Sensors Manufacturer Rapidly Boosts On-Time Delivery

ATLANTA /PRNewswire/ -- Infor, a global enterprise software provider focused on developing solutions for the manufacturing and distribution industries, announced that its expertise in scheduling and planning has enabled a manufacturer of sensors and switches to improve its on-time delivery dramatically and virtually eliminate material shortages.

Index Sensors & Controls, of Stanwood, Wash., is a producer of switches, sensors, and controls for commercial trucks, engines, agricultural equipment, off-road vehicles, air-conditioning systems, and industrial equipment. With Infor's VISUAL Easy Lean solution, the company quickly has raised its on-time delivery rate to 98.2% from a previous 70.6%.

Due to consistently increasing demand and customer expectations, Index's on-time delivery had suffered, resulting in high stress levels, an over-reliance on expedited freight, and constant fire fighting. Index had found itself consumed with the challenge of meeting customer demand rather than focusing on operational improvements.

After looking at all options, senior management decided to add lean techniques and methods to improve delivery, reduce material shortages, and make workflow consistent. Infor's Throughput Improvement PSO Group advised the company on how to adopt a lean approach for its specific processes and provided Infor's VISUAL Easy Lean Scheduling & Fast Track implementation, an element of Infor's Manufacturing Essentials suite of solutions.

Within four months, delivery rates had soared and material shortages disappeared due to increased visibility, coordination, and prioritization made possible by Infor's solution.

"Our flow is so balanced that we don't expedite material anymore," boasted Index Sensors' manager Greg Colburn. "The change was so quick and dramatic that one of our larger suppliers made a special trip to see us. Because suddenly we had stopped our constant expediting and emergency shipments, they thought we had engaged another supplier, even though we were buying as much or more from them as we ever had."

Infor VISUAL Easy Lean introduced a system to pull materials through the Index production area to improve on-time performance and productivity as the company engaged in both stock and make-to-order operations. It also allowed the company to coordinate purchasing with its dynamic manufacturing environment to slash material and component shortages in remarkable fashion.

"Our customers are very happy with our performance improvement," Colburn reports. "One of our larger customers, for example, constantly changed delivery requirements inside our 'frozen zone.' Our delivery performance was suffering. But with the Easy Lean approach, we haven't missed an expedited delivery date in three months."

The Infor Easy Lean scheduling software supports lean manufacturing, delivering rapid results by incorporating pull-oriented scheduling techniques to enable better decision-making on releasing inventory at optimal times. It automatically creates work orders when quantities dip below replenishment levels and provides detailed reports and performance measurements on value added and throughput. Its impact on production often is extraordinary.

"Once the fire fighting and expediting goes away, it's amazing what we can get done," said Colburn. "Now it's all hands on deck for improvements."

About Infor
Infor is a global software provider focused on delivering world-class enterprise applications to select verticals in the manufacturing and distribution industries. Infor delivers integrated solutions that address the essential challenges its customers face in areas such as supply chain planning, enterprise asset management, relationship management, demand management, ERP, warehouse management, and business intelligence. With more than 3,100 employees in 50 global offices, Infor provides enterprise solutions to almost 24,700 customers in over 100 countries. For additional information, visit the company's Web site.

About Index Sensors
Index Sensors is a manufacturer of switches, sensors, and controls for the commercial truck, engine, agricultural, off-road, and industrial equipment markets. Index Sensors specializes in temperature, pressure, and control logic applications. Index's manufacturing facility and offices are located in Stanwood, Wash. For more information, visit the company's Web site.

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