Stuart Hall highlights the importance of choosing the right ERP system for aligning data across different organisations.
KMF is one of the UK’s largest and most successful sheet metal manufacturing plants. Keith Nicholl, operations director, KMF Group explained, “KMF has steadily evolved from a local provider of basic sheet metal products to a supplier of complex engineering services supporting hundreds of companies across Europe.
“Future plans call for exceeding $50m in sales by 2021. A thorough understanding of customer needs combined with ongoing investment in the finest technologies is expected to fuel our growth for the next decade and beyond.”
KMF originally implemented the Epicor enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to manage processes, develop ‘rich performance reports’ across departments, and automate internal and customer communications.
Other benefits included the ability to instantaneously track jobs from order through delivery, while alerting KMF to issues before they became problematic. Recently, the Epicor ERP solution, specifically the Epicor Data Management Tool (DMT) proved integral to uniting the operating systems of three KMF companies under the Group umbrella.
“Data is absolutely everything,” commented Nicholl. “The inability to absorb not only an entire organisation, but their detailed files into our system had stunted our growth for a long time. The language barriers and differing monetary and legacy systems were too much to overcome until we launched Epicor DMT.
“It literally took just four days to download the information from our latest acquisition into Epicor ERP. We turned off the old system on Thursday, did the transfer on Friday and began working with all the new, fresh data on Monday.”
Epicor DMT imports, updates, and deletes application data safely and efficiently. Many companies implementing a new ERP system have vast amounts of information to transfer, and to enter this data manually is time-consuming.
KMF needed a way to synchronise the information between all three companies to better understand each organisation’s customers and develop methods for selling companywide solutions rather than single jobs.
“We’ve heard about systems that had to be shut down for weeks to transport and store this type of information,” added Nicholl. “Epicor DMT did the job in one weekend without duplicating efforts.
“With the ability to analyse complete customer histories in a single summary, we can now create solutions that wouldn’t have been possible beforehand.
“Plus, we’ve built checks into each new site that now alert us to various forms of errors. This alone has increased our bottom line by lowering shipping order mistakes at these locations from 10% to zero.”