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Global Shop Solutions Case Study: Metallic Products Corporation

Founded in 1962, Metallic Products Corporation designs and manufactures accessories for industrial and commercial metal buildings. Their products range from ridge vents and wall louvers to roof curbs, door canopies, skylights, building trim, and more. If it goes on a metal building but is not part of the foundation, red iron, walls or roof panels, Metallic Products probably makes it. Based in Houston, Texas, the family-owned job shop sells its products to the largest metal building manufacturers as well as individual customers who might need a single part for a small shed on their farms.

With tight lead times of only three to five days, Metallic Products builds their products and sends them out the door as soon as they’re done. Effectively managing a complex production process with such short turnaround times requires high visibility of data throughout the shop floor, a capability the company did not have prior to Global Shop Solutions ERP software.

“Our old ERP system wasn’t very good,” says Travis Wendt, Operations Manager for Metallic Products. “The data was often corrupt. It had almost no inventory management capabilities. Payroll and other financials required a separate system. And service and support from the vendor was minimal. In contrast, Global Shop Solutions was very user-friendly, had all the features and capabilities we were looking for in one integrated system, and was surprisingly affordable. Global Shop Solutions was an easy decision for us.”

Full Inventory Counts in Only Three Hours

Metallic Products’ old ERP system was a constant source of inventory management problems, including frequent overstatements of inventory on hand. To correct the inaccuracies, managers had to perform monthly manual inventory adjustments, as well as semi-annual physical inventory counts. Through the use of BOMs, routers, and automated work order generation within Global Shop Solutions ERP software, Metallic Products now enjoys much tighter control over inventory.

A Metallic Products employee finishing crating a line of ridge vents.

“In the past, I would look at our count of certain stock items and know it wasn’t correct, in part because it took us so long to capture the data,” recalls Wendt. “With Global Shop Solutions, we can manage inventory in real-time, and we know we can trust the numbers. We’ve also started doing continuous cycle counting in Global Shop Solutions. So when it comes to doing physical inventory counts, most of the work has already been done. It used to take four people two days to complete a full count. With Global Shop Solutions, it takes three hours.”

Global Shop Solutions ERP software also assists with the tracking of internal work orders for component parts, making it easier to remove those raw materials from inventory. And the Auto Purchasing feature helps keep inventory levels to a minimum without running out of materials. As a result, their 12-month rolling average inventory turns have increased from 8 to 10.5, and are continuing to rise.
Precise Labor Tracking

On the labor costing side, the Shop Floor Data Collection stations have completely revolutionized how Metallic Products tracks job and labor costs. Instead of starting at the top and filtering down to the shop floor, information now flows from the bottom up, allowing management to make better decisions that improve labor efficiencies.

A Metallic Products employee finishing crating a line of ridge vents.

“Before, we didn’t clock individual time to work orders,” says Wendt. “Now, shop floor personnel simply scan their badges to the work order to log on and off jobs, allowing for precise measurement of our direct labor. Global Shop Solutions gives us instant feedback from the shop floor, allowing us to better manage our employees’ time.”

The Shop Floor Data Collection stations have also eliminated 75 percent of the paper documents on the shop floor. However, according to Sam Gray, Vice President of Manufacturing, the company hangs on to the remaining 25 percent by choice.

“With Global Shop Solutions, we could get rid of all paper on the shop floor,” he notes. “For now, we prefer to hang on to some because it feels safer having a physical copy of certain documents. As we get more used to doing everything in the system, that paper will probably go away as well.”

Superb Visibility of Data

Wendt credits the visibility of data within Global Shop Solutions ERP software with transforming the culture of the company. In particular, the ability for people in all departments to access the same data has simplified processes and improved productivity.

“The high visibility of data helps us all work together more effectively by providing a big picture of the business,” says Wendt. “With Global Shop Solutions, we don’t just know what we’re doing, we also know why we’re doing it, which significantly improves the quality of our management decisions.”

A High Performance Team Leader securing an end cap
to a ridge vent.

“Global Shop Solutions ERP software has also improved the quality and timeliness of our financial statements,” says Wendt. “Weekly, monthly and quarterly tracking of state and federal taxes within the ERP software is efficient and vastly improved from our previous software. And we can now produce our end-of-month financial reports on the first day of the new month – a process that used to take three to five days.”

Gray believes the full value of Global Shop Solutions ERP software extends beyond the product’s technical features and capabilities.

“As a business, our most valuable asset is our reputation, which is derived from honesty, integrity, and our customers knowing that we won’t stop until we get it right,” adds Gray. “We feel the same way about Global Shop Solutions – they don’t stop until they get it right. Their customer service and personal approach in seeking to understand and meet our needs has been extraordinary. In many cases, they’ve helped us identify and understand needs we didn’t even know we had. With Global Shop Solutions, we have more than just a software vendor; we have a partner in the continued success of our business.”

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