Metal service centers manage multiple product offerings representing a broad range of finished goods, from standard stock products and simple option-oriented configurations to complex dimensional and engineering variations. Metal fabrication software helps service centers be more competitive and successful. As the metal fabrication industry continues to mature and expand, product line complexities can translate into operational and technological challenges that require sophisticated software solutions that are designed for the make-to-order manufacturer.
Metal Fabrication Industry Challenges
- Increased Product Complexity: Changing market conditions require service centers to increase options within your existing product lines, as well as to continually introduce new product lines. Coordination across all departments is required to maintain the existing product lines and effectively roll out changes and new product lines as required. Metal fabrication software streamlines coordination and scales with your company.
- Reduced Lead Times: Competitive pressures, along with the introduction of “quick ship” programs, have compressed overall order fulfillment lead times. Your metal fabrication software should streamline the process with material and production planning. Improving access to and utilization of business information are key requirements for reducing lead times.
- Sales Automation: Your customers want anytime access to quoting and order management. You need a streamlined order entry system that eliminates errors. The right metal fabrication software, with configure-price-quote (CPQ) capabilities and online access, will help ensure customer loyalty, as well as protect and expand your market share.
- Technology Integration: Technology improvements throughout the supply chain have placed an increased demand on metal service centers to provide access to business information. Suppliers of fabricated metals, manufacturing equipment, components, and materials are just a few examples where business information integration is required across multiple platforms.
Metal Fabrication Software Solution
Frontier is a configuration-based ERP application that has been specifically designed to address these and many additional challenges facing fabricated metal manufacturers. Frontier is a fully integrated suite of application software modules, built on the foundation of a table-based, dimensional product configurator.
The functionality of the product configurator, along with the integrated application modules, has been designed to streamline all activities associated with the order fulfillment process for stock and fabricated metal products:
- Dealer/fabricated metal quotes
- Sales orders
- Production planning and scheduling
- Material optimization
- Product tracking
- Truck loading
- Performance measurement
- After-sales service
- …and more
Over the years, we have developed extensive experience installing Frontier ERP metal fabrication software across many fabricated metal industries. Frontier ERP consultants have documented this experience in the form of an implementation methodology, COMPASS, that has been proven to be a highly effective method of defining, executing, streamlining, and tracking all aspects of a Frontier ERP software implementation project.
The configuration-based functionality within the Frontier fabricated metals software application, along with this extensive Industry expertise, ensures that metal service centers and other metal manufacturers will be successful in achieving their business objectives within an aggressive implementation timeline.
Business Benefits of Metal Fabrication Software
- Dramatic reductions of overall order cycle time by integrating all operational and technical aspects of the business.
- Improved service and quotation fill rates by providing integrated PC and Internet-based quotation and ordering applications.
- Improved efficiency across all aspects of the organization, supporting substantial growth trends with limited increases in staffing and the associated labor and overhead costs.
- The realization of extensive cost reductions (inventory, scrap, procurement) by integrating all aspects of the supply chain, from internal component production to outside material suppliers.
- Reduction of order errors and manual “special orders” that are processed through the introduction and leveraging of an integrated product configurator.
- Improved responsiveness to changing market conditions by providing a centralized product specification and pricing engine for both internal and external use.
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