From Stand-alone to Completely Integrated: Connecting the IT Dots for Global Motor Vehicle Manufacturers

Manufacturing Insights Blog

If you’re a global motor vehicle manufacturer, you know the headache and time-drain of having to upgrade your company’s IT systems – but imagine having to do so with several stand-alone systems, all at once.

But then again, maybe you don’t have to imagine that scenario; it may ring all too true.

So, what happens when it’s time for an upgrade…or worse, when several crucial systems are due for an upgrade, all at the same time?

At one point, motor vehicle supplier Shape Corp. – with facilities and over 1,300 employees across six countries – had more than a dozen stand-alone systems, which had been added in the ‘80s and ‘90s to expand the growing company’s IT functionality. Inevitably, there came times when patches were needed on several of these systems – simultaneously.

With Shape Corp. IT Manager Molly Hunting leading the project, she recommended that the company replace its many siloed systems with a single, integrated system. Now, with The Plex Manufacturing Cloud, she says, “We are completely out of the business of upgrades and patches.”

In Shape’s earlier setup, separate systems were linked but didn’t talk to each other; through Plex, all functions are completely integrated, including all of Shape’s core shop-floor functions – bills of material, purchasing, receiving, inventory, manufacturing, basic quality, planning and scheduling, shipping, key measures, EDI, engineering change tracking, subcontracting, financials and document control.

Data is always available in real time, accessed from anywhere and anytime – a key benefit for a globally-operating company like Shape. Plex also translates quantities into each particular country’s measurements, and all employees can use the Plex glossary to display screens in their local languages.

For more details on these improvements, including the benefits of complete integration of production, maintenance and quality data on the shop floor, click here to read the rest of this compelling case study.