Ultra Tool & Manufacturing (Ultra) is a privately owned corporation producing precision metal components. It serves the recreational vehicle, automotive, electrical, lawn and garden, small engine, and military defense industries.
The company operates two plants in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin. In addition to the investment in software and systems transformation, Ultra has invested significant capital into other technological developments, including new presses, process tools, an in-house sensor lab, additional facilities, and design software. Ultra Tool & Manufacturing is certified to ISO 9001:2000.
The business challenge
Ultra knew they needed to address their existing legacy systems. Multiple systems required upgrades and the company was working with various systems and spreadsheets that lacked the level of integration necessary to provide complete visibility into the business.
One option was to invest in an upgrade to their existing Epicor system which would have required significant up front hardware and software costs, along with upgrades and purchases of third party software to meet the needs of the growing business. A second option was to implement an entirely new solution that would overcome current system limitations and allow them to adapt and grow their business.
The key business challenges they faced included:
- Limited visibility to WIP inventory
- Non-integrated spreadsheet management of several key business processes
- Lack of traditional EDI capabilities to work with key customers
- Limited resources with key knowledge of exhibiting systems
After evaluating their options, Ultra decided to implement Plex Online, which would provide a broader and more complete set of integrated functionality better suited to meet current and expected future needs of the business. Ultra was also looking to control costs and the cloud-based Software as a Service (SaaS) Plex Online model provided a financially practical solution.
The Baker Tilly solution
The consulting specialists at Baker Tilly conducted a thorough situation analysis and used a tailored methodology to help Ultra execute its Plex Online implementation. The Baker Tilly team worked onsite, side by side with the Ultra team throughout the implementation.
This work included developing the approach and providing software implementation and project management services for:
- Plex Online software training
- Process design and configuration
- Process and system testing
- Cutover and go-live
- Post implementation support
During the project, Baker Tilly guided the Ultra team and helped them to meet their project implementation and production goals using Plex Online. Specifically, Baker Tilly was able to provide value to the business in the areas of:
- Improved system ownership through a cross-functional team of users who understand the Plex Online functionality supporting end-to-end business processes
- Increased number of users capable of supporting Plex Online across the organization
- Improved visibility through a completely integrated system and elimination of standalone spreadsheets
- Real-time inventory tracking, including detailed visibility of in-house and subcontract work in process inventory
- Improved visibility in production scheduling based on customer release demands and changes
- Improved quality control integration into the manufacturing process
- Improved, streamlined, and more automated financial and operational reporting
- Improved, more automated costing that incorporates a wider range of cost components than previously available
Ultra communicated to its customers four key reasons for making the change to Plex Online:
- A change was needed
- Investing in our future
- Continuous improvement
- Utilization of actionable live data
Baker Tilly offers a specialized consulting team with deep vertical knowledge and exceptional Plex Online implementation and optimization skills. The firm’s Consulting Practice applies best practice methodologies to organizational needs and successfully implements Software as a Service (SaaS) business solutions. Baker Tilly helps take out the complexity and risk of challenging software deployments.