ABI Mouldings is a building materials company producing high-quality molded finishing details for interior use. Based in Alberta, Canada, the company employs 28 workers.
Over the course of its nearly 30-years in business, ABI Mouldings has developed a wide range of products from baseboards to door and window frames, etc. The company uses medium density fiberboard, or MDF, in most of its product line. The current owners acquired the business in early 2020 and have since purchased a door manufacturing company, expanding the product line to include MDF doors.
In the 3 years under new management, ABI Mouldings has managed to greatly increase its production output from around 4 million feet of products shipped per year, to around 7 million ft. Operations manager Ve Chao attributes a lot of this success to the company adopting capable manufacturing software.
Need for a cloud-based production planning tool
When the current owners took over the firm, the production management side of business was running on a very limited production planning tool which was accessible only on-site, limiting usage scenarios.
Ve Chao recalls: “It was essentially a glorified spreadsheet, only good for printing off a work order to paste on the shop floor. You had to manually fill in most of the necessary information. There was no materials, stock management, or job tracking. Inventory management really was a nightmare.”
Finding a more capable manufacturing planning software thus became a key priority for the new management. Ve and his team evaluated three potential candidates in early 2020 and promptly selected MRPeasy - a cloud-based MRP system offering robust production planning functionality as well as seamless QuickBooks integration.
Easy to implement manufacturing software proved a good fit from day one
After just three months implementing, the company started bringing the manufacturing plant over to the new system. Ve comments: “Building the whole system to meet our requirements was so easy that we hardly looked at the manual during implementation.”
The implementation team approached the task by focusing on one module at a time. As Ve recalls: “There are many components that link to each other in MRPeasy but you don’t need to link them all to start using the system. We started with production planning and from there we built the BOMs and routings, etc., eventually getting to where the app is basically operating our entire business.”
New software arrived just in time to accommodate a demand surge
ABI Mouldings managed to adopt the new software just in time to meet the challenges of the COVID pandemic. Production volumes grew massively while the company was also hit by supply chain disruptions and material lead times stretching, often by months.
“Prior to COVID, we were running around a 2-week lead time for materials but all of a sudden we were running a 6-month lead time because of material shortages”, explains Ve. “Trying to manage that without MRPeasy would probably have broken us.”
Overall, MRPeasy helped ABI Mouldings to successfully accommodate a roughly 75% increase in production volume over the span of around two years. The app proved to be a crucial aid in production planning and managing the supply chain, orders and stock movements.
A scalable solution that grows with your requirements
Among the many benefits that MRPeasy has brought to ABI Mouldings, operations manager Ve Chao brings out the customer satisfaction impact: “It gives us the ability to project a much more accurate lead time. Customer’s purchase orders can easily consist of 6-7 lines, each with different materials. The very moment a manufacturing order is created to fulfil the demand, the lead time for each line is very accurate in terms of what we actually need.”
Ve sums it up: “It’s almost like a pencil and a notepad – how creative you get with it is up to you. There’s a lot of custom usage that we’ve been able to make work for us and we’ve yet to hit a stumbling block with MRPeasy in terms of the software’s capability.” Ve is so confident in having made the right choice in manufacturing software, he claims: “If you’re looking for a production planning tool for your manufacturing operation, test MRPeasy first before you start looking around."
For more information, www.mrpeasy.com.