Automotive Assembly Contract Manufacturer Supports Rapid Growth with MRP Software
KS2, a Canadian contract manufacturer of RV and EV solutions, found a way to tame their unwieldy inventory management and bills of materials, switching gears in their business as a result.
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Not a run-of-the-mill manufacturing company
KS2 is a Montreal-based contract manufacturing company specializing in building assemblies and subassemblies for the automotive industry. The company mainly produces lithium batteries and electrical cable harnesses for recreational vehicles as well as Bluetooth connectivity solutions for battery management. In addition, KS2 provides engineering services to other manufacturers that need help in designing and prototyping products.
Founded in 2007, today the 40-person team consists of engineers, computer scientists, production staff, tech support, and supply chain managers, in addition to the administrative side of the business.
Rapid growth made spreadsheets buckle under pressure
In 2016, rapid growth prompted the company to look at alternatives to the spreadsheets that were used at the time to manage the manufacturing operation.
“We started building more and more different types of assemblies and anticipated that it would soon become impossible to manage,” says KS2’s Operations Manager Kendra Scappaticci. “It was very clear that we had to start looking for MRP software.”
As the owner of the company had prior experience with complex corporate ERP systems, he knew that KS2 required something different. While searching online for an intuitive and user-friendly ERP system optimized for small manufacturers, he came across MRPeasy.
“The price point of MRPeasy was fantastic for us, as well,” Kendra says. “After looking at four other systems, it was clear that this was the system we were looking for.”
The software was easy to implement and use
Although the decision to implement the software came from the owner of the business, employees were quick to get on board. By the time Kendra started as a Junior Buyer in 2017, the company was using MRPeasy to manage parts, bills of materials, and purchases.
“This was obviously fantastic for me when I started in the purchasing department because the software made all the processes so much quicker,” Kendra remembers. “It came with a learning curve, of course, but I found the system very user-friendly.”
Luckily, MRPeasy has made overcoming the learning curve as simple as possible. All of the software documentation is available on their website, along with dozens of how-to videos that show newcomers how to implement and use specific functionalities. In addition, the system’s interface includes a quick help button that allows users to easily find information about any issues they may face while using the software. All this makes implementing and using the system possible without having to hire expensive implementation consultants.
“In addition to the resources available on their website and within the software, MRPeasy’s technical support team is also very helpful and responsive,” Kendra adds. “You send them a ticket with your problem, add screenshots if need be, and get a substantive answer by the next day at the latest.”
Turning over quotes in 24-48 hours
When Kendra started, there were two other people using the software besides her. Over time, however, they have rolled out functionality after functionality and now the software is also used by the customer service and engineering departments in addition to the supply chain people.
“Right now we have 15 people that are actively using the software,” she says. “We are growing and the products are constantly evolving so having the engineers manage the bills of materials and their revisions within the software has made things so much easier.”
According to Kendra, MRPeasy has also improved the customer-facing side of the business. Most importantly, the company can quickly respond to quote requests and expedite the whole quote-to-cash process.
“The quoting system within MRPeasy is great,” she says. “We are now able to turn over quotes within 24-48 hours from receiving the request.”
The customer experience as a whole has undergone a significant transformation. Quotes and invoices are now clear and transparent. Part descriptions are also highly detailed, enabling KS2 to track revisions and changes made by both the company and its clients. This, along with the software’s powerful BOM capabilities, facilitates both external and internal communication and helps avoid any confusion in a company with highly complex BOMs that undergo frequent changes.
“When we start producing new items, drawing up new bills of materials and getting them linked up with production planning takes just a few hours now instead of days,” Kendra states. “We can upload a new BOM, be ready to submit manufacturing orders, and send out invoices associated with the new product within the same day now.”
Control over data is key to a successful business
Perhaps the most significant benefit of all is the control that MRPeasy has given KS2 over their data. This comprehensive data management capability has empowered them to make informed decisions with confidence, as they have quick access to critical information at their fingertips. In particular, the forecasting and inventory tracking features have proven invaluable for their supply chain management.
“Being able to look at stock statistics and plan ahead for items with long lead times has really improved our supply chain processes,” Kendra maintains.
But the benefits of MRPeasy extend beyond the operational realm. KS2’s finance team has also found tremendous value in the software’s clear and intuitive accounting functions. Moreover, invoicing has become significantly quicker, enhancing their financial operations and cash flow management. As a company conducting business in both Canada and the United States, KS2 also greatly appreciates MRPeasy’s multi-currency functionality. This feature has eliminated the complexities associated with cross-border transactions, allowing them to seamlessly manage their operations across different currencies and regions.
“Some people think MRP is complicated but there’s no need to get overwhelmed by the number of available functions,” Kendra says as a final remark. “You can just start with one important feature that benefits you and then roll out additional functions over time. The data visibility you’ll get from using the software is invaluable.”
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