Many hats: Visibility ERP supports end-user versatility for packaging solutions specialist
Small companies routinely rely on key people who are well versed in a number of functional areas. That's why they need all the help they can get from systems that let them quickly shift from one function to another. For Campbell Wrapper, the solution was Visibility ERP, a system with the familiarity of a Microsoft environment and the flexibility to carry the business well into the future.
Small companies routinely rely on key people who are well versed in a number of functional areas. And these people need all the help they can get from systems that enable them to quickly shift from one function to another.
“I wear multiple hats here,” says Todd Goodwin, VP of finance and administration for De Pere, Wis.-based Campbell Wrapper , a privately held manufacturer of horizontal flow wrappers and feeding equipment ( see photo ).
In addition to overseeing company finances,ket: ASK Manman ERP running on a VAX platform from DEC.
Critical information that Goodwin required to stay atop myriad responsibilities was mostly available only in voluminous printed reports.
In August 2006, Campbell Wrapper started its search to replace its antiquated business systems. Topping the requirements list was a system that would support its ETO/CTO business, enabling it to capably cost customer orders on a project basis.
Campbell also wanted a system that could ably carry it well into the future, so the focus was on systems running in the Microsoft .NET environment. The company narrowed the field to three, and in August 2007, it selected Visibility .NET ERP from Visibility Software.
“We chose Visibility because it supported engineer-to-order of complex products and because it was written in .NET,” Todd says. “A number of companies said they were planning to go in that direction, but rather than wait, we wanted to go directly to .NET so as not to have to convert in two or three years down the road. Visibility having SQL Server as the database was a bonus. ”
Visibility .NET ERP also supported Campbell Wrapper’s aftermarket parts business, which makes the company more truly a hybrid than strictly an ETO/CTO operation. “The speed of working in a Windows-based system is a great aid,” says Todd. “We have more than 200,000 parts, and you can type in a part number and it pops up in seconds. Before it would take 20 minutes or more.”
Todd especially likes the system’s rapid drill-down capabilities.
“Searches are much easier—whether its parts, sales orders, or bills of material,” he says. “On the accounting side, general ledger inquiries come much easier as well. Instead of doing manual printouts, the information is readily available online.”
The system also enables workers to keep multiple Windows open at once, facilitating multiple views by toggling back and forth. But especially appealing to Todd is the personal portal capability that enables him to tailor his main desktop Window to provide ready access to all the critical functions he’s responsible for.
“We have a small staff on the business side and the system really supports me,” he says. “Using my portal makes it extremely convenient. I don’t have to memorize multiple commands to get to a certain function that I need to perform. Now they’re all available at the click of a mouse. All this enables me to focus on other things that add value to the company, such as doing more variant analysis—things I didn’t have time for before.”
Annual Salary Survey
After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.