Supplier Expands Production with Manufacturing ERP SoftwareBig Data
Putting customers first is a mantra that FloraCraft takes to heart. The company has built its 70-year reputation as the world’s largest fabricator and supplier of Styrofoam™ brand foam products for the craft, floral, display, and special event industries on this guiding principle. Jim Scatena, FloraCraft’s President and CEO says it’s this philosophy that has helped his business remain so successful:
“We will pretty much do anything to please our customers, enhance our reputation and improve our reliability and relationships, which ultimately drives our business. We want to be that ‘go-to’ supplier and that reputation has brought many benefits in terms of new business opportunities over the last few years.”
When the company decided to go after the Walmart business, one of the world’s largest retailers, several years ago, you’d better believe that FloraCraft took this new customer’s needs seriously. Larger customers like Walmart presented more complex needs and required a mass-market production scale that the company previously hadn’t been prepared to support.
“The expansion of new products brought increased lead-times for our overseas manufacturing operations,” Scatena explains.
Scatena and his management team realized that the company’s existing manufacturing ERP software and system technology couldn’t keep up with the needs of larger customers. For example, forecasts were done on spreadsheets but didn’t provide needed insight to accurately plan purchases needed for the future. The company would have to run 700 to 800-page reports to sort through the next day's data, and by the time reports were compiled information was outdated.
As they began searching for a better ERP system, it became clear that they needed one integrated system with real-time access to information—without all the IT hassles and costs. They found what they needed with the Plex Manufacturing Cloud.
Scatena says, “We only have two IT folks at FloraCraft so not having to manage additional servers and software is a real bonus for us, as is the minimal overhead required to upgrade versions or manage ERP licensing!”
Within a few months of starting the cloud ERP implementation project, FloraCraft launched the Plex Manufacturing Cloud across all four of its sites. The ERP system has been live for more than two years and has transformed both the operational efficiency and commercial success of the company. FloraCraft now has better visibility into forecasts and can dynamically schedule production to ensure that it has the right quantities of materials at the right time. In fact, Scatena attributes Plex as having helped FloraCraft become Walmart’s Supplier of the Year in 2014.