over our competitors. We are able to process an order at less cost, more accurately and without increasing headcount.”

Director of Business Process Systems, Mar-Bal