FullTilt suite makes fast work of product information management

When Milwaukee-based badge and label manufacturer Brady Corp. decided to build an online store, it hit a problem: using Excel spreadsheets to manage the information for tens of thousands of products was error-prone and inefficient.

07/18/2007


When Milwaukee-based badge and label manufacturer Brady Corp . decided to build an online store, it hit a problem: using Excel spreadsheets to manage the information for tens of thousands of products was error-prone and inefficient.

In particular, there was no way to make "global" data changes, which forced staff to manually update the same details on a given product in multiple locations in Brady's e-catalog. Storing widely differing product attributes also proved difficult. While relevant attributes for a label might include its color, dimensions, and type of adhesive, label printers might include dots per inch and printing speed.

 

The answer came in the form of the FullTilt Solutions ’ Perfect Product Suite, a Web-based product information management (PIM) solution capable of storing product data and attributes for every Brady product in a single central repository. The FullTilt repository is the system of record, instantly reflecting across the company any changes that have been made, with updates exported to the online store as required.

 

While the implementation at Brady exemplifies FullTilt’s capabilities in a downstream supply chain scenario, FullTilt says manufacturers are deploying the technology in both upstream and downstream applications.

 

“Once a manufacturer reaches a certain size, keeping track of the attributes of the products that they buy and sell becomes difficult,” says Michael Brenner, marketing director at FullTilt. “Ideally, as orders move along the supply chain, product attribute information should move with them—but with potentially hundreds of thousand of attributes to track, the potential for error is significant.”

 

FullTilt’s offering differs sharply from the approach taken by the major vendors in the product information management space, asserts Brenner. “We have commercial-grade code, ready to be implemented out of the box,” he says. “Most other vendors sell product information management tool kits that can double the cost of the implementation.”

 

Not to mention the implementation time frame. A recent deployment for example, went live in just six weeks, says Brenner, "which is almost unheard of in the [PIM] space.”

 

Privately held, FullTilt is still a relative minnow in the market, as its employees still outnumber its customers by a factor of two. But as more manufacturers wake up to the advantages of PIM within the supply chain, Brenner regards the company as well positioned to compete.

 

“We differentiate ourselves on speed of implementation and scalability,” stresses Brenner. “It’s usable code, right out of the box—and usable within weeks, not months.”





Top Plant
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2017 Top Plant.
Product of the Year
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
System Integrator of the Year
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
February 2018
2017 Product of the Year winners, retrofitting a press, IMTS and Hannover Messe preview, natural refrigerants, testing steam traps
March 2018
SCCR, 2018 Maintenance study, and VFDs in a washdown environment.
Jan/Feb 2018
Welding ergonomics, 2017 Salary Survey, and surge protection
April 2018
ROVs, rigs, and the real time; wellsite valve manifolds; AI on a chip; analytics use for pipelines
February 2018
Focus on power systems, process safety, electrical and power systems, edge computing in the oil & gas industry
December 2017
Product of the Year winners, Pattern recognition, Engineering analytics, Revitalize older pump installations
April 2018
Implementing a DCS, stepper motors, intelligent motion control, remote monitoring of irrigation systems
February 2018
Setting internal automation standards
December 2017
PID controllers, Solar-powered SCADA, Using 80 GHz radar sensors

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

The Maintenance and Reliability Coach's blog
Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
One Voice for Manufacturing
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Maintenance and Reliability Professionals Blog
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Machine Safety
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
Research Analyst Blog
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Marshall on Maintenance
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
Lachance on CMMS
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
Maintenance & Safety
The maintenance journey has been a long, slow trek for most manufacturers and has gone from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance.
Industrial Analytics
This digital report explains how plant engineers and subject matter experts (SME) need support for time series data and its many challenges.
IIoT: Operations & IT
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
Randy Steele
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Matthew J. Woo, PE, RCDD, LEED AP BD+C
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Randy Oliver
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
Data Centers: Impacts of Climate and Cooling Technology
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
Safety First: Arc Flash 101
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
Critical Power: Hospital Electrical Systems
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me