Hi, my name is Peter Gadzinski and I work for a company called MaxScheduler. We’re continuing our web series for manufacturers and printers about software challenges they face in their businesses. We want to share our experiences. MaxScheduler has been in the scheduling software business for about 15 years. We’ve helped companies schedule around 300 million tasks. Myself, I’m a Scheduling Expert and Product Manager. My LinkedIn profiled is here:
Today we’re going to be doing a case study about a sample customer called EZ Industrial Solutions. EZ is in the business of quality assurance of automotive fasteners and stampings. In their business, they were scheduling using a whiteboard. Let me show you a picture of that whiteboard. What you see here is a whiteboard with handwritten notes. Each rectangle, with a label is a machine and they have a queue of work for each machine. Basically they were doing the scheduling, manual erasing, updating and planning the operations on a day to day basis.
With that whiteboard, they had gotten to a point where they were doing around 120 jobs and processing around 2.5 million items each day. That’s quite impressive for using a manual system, but they were starting to have some problems by using that whiteboard and they wanted to involve a computer system. The scheduling involved, the scheduling of jobs through machines and manual work. The split between the two is 70 percent of the work was done through machines.
When they reached that point, they decided to make a leap and go with an MRP system. They went down the typical process of getting in touch with, finding out the requirements, getting in touch with vendors, vetting those software companies and choosing somebody. They started the project, it was supposed to take a few months and unfortunately what happened was, they got around halfway through the project and then realized that the MRP system couldn’t track two crucial numbers for them. They were called LOT and BIN numbers. Those two numbers were essential for scheduling the jobs and tracking the jobs.
The MRP system didn’t give them a good user experience on a day to day basis to actually do the schedule, so the whole point of making the change was nukked. What they did is, they pulled the plug on the entire project. They reevaluated their requirements and decided to go with a scheduling system. They were currently using Quickbooks to track financial information and they were also entering jobs into Quickbooks and they were looking for a scheduler that could work with Quickbooks, import the jobs, create a schedule and move forward from there.
This is where we got in touch with them. They submitted the RFP to us, we answered, we went into discussions and they chose us as a vendor and we moved forward with the project. Some customization was needed. The project took around two months, part time efforts on both sides. The conclusion of it, EZ was quite happy and let me show you a screen shot of what was the result. This is a screen shot of the scheduling system today, a dramatic step above that whiteboard. They use a PC to create the schedule and then they project it onto a large screen TV.
The top part of the schedule, the column represents resources. Each block represents a job and what you have is a queue of work in front of each machine. Red means a job has been completed and will be taken off the board. The area at the bottom is list view, which are jobs to be scheduled. An interesting byproduct, or a value that came out of this project is that by implementing a scheduling system that worked with Quickbooks, it has pushed out the requirement for EZ to implement a MRP or ERP system. They know they’re eventually going to need to go there but they have pushed out that horizon a great deal for them perhaps a couple of years.
What’s nice now is that when they do need it, they’ll be in a much better position to make that transition. They’ll be in a better position financially and it will be a more stable company at that point, because taking that step is a big risk for a corporation.
That’s the end of this case study. Thank you for your time. If you have any comments or questions or are interested in our scheduling software, please reach out to us at maxscheduler.com. Have a good day.