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Firstronic shifted off a legacy ERP solution and implemented Plex Cloud ERP in 90 days, enabling faster growth, better customer collaboration, and shortened lead times. (3:26)
I’m John Sammut, I am the CEO of Firstronic. We’re a contract electronic manufacturer. We assemble electronic products that go in automotive, industrial or medical industries. Primarily, we assemble them and then ultimately produce in high-volume for customers in those industries. When Firstronic was first acquired by Aragan, they were previously using SAP and they gave us a 30-day notice that we had to cut off our ties to the parent company and implement an ERP system. So we basically took an off-the-shelf solution that was very simple and it was sort of a Band-Aid and it got us through the first year or so. Then we recognized that in order for us to meet our customer’s requirements long-term, we needed a system with a lot more capability, a lot more bells and whistles, a lot more tools that we can use to be more efficient.
Our customers really needed us to have more controls in place for the automotive industry. Plex had a lot of the modules that we needed. They’re very strong on controls and lap tracking capabilities.
When we decided to go in that direction, we laid out what was going to be a 4 to 5 month implementation plan, which we were told was pretty aggressive as it was. Once we flipped the switch we realized that everything was running the way we wanted and we went full-time go live in 90 days basically, and we have been extremely happy ever since.
If you think of the Quality Management System, it encompasses everything from product realization to purchasing. The whole system itself really is how you do business. So, as Sandy introduced this core Plex module for me for control plans and flows, I love it. I haven’t seen it anywhere else, as far as creating that flow and that dynamic control plan where it auto-populates, from then I loved it from that point on.
Plex brings the value of ease of use, the ease of being right there at the work station with the employee so they can see what parts they have loaded, what they’re running short of, ensuring that they’re set up properly by looking at a check sheet.
What I see is the next opportunity for Firstronic is to basically take the capabilities we develop and been successful with on a local basis and leverage that on a global basis. So, most recently we launched a new plant in Mexico. Typically, that ends up being, you know, a 12 to18 month process. We were able to launch the plant in less than 90 days. What that's allowing us to do is again demonstrate to our customers that we can be competitive globally. Not only can we fulfill their demand where they want it, we can provide them with flexibility, shorten the lead time, be more cost competitive by producing it in their backyard. Part of our plan is to replicate our success here in those joint ventures and continue to grow their operations.
The goal is to have transparency in the Quality Management Systems where we're doing one thing and they're doing the same. From material movement to quality system, corrective actions, everything is a duplicate.
What we're finding is that the United States can be competitive again in electronic assembly. We’ve demonstrated that. There is nothing more important to our customers than quality. So, when they see that we can provide that with very strong traceability all the way down to an individual component level, it's become a very big difference for us in the industry.