Piston Group replaces legacy ERP system with the Plex Manufacturing Cloud to better understand business processes and decrease risk

Client background

Piston Group Automotive LLC (“Piston”) is a multi-million dollar Tier 1 supplier to the automotive industry with services to customers with inline sequenced automotive components. Its product lines range from cooling modules, fastener kits, prototyping, and many more component-based automotive parts.

The business challenge

Piston is committed to providing superior service and compliance to customers, but its ability to maintain both service levels and compliance their customers were accustomed to, was being compromised by Piston’s technology. Their legacy ERP system was running at full capacity with limited system functionality left for internal processes. To continue to manufacture and sustain industry expectations and standards, Piston needed to address these key issues:

  • Multiple business systems: Piston’s business was running on a collection of systems, along with the use of Microsoft Office. Thus creating pain points and a lack of understanding of business information and processes throughout the company.
  • Manual Labor: Because of its collection of systems, Piston spent significant time on maintenance, transferring of data, and locating real-time data. Standard automotive quality and program management processes were manually processed in Microsoft Office. Minimizing time spent by shop floor individuals on non-value-added work was critical.
  • Inventory Transparency: Piston’s inline sequenced automotive components consist of a multitude of parts and part suppliers. They lacked visibility of the inherent fast-paced movement of inventory through their plants and to suppliers, as well as real time accounting information related to inventory.

The Baker Tilly approach

Baker Tilly provided strategic direction, project management, and expertise in the Plex ERP system to help Piston better understand business processes and decrease risk resulting from a lack of automated processes.

  • Conducted foundational workshops to define business processes, management and organization of data
  • Deployed a unique multi-entity financial process, eliminating the need for multiple business systems
  • Developed a single, interactive User Interface to provide business users with visibility across previously siloed data sources
  • Restructured data sourcing, curation and transformation processes
  • Automated time-consuming manual data curation
  • Accelerated business transactions through utilization of web services to create a hands free shop floor and materials experience

The business impact

  • With a full view and understanding of its inventory from time of receipt to time of shipment, Piston can react swiftly and effectively to enforce value-add changes.
  • Reduced the number of legacy systems by 50% while achieving significant increase in capacity to handle more EDI transactions.
  • Through Plex, Piston is able to supplement the integration of multiple key business departments to enable decision making and quicker turnaround in data insight.
  • Accelerated time-to-insight by providing critical data and new system automated reports and notices to communicate outstanding issues with external and internal customers.
  • With a solid understanding of expected/desired business transactions, Piston is positioned to achieve significant growth and increase delivery to customers in a streamline way that is value-add and exceptional for stakeholders and customers.

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