American Axle Drives Innovation on the Shop Floor


Continuous Improvement with Cloud ERP

Plex helps American Axle Manufacturing drive innovation on its shop floors, streamlining processes and providing a single source of visibility. Through its partnership with Baker Tilly, AAM achieved a seamless go-live process, avoiding downtime for its metal formed products division. (2:44)

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Michael: American Axle was established in 1994 from the purchase of five driveline system assets of General Motors. We currently do forging and drive systems. We have seven core campuses including forging, heat treating, engineering, assembly, quality testing and technology. When American Axle was established, we had one ERP system that was throughout the company but it was very segregated and not implemented fully at all the sites. We decided that our division needed to have a fully integrated system at all of our metal formed products plants. So with that, we set out to find a system that would do all the things that we needed focusing on quality, scheduling, and financials. We made the decision to implement Plex. We wanted to bring in an expert so we reached out to Baker Tilly and invited them to join our implementation process.
Peter: We started working with American Axle in May of 2013. American Axle was on the path of implementing Plex and we were asked to come in to assist with their costing and accounting and purchasing implementation. What we do to help our clients with their implementations, is first and foremost, really understand their key business requirements, understand their business matrix,which are very important to how their business is to run. And then we work with the client to really define the critical and unique requirements that need to be satisfied by the Plex Manufacturing Cloud when we work with the client on the configuration of the Plex solution. The beauty of the Plex Cloud is that we have Plex with us, as we are walking through the implementation. 
So, if we are looking at business requirements, we are validating it within the Plex business system that is going to support those requirements as we march along. So, we are actually building and extending and configuring the Plex solution, so that we are implementing various modules of the solution before the complete business system is turned over to the client. So, in the case of American Axle, they had a legacy Oracle business system that we were replacing. There you have to run the business, so there was a line in the sand for implementation that we had to match towards. While with the Plex Cloud and our approach where we go through a planning cycle, analyzing, design and a building task, we're doing a lot of concurrent validation and testing with the Plex software. So that when we go live, it's a non-event because people have spent many, many months into the system before we actually went live. So, it's all about configuration and helping the client really achieve those implementation objectives much quicker to the point where we are nearly saving our clients probably 33% over an implementation life cycle of what we used to do in the past.

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