Ralco Industries is a TS16949 Certified Tier 1 and Tier 2 automotive supplier specializing in precision-welded assemblies, metal stamping, design, tooling, and prototyping. Based in Auburn Hills, Michigan, the company serves world-wide OEMs with exhaust, steering, chassis, suspension, seating, and HVAC parts and assemblies.
Ralco Industries utilizes innovative technologies to manufacture suspension and chassis brackets requiring difficult stamping features and tight tolerances. They also specialize in converting expensive casting into low-cost welded assemblies for tight-tolerance EGR systems. Ralco manufactures precision steering components, tubes, and brackets to near-impossible tolerances for safety-critical assemblies, and produces safety-critical seating components, tubing, and assemblies with a focus on quality, precision, and flawless performance.
The lack of accurate data from their old systems was causing a number of expensive issues: Quality problems, scrap, overtime, and expensive expedited shipments. They knew they had to fix their systems. Ralco’s objective was to find one software system that could integrate all facets of their manufacturing business.
The reason why we went with Plex was it provided the opportunity for us to take our vision, which was very clear to us, but very unique in what we were going to do to integrate our shop floor capabilities all the way into all of our other system capabilities. Really, it was a very great process to go through as we will look through with our operators, and our training capabilities with them; simplified that whole approach.
Ralco wanted to move away from separate manufacturing resource planning, MRP incapable of machine PLC integration. They also wanted to avoid standalone software for shipping and receiving. After a detailed search, the company found that Plex offered the most advantages over other ERP solutions.
After Ralco’s old MRP system crashed, the company took the plunge and subscribed to Plex’s sales/customer relationship management, materials, inventory, production tracking, scheduling, shipping, quality, management, communication, EDI, system administration, and security modules. Plex is so easy to use that Ralco was able to reduce training hours by over 50%. Unlike other software from other companies, Plex is accessed through a web browser. This allowed Ralco to avoid the cost and hassle of buying, installing, and maintaining the software and server.
It’s really helped us control our inventories. We’ve reduced our inventory on hand by 15%, which has gone right to the bottom line. We’ve reduced the size of the space that’s required. We’ve been able to reduce our scrap and improve our quality. Huge impacts to our customers; I see that direct benefit from everything that we’re doing.
After switching to Plex, Ralco now cycles inventories. Because of their improved accuracy in inventory, they can do setups faster and they’ve been able to reduce inventory on hand by 15%. Plex also has a recipe system for setups, so each setup is exactly the same. There is no room for operator variation. Products are now consistently high-quality. Premium freight costs were reduced by over 20% per year. Now it’s a rare event to have to expedite a shipment.
Plex has allowed us to control every aspect of our business. Customers come in; we can demonstrate to them how we track every aspect of that part as it goes through the production process until it’s delivered to their door. Ever have an issue with one of their parts, they know they can go back and can trace it back to the raw material, to the production process; any aspect of that business. They’ll know where that part was made, what date it was made, the time it was made.
Ralco gets more advantage from Plex than they could with any other system, and that any company looking to out-perform its competition and invest for the future will find its way to Plex.