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Posted: 5/7/2013
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Coregistics Manufacturing Company Reduces Administrative Job Costs by 40 Percent

Coregistics products
Coregistics products
Coregistics, a full service contract packaging/manufacturing company, was using manual tracking processes and email-based communications in embedded work centers at customer sites, even with line-of-business systems in place. TwinEngines connected systems across companies with a Business-Critical SharePoint solution to integrate and automate workflows, improve operational efficiencies, and speed up the flow of information between companies.

Business Needs

Coregistics, a full service contract packaging/manufacturing company, has a 20 year successful history managing agile supply networks for America's premium brands. They offer a broad range of high-volume, time-sensitive primary packaging, secondary packaging, and logistics services across industries, including consumer goods, pharmaceutical, personal care, food, electronics and automotive. Coregistics has embedded operations at several customer sites nationwide, where their packaging work centers are integral to their customer’s business processes to ship products and meet promised delivery dates to their customers. Using the packaging management system in place in embedded work centers at a global car manufacturer’s distribution centers was hindering Coregistics’ ability to meet their service level agreement and increasing costs for their customer’s service teams.

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* With the automation via SharePoint, the administrative time spent each day was reduced by 40%, we removed one-third of the data entry needs, and we eliminated all data entry errors.  *

Satu Mehta
Vice President Operations
Coregistics

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Disconnected Information Systems

The car manufacturer utilizes the Red Prairie warehouse management system (WMS) at its distribution centers. Coregistics has the Macola ERP system to run their business. The third-party SaaS packaging-specific system in place for the embedded work centers did not easily connect with either system. As a result it was difficult and time consuming to manage the flow of work. Managers did not know how long it took to process a job. There was no visibility of job status across the warehouse or in the front office. Any rush orders had to be manually walked through. There was no data collected for quality control and auditing.

Manual Processes and Slow Responsiveness

For each production job to package automotive parts, it is important to quickly view the incoming jobs, to obtain approval of job instructions for new parts, and to notify the warehouse when packaged parts are ready for pick-up. Job instructions had to be manually delivered for approval. Coordination with the customer’s engineers to approve job instructions and resolve any variances was a challenge in the fast paced environment. Communications between employees of each company were email-based. The manual nature and long leadtime to communicate led to confusion, slow responses and problems reacting to changing job priorities. Since there was no auditing and accountability built into the workflow, the root cause of issues was hard to determine.

Systems Not Fully Leveraged

Microsoft SharePoint® 2010 Foundation was in place at Coregistics, but in the early stages of adoption across the company. In addition to the basic collaboration capabilities, SharePoint housed a custom performance tracking application, used across the organization to manage operations. The SaaS system functionality did not align with the production processes used in the embedded work centers. Coregistics was not able to fully integrate the system with the auto manufacturer, and while it supported basic operations management duties, a significant amount of functionality did not fit Coregistics’ way of working.

Solution

Coregistics worked with TwinEngines, a Business-Critical SharePoint (BCSP) partner to improve tracking and managing work in the embedded operations, with the goal to reduce administrative costs and to measure and meet their SLA on all jobs. TwinEngines developed a BCSP solution where SharePoint 2010 is connected with line-of-business systems to improve critical business processes. The solution provides real-time shop floor data collection and an integrated workflow connecting employees of both companies. SharePoint connects the Red Prairie WMS and the Macola ERP system extracting and integrating data with workflows that connect employees from both companies.

Integration with the customer’s Red Prairie WMS system improved the approval process for job instructions. Engineers gained visibility to a central repository enabling a formal management of tasks. This shortened approval times and added velocity to flow of work on the shop floor. It also sped the flow of job data between the customer and the embedded work centers, giving managers real-time information to make scheduling decisions.

TwinEngines developed the Windows Mobile application for Motorola Bar Code Scanners - used by employees throughout the packaging process. Integration with the handheld devices enables the collection of the job and performance data needed for business intelligence – the focus of the next phase. It also builds in accountability as workers perform the tasks in the automated workflow.

The process starts when the job information is delivered through the exchange of xml packets with the Red Prairie WMS system, and then viewed on a SharePoint 2010 web page. Labels are printed from SharePoint on a Zebra continuous label printer, and the job sheet is scanned to start the workflow. Job statistics are collected in real-time as the parts move through the workflow. Scanning the packages in the pickup area automatically alerts forklift drivers to come pick up the completed job and informs them where to deliver. The job is closed automatically via electronic notification when the parts are moved to warehouse destination by the forklift driver. The completed job information is then delivered via the exchange of xml packets with the Red Prairie WMS.

Benefits

Using More Efficient Business Processes

The most significant benefit Coregistics realized from the deployment was a nearly 40% reduction in administrative duties at each work center. This was achieved partly through the reduction in manual effort but mostly through the SharePoint centralized repository of information and workflows that connected systems and people from both companies. The workflow tracks the process through to completion, audits changes, and allows managers to monitor jobs.

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* Senior management now has visibility into the process ... *

Satu Mehta
Vice President Operations
Coregistics

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Better Visibility Across the Company

By implementing this solution, senior management at Coregistics gained a real-time, global view of all the embedded work centers. The visibility of each embedded work center in turn enabled them to be proactive to eliminate bottlenecks, and continually improve performance on the production lines. All jobs are tracked in real-time and the granular data collected is the basis for business intelligence functionality planned in the next phase.

Connected Teams

The SharePoint integration helped improve visibility for Coregistics and for their customers, providing the data in real time to communicate and collaborate. For example, work center operators can now more closely work with their customers’ engineers to ensure jobs start on time, and work with warehouse employees to ensure parts are staged for shipping on time. With integrated, connected business systems, Coregistics provides a synchronized view of their production allowing their customer’s employees to provide a better level of customer service at lower costs.

Cost Savings by Reducing Staff Hours

Improving the workflow and flow of information reduced the time to set up and start jobs by 40%, also eliminating costly overtime work. The staff required to manage data at each work center was reduced by a third. Automatic notifications of jobs and their completion led to significant savings in the time required to communicate with customer employees at the warehouse.

Improved ROI

The SharePoint BCSP solution paid for itself after seven months compared to the monthly fees of the third-party SaaS system. Coregistics also realized these benefits:

100% reduction of data entry errors

The ability to measure all jobs and show meeting service level agreements in real-time

Elimination of packaging errors and associated re-work

The ability to track production performance metrics in real-time, which they had no way to do prior to BCSP

As Satu Mehta, VP Operations at Coregistics summarizes it, “before our SharePoint BCSP solution, our staff, across a variety of functions, was spending an inordinate amount of time communicating with our customer’s employees to process work and manage changes. We were not able to measure our production and effectively report to our customers. We have been able to dramatically streamline this process by providing operations managers the ability to easily work with new orders on the front end and to track jobs without any manual effort or email-based communications. With the automation via SharePoint, the administrative time spent each day was reduced by 40%, we removed one-third of the data entry needs, and we eliminated all data entry errors. Senior management now has visibility into the process, and coming soon in the next phase, we will have the ability to track business intelligence across all our work centers.”

Business-Critical SharePoint(BCSP) is a Microsoft partner program that includes top solution and service providers who focus on LOB integration with SharePoint.

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Solution Overview




Organization Profile

Coregistics is a supply chain services company that provides unique contract packaging and logistics solutions.


Software and Services
Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010

Vertical Industries
Logistics/Distribution

Country/Region
United States

Business Need
  • Business Productivity
  • Sharepoint Business Critical

IT Issue
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

Languages
English

Partner(s)
TwinEngines

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