Modernized Home-Grown MRP System Yields Cost Savings from Improved Productivity and Better Accuracy

Company Background

American MSC, Inc. is a spring manufacturer that specializes in producing damper springs for the automotive industry. They have been in business for over 30 years and operate as the American branch of Murata Spring Company, Ltd. (MSC), which is headquartered in Japan and was founded in 1943. American MSC takes pride in being a premier supplier of high-quality springs for automotive clutch and torque converter components.

Challenge

American MSC had a home-grown Manufacturing Resource Planning (MRP) tool that was more than a decade old. Their entire operations depended upon their MRP system, so it was business-critical to keep it running. Unfortunately, there were other ancillary applications that supported the MRP database that were becoming outdated and difficult to support. Their existing contractor came forward with the issues and said they would no longer be able to support these applications, which put the functionality of the MRP system—and their business—at risk.

Brian Peters, VP of Operations for American MSC recalls, “We had a lot of old code. As a tier 1 automotive supplier, we had to add lots of functionality, but never had the budget and time to clean it up.”

American MSC needed a technology partner to help maintain their MRP system and database, while modernizing the portfolio as per their budget allowed.

Results

Saving 10-20% thanks to better productivity and fewer mistakes

Improved shipment processing time between the US and Japan

Improved employee onboarding with easier to use systems

With each improvement SharpQuest makes we’re getting 10-20% improvement to productivity and accuracy and that saves us money

Brian Peters,VP of Operations, American MSC

What SharpQuest Did

Enabled digital transformation from outdated tech

Modernized homegrown MRP system

Centralized data improving access and accuracy

Designed more intuitive user interfaces

Developed new applications accessible online

SharpQuest doesn’t just always say ‘yes’. If there are best practices or a better solution, they bring it to the table.

Solution

The SharpQuest team started by learning the current state and the future vision for their business-critical systems. Peters recalls the project beginnings, “They asked a lot of questions so when it came down to coding, it was quicker and smoother.” This business understanding also made future projects an easier lift. “After that project, SharpQuest understood our specific needs and it became easy to ask them to fix this or add that,” stated Peters.


As part of the initial project, SharpQuest utilized Azure DevOps for tracking development activities and created a QA instance to more rapidly code, test, and bring new features to production. SharpQuest went on to make significant improvements to ordering, forecasting and reporting systems. Peters was not only impressed by their capabilities, but how they always had the interests of American MSC at the forefront. “They don’t just always say ‘yes’. If there are best practices or a better solution, they bring it to the table.

SharpQuest also addressed their packing system, which was no longer working on newer devices. “Our packing system was old and antiquated—still using Basic to run it,” mused Peters. SharpQuest created a desktop solution to create shipping labels. It was integrated with the weighing machine to capture the shipping box weight. This is a critical function to ensure they are shipping the right quantities to customers. Peters shared, “Having accurate data and volumes is critical. We need to know if things are off by even a decimal point.”

How American MSC Rates SharpQuest

Keeping on Schedule

Quality of Service and Deliverables

Outcomes

Updating the MRP systems and adding functionality has brought cost savings in quite a few operational areas. “One of the biggest impacts is data visibility,” stated Peters. “Our team leaders can now access that data and get a better picture so they can make better judgements on what we need and when we need to ship it.”

Another positive impact is improved forecasting. “I’m able to forecast and get a better idea of what’s going where and how long our safety stocks will last so I can make more accurate orders to my suppliers,” stated Peters. “I have to order specific materials from Japan three months in advance, so accurate forecasting is critical.”

Having precise data in less clicks is also improving productivity and making jobs easier. Peters explained, “We can get the data a lot quicker. Instead of going through 10 clicks I can go to this new module, and just click one thing.” Peters also noted, “The data and how we get the data has improved a lot. And so has the speed at which we can make decisions.”

Onboarding and daily productivity have also improved. Peters claims, “Newer people are able to come on board a lot quicker because the data just makes a lot more sense and the GUI is a lot easier to navigate.” Peters also noted that simple changes yielded big
outcomes. “Just adding an invoice number on POs made our job so much easier,” stated Peters. “It allowed us to link things a lot quicker. One employee told me, ‘This makes my job so much easier!’ because everything is in a centralized location.”

Overall, Peters knows the improvements made by SharpQuest are saving them money. “Our job is to save money. The way we do this is to prevent issues. Each improvement they make we’re getting 10-20% improvement to productivity and accuracy and that saves us money.”

How American MSC Rates SharpQuest

Keeping Cost Within Estimates and Delivering Value

Willingness to Refer SharpQuest

With SharpQuest’s adaptability and reasonable prices, they can fill our gaps on an as needed basis.

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