Frey & Weiss is a multi-generational, family run machine shop in the Chicago area. They have been in business for nearly 50 years and specialize in production machining of precision close tolerance parts and assemblies. With about 25 employees dedicated to customer satisfaction, they have built long term relationships with their customers and are ISO 9001 certified.
For over 10 years, Frey & Weiss had used Epicor Express as their ERP system. They liked the fact that it was web based, but they still found themselves having to do many functions outside the system, and it took a lot of time to manage the company and the overhead functions.
- 2 full time people were performing the purchasing functions for raw material, cutting tools, outside processing, BOM items, etc
- 3 full time staff were processing new orders and issuing Work Orders to the shop floor
- Managing their ISO certification entirely outside the system, among a host of other functions
These were just a few of the reasons they started looking for a new ERP system in 2016. After getting many demos of other systems, none of which really met their needs, they ran across ProShop at the IMTS 2016 show. After a few demos with the rest of their team, co-owners and sisters Susan Ralph and Linda Rosenburg decided to pull the trigger and move to ProShop in early 2017.
The team at Adion Systems, the developer of ProShop, went to work configuring their installation, importing data from Epicor, and helping guide the Frey & Weiss team to get ready to go paperless. Shop terminals were installed at each CNC machine so that machinists could interface directly with the system to update work instructions, do FAIs and in-process inspection, track time, manage cutting tools and more.
After several weeks of training both remotely and on-site with an expert ProShop trainer (all ProShop trainers are experienced machinists as well), the team was ready to go live. There was some apprehension about making such a big change, especially giving up their paper job folders. “I was the most fearful about that, but that is the easiest thing of all. We love being paperless now and couldn’t imagine going back!” said Linda Rosenburg.
“I used to spend more than 10 hours a week processing paper job folders, printing documents, going to find job folders” said co-owner Susan. “Now I spend zero hours a week doing that, and my time is much better spent doing value added activities like reviewing job profit, and helping customers.”
The team at Frey & Weiss has seen countless improvements in the company with ProShop. Job folders used to take several days to get created, reviewed and make their way to the shop floor. Now nearly all jobs are processed in less than 24 hours and people are working on them very quickly. With ProShop’s built in message alert system, staff in the production, quality, accounting, and programming departments can all get instant notification of new jobs and all start working on their parts of it immediately.
One of the most dramatic changes has been the reduction in labor needed to perform purchasing and job planning. What used to take nearly 80 hours a week to handle all the purchasing needs, with 2 full time staff, it is now just a part time job for one person, taking perhaps 6-8 hours a week – a 90% reduction in labor. The second purchasing staff has now moved to the quality department and helps with the CMM, first article inspections, dimension tagging the drawings, and more.
In job planning, what used to take almost three full time people now takes just one. And lead times for that work are dramatically lower. “We’re amazed to realize how much time we were spending on those overhead functions. It seemed normal to us at the time, but looking back on it, we realize there was so much waste in the process with Epicor.” said Linda. “Having that process take less time gives us more time for manufacturing and allows us to hit our customer deliveries more easily.”
With approximately three full time people freed up in their overhead staff, they have saved over $120,000 in salaries in the first year alone. “That is a really significant savings for us, and helps contribute to the bottom line for our company” said Susan, who acts as the company controller. “The ROI with ProShop has been much better than we expected. We are really happy about that!”