LSI Case Study
Opcenter (Preactor) APS
Plastics manufacturer achieves major time savings and ability to manage change with Opcenter APS (Preactor) implemented by Lean Scheduling International (LSI)
King Plastic Corporation has been developing and manufacturing quality polymer sheets, slabs and massive shapes since 1968. Its industry-leading branded and commodity products are manufactured at the company’s state-of-the art, 150,000 square foot headquarters in North Port, Florida and distributed worldwide.
King Plastic Corporation pioneered the first marine-grade polymer sheet, King StarBoard®, which remains the dominant brand in the marine industry today. Since then, King has produced dozens of breakthrough products for a wide variety of industries, from food service to signage to giant slabs weighing more than 6,000 pounds. King continues to raise the bar with new products, new production techniques and new standards of excellence.
King’s commitment to quality doesn’t end with products. The company’s in-house sales team excels at product knowledge and developing long-term customer relationships. Its worldwide network of plastics distributors includes the best in the industry.
King Plastic understood that if they were to build their business then they needed to support their clients by delivering the right material, at the right price and right on time.
King Plastic understood that the only way that they could consistently deliver on their promise as their business grew was to put the right systems in place and so they made a decision to invest in an ERP system from Great Plains.
By 2005, King realized that they would also need a better scheduling system. Like many companies that were growing they were still using Excel to schedule and that was causing some major problems because it was so manually intensive and far too slow. After talking with Lean Scheduling International, they also realized that they would have to complete the implementation of the Great Plains manufacturing modules before they could address their scheduling needs.
For the next two years, they worked hard to complete the Great Plains implementation until they felt that they were in a position to re-open the scheduling issue so they once again called in Lean Scheduling International (LSI). LSI recommended that King use Preactor’s scheduling technology because it could be easily adapted to suite their needs and it was already integrated with Great Plains. This means that most of the data is kept and maintained in one place and that is in Great Plains and it is downloaded to Preactor when needed.
LSI implemented Preactor’s P200 (Opcenter Standard) software because it uses Microsoft’s SQL Server database. Because King Plastic was the first company to integrate Great Plains with Preactor’s latest version, there was a need to fine tune the data interface and add a few customized requirements such as being able to clearly identify orders that had been started on the Gantt chart. Most of the interface changes were done in-house by the IT Manager.
After a couple of weeks of training and fine tuning, King Plastic turned on the new system and the results were stunning and immediate. Scheduling time was reduced from 8 hours per day to about 20 minutes which meant that better and smarter scheduling decisions could be made because the scheduler was able to evaluate a number of what-if scenarios.
Other benefits were the ability to quickly and easily see if orders are going to be late, by using the color coding to show different statuses. Being able to reschedule an order and have all subsequent orders automatically reschedule, is a huge time saver. Using Preactor to schedule, reschedule and getting a clear view of all orders improves on-time deliveries. Because of how easily you can view all of your orders you are allowed sufficient time to make sure you have the materials needed to run your orders on time.
King Plastic’s I.T. Manager said “We needed to be able to manage our orders quickly and to easily make changes if we needed to. With Preactor we can do that much more efficiently. I also wanted a system that would not be difficult to implement, troubleshoot and customize down the road, Preactor has really been a great solution.”