Hollywood Woodworking | Trakware Mfg Execution System

By: Thomas Cutler

Trakware Systems is the worldwide leader in manufacturing execution system (MES) solutions for engineer-to-order (ETO) and project-based manufacturers maximizing both profitability and productivity. Trakware specializes in lean business-critical functions such as estimating, advanced scheduling, job costing, production management and labor as well as material shop floor data collection. TRAKware software fully integrates with existing ERP systems, as well as major software providers for financials, engineering design, optimization, payroll and wireless interaction for mobile workers.

In the current issue of AccountingSoftware411.com, leading manufacturing journalist TR Cutler profiles Hollywood Woodwork's CFO and reveals the rationale in selecting Trakware's MES solution. The article may be read at its entirety at http://www.accountingsoftware411.com/Press/PressDocView.aspx?docid=8892.

According Tony Parkinson, CFO of Hollywood Woodwork, in Hollywood Florida, "We were finding it harder and harder to hire experienced estimators that truly knew our industry and we were spending an inordinate amount of time developing estimators from within the company. We were concerned that much of the knowledge we had concerning the "art" of estimating was primarily in the heads of a few people who were looking to retire in the next couple of years. We wanted to find an estimating package that was geared towards the architectural woodworking industry and would help us transfer the knowledge of our senior estimators into a system that could benefit everyone. We knew if we could systemize the process at a more granular level we could better avoid "ballpark" estimates. We would have the ability to modify and provide estimates quicker and at a more detailed level - something our customers were demanding."

Parkinson noted, "In production and accounting, we needed a system that would give us more specific details of how a job was progressing through the plant so we could monitor it better and be able to schedule. Before the new MES (manufacturing execution system) was installed, we were only able to monitor a job via "Big Buckets" such as Plant Manufactured Goods, Buyouts, and Installation."

Checklist of Feature for MES in the ETO Environment

&bull Estimating
&bull Advanced production scheduling
&bull Advanced parametric configurator / product configuration
&bull Change order management
&bull Manufacturing data collection
&bull Shop floor control
&bull Labor tracking
&bull Work-in-process/progress (WIP) management
&bull Material and inventory management
&bull Project execution and control / job costing
&bull Financials
&bull Mobile access (laptop, wireless handhelds, etc.)

How CFO's in the ETO Environment Find Technology Driving Culture Shifts

Implementing the new MES system created a culture shift throughout the enterprise beyond the initial estimating functionality. While originally purchased for the Estimating Department it soon became evident that the organization needed to bring in representatives from all departments of the cmpany in order to have a successful implementation. "As an "Enterprise" software package we have discovered that imposes coordination among departments throughout the company, it requires defined tasks, sequences, and data formats to be used by ALL people," according to CFO Parkinson.

CFO's top 3 reasons an ETO (engineer-to-order) manufacturer (such as Hollywood Woodworking) should consider in selecting an MES solution:

1.Properly implemented, it will allow a company to focus on reducing costs and increasing margins.

2.Enable the company to be more responsive to customers in terms making and keeping commitments, providing details, and delivering a job on time, on budget.

3.Help take a lot of data and turn it to information to make better informed decisions.

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