Improving logistics management — Novacura Flow at Rockfin
ERP systems have firmly taken root in Polish companies and have become standard, especially in large enterprises. A problem that is cropping up more and more often, however, is that the IT systems implemented to support management have exhausted their capabilities and cannot keep up with the dynamic development of companies and their processes.
Rockfin Sp. z o.o. is an engineering company which is involved in the design, manufacture, and servicing of oil systems, including lubrication systems, hydraulic drive and control systems, and filtration/maintenance systems for industrial oils. It is a purely design-oriented company — 98 per cent of purchases and production is carried out for the needs of specific projects.
Development supported by IT
Rockfin’s challenge was to automate processes in the storage of components, i.e. production-ready parts delivered from suppliers, and to extend the IFS system already in place.
The company’s goal was to improve quality and reduce lead times of tasks performed every day in the warehouse and to increase oversight of material flows throughout the company. The management staff were primarily focused on replacing the system of performing operations manually and recording data from tracking sheets with one that makes use of mobile devices and identifies parts stored in the warehouse by means of barcodes.
Important factors in vendor selection were implementation time — as short as possible — and flexibility with regard to the individual needs of the company, including the functionality of the current ERP system. The company wanted to translate its active processes into bespoke software, rather than adapt its flows to off-the-shelf IT tools. The solution that met these expectations was Novacura Flow.
Taking the ERP system to another level
Novacura specialists were faced with the challenge of eliminating bottlenecks in the existing ERP system without interfering with their structure. During a three-day workshop support for warehouse processes that use scanners and terminals was defined and partly prepared.
”In this solution we used the concept of logistic unit, which allows components to be grouped by type or project,” says Artur Buła, Managing Director of Novacura Poland. ”This radically shortened and optimized lead times for all their inventory transactions.”
”The advantage of this solution was the process-based approach to rolling out the system and the short implementation time”, says Michał Wróblewski, Managing Director at Rockfin Group.
”The biggest surprise was that the first processes that worked on mobile devices according to our requirements were developed during the implementation workshops. Together with Novacura at our head office, we established how these processes should function. Seeing possible solutions, we also started to add new functionalities on our own, which allowed for even better work optimization”, explains Piotr Itrich, Assistant Warehouse Manager, Supply Control Section Leader.
The Novacura Flow solution provided Rockfin with the ability to define specific processes and circumvent rigid barriers imposed by the standard functionalities of the ERP system.
”The solution provided by Novacura Poland has enabled us to work out and implement processes for managing item throughput into sections according to project number or melt. Thanks to NC Flow our ERP system stores data about the individual sections. Each Flow user has on-line access to it — which is essential from the warehouse operation point of view — directly from the terminal screen, and inventory transactions are performed directly in the ERP. This way we reduce the lead time of inventory tasks (e.g. material identification, booking, and completion) and save paper” explains Piotr Piechota, IFS Process and System Improvement Manager at Rockfin.
Action — reaction
The main advantage of the Novacura tool is that defined processes can be modified at any time and it is able to respond to dynamically emerging needs of anyone using the system. These changes are simple to implement and users quickly learn to navigate them on their own.
”We implement all comments from employees on a regular basis by ourselves. An employee who feels an interface window is lacking, or has a different idea about data display and wants it to be faster, reports the issue to me. After 10–15 minutes we are able to apply the change. Such issues used to take a few weeks to resolve; today, we have a new functionality that facilitates work immediately”, Piotr Itrich adds.
Despite the fact that Novacura customers quickly learn to add and modify their workflows on their own, they can always count on the support and consultancy of specialists from Novacura.
”We see the potential of this solution and we are sure that the solution will be applied in other Rockfin business areas — e.g. data migration. The product provided by Novacura Poland is a flexible and user-friendly tool. These features give us the opportunity to develop processes by our system management department according to the specific requirements of Rockfin. Of course, where justified, we still see scope for cooperation with Novacura. It is simply easier to use solutions proven and tested in practice, rather than develop them from scratch“, Piotr Piechota adds. “Especially since the cooperation with Novacura has been exemplary. We get answers to our questions and/or concerns with no hassle.”
Rockfin currently uses eleven terminals at three locations. Data at the warehouses are automatically read and entered into the system. The company is confident that the data are correct and of appropriate quality, and each authorized person has easy on-line access to them.
Rockfin Sp. z o.o. is an engineering company which is involved in the design, manufacture, and servicing of oil systems, including lubrication systems, hydraulic drive and control systems, and filtration/maintenance systems for industrial oils.
To improve quality and reduce lead times of tasks performed every day in the warehouse and to increase oversight of material flows throughout the company.
Ability to define specific processes and circumvent rigid barriers imposed by the standard functionalities of the ERP system. These processes can be modified at any time and it is able to respond to dynamically emerging needs of anyone using the system.
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