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Fabricated metal manufacturers manage multiple product lines representing a broad range of finished goods, from standard stock products and simple option-oriented configurations to complex dimensional and engineering variations. As these markets continue to mature and expand, these product line complexities can translate into operational and technological challenges that must be addressed by fabricated metal manufacturers to be successful.

Industry challenges

  • Increased Product Complexity: Changing market conditions dictate increased options within existing product lines, as well as the introduction of 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.
  • Reduced Lead Times: Competitive pressures, along with the introduction of “quick ship” programs, have forced the overall order fulfillment lead times to be reduced. Streamlining the processing of fabricated metal specified products, along with improved access and utilization of business information to drive material planning are key requirements for reducing lead times.
  • Sales Automation: The availability of technology within the fabricated metal base has put pressure on the manufacturer to provide more effective quoting and order entry solutions. PC and Internet-based solutions are required to maintain fabricated metal loyalty, as well as protect and expand market share.
  • Technology Integration: Technology improvements throughout the supply chain have placed an increased demand on the availability and access to business information. fabricated metals, manufacturing equipment, component, and material suppliers are just a few examples where business information integration is required across multiple platforms.

Our software solutions

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 upon the foundation of a table-based, dimensional Product Configuration module.

The functionality of the product Configurator, along with the supporting 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, Friedman Corporation has developed extensive operational and software implementation experience across many fabricated metal industries. Friedman Frontier 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, and tracking all aspects of a Frontier software implementation project.

The configuration-based functionality within the Frontier software application, along with this extensive Industry expertise, ensures that fabricated metal manufacturers will be successful in achieving their business objectives within an aggressive implementation timeline.

Business benefits

  • 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.

Frontier Software Overview