Guest Post: Experiencing Multi-Plant Benefits in the Cloud

Manufacturing Insights Blog

By Tony Brown, Systems Development Manager, Ernie Green Industries (EGI)

went from being an IT guy to being a systems guy, all because of Cloud ERP.

Why is this a big deal? Because not owning the IT infrastructure and data storage has allowed me to spend my time more productively focused on other company initiatives – not merely maintaining the technology on site. And really, that was just the tip of the iceberg for our entire enterprise.

We’d started our search for a new solution because we realized that, with an expanding company eager to earn market share in new verticals, weneeded to bring standardization to all of our facilities, and the Plex Manufacturing Cloud was the best fit for our business model moving forward. We will have the ability to easily review and compare results from all of our facilities, without the need for converting file types to a common platform.

We have 11 manufacturing facilities in North America shipping products to 16 countries, and we see that relying on cloud ERP is the best fit for us to make certain all of our processes are running in sync and that we don’t encounter any unforeseen obstacles.

And with discerning customers, we can’t afford to miss strict quality requirements or delay shipping finished products.

After speaking with many manufacturers that were using a variety of ERP systems and strategically scoring the options available to us, Plex was the obvious choice for us for a number of reasons: no back-ups, no patches, no version control issues, no license renewals – and that’s just in the IT department. We’ve also seen greater consistency in data collection and retrieval across the enterprise on a secure, reliable network – and I know we’re paying only for what we need, when we’re ready to use it.

Now, thanks to Plex's unique “multi-tenancy” features, our plants are truly in sync. We can share demand requirements, monitor inventory visibility between plants with inter-plant shipping and quickly launch the solution in new sites and departments with no business disruption. We’ve even gone a step farther and integrated machines on the shop floor. It’s been a tremendous advantage for our traceability efforts, and we have the ability for the system to alert us when tolerances are varying from specified parameters.

As all of our facilities became standardized and fully integrated in the Plex Manufacturing Cloud in 2013, our concerns about what is happening on the plant floor evaporated because we know what’s happening across the entire enterprise. With standardized measurables and reporting from all facilities, our decisions are based on the real-time collection of data, not guesswork. And that helps a systems guy sleep a little easier at night.