Shank's Gains Real-Time Inventory Traceability
Jeff: For a customer who buys a bottle of vanilla, usually, it's one bottle a year. So if that label's crooked, they're gonna look at that crooked label all year long, and it's going to be a reflection upon us, and also on our customers.
Shank's is a small private label packer of flavoring extracts in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. We've had nice, steady growth over the years, as we pick up new customers one by one. We have a really good reputation of doing our work and doing it well and doing it quietly. As a private label manufacturer, we're always trying to keep our name out of it, but our work in front of our customers. We really take a lot of pride if somebody says, "We don't ever think about you, but you always deliver on time."
Jennifer: Prior to Plex, we had an ERP system, however, it wasn't real-time. We would do transactions, we would do production, shipping, receiving. And the information wasn't being entered into the system until a day later, maybe sometimes two days later.
Sallie: We knew we had a lot of inventory. What we didn't know is where it was, and how much we had.
Pete: Our production lines depend on us finding items quickly that are about to be run. Producing orders for customers, and obviously, the customers are the lifeblood of our company. So it's important to us to be able to ship orders on time.
Man: Now with Plex, it has allowed us to keep our location integrity a lot higher, the location accuracy as well. Guys come out here, they're supposed to go to slot A1A. The pallet's gonna be there.
Sallie: I come in every morning, turn on my computer. The first thing I do is turn on my emails. The second thing I do is open up Plex. Plex is where I live all day long, watching customer orders coming in, watching what production's being done, watching what's available to be shipped.
Jennifer: With Plex, it's real-time. Everybody can see everything that's happening at the time it's happening. And that goes whether you're on the floor or you're in another building completely, you just log in to Plex and look up that information.
Deb: You can't really have quality without traceability. You can't say that you've done something appropriately, and by all your standards and regulations unless you can follow that all the way back to when it first arrived in your facility and when it goes out the door. Without traceability, you really don't have documentation of your quality. And if you don't have documentation, you haven't done it.
Now that I've got Plex, I can go into an audit with a laptop computer and I can find just about anything that the auditor is asking for right then in real-time. I'm able to look in the inventory, I'm able to look at the documentations from our certifiers. I'm able to go find answers for questions I hadn't even known he was going to ask. So it's just made the whole process smoother, and I can feel like I can touch base with all areas of the company without having to get up and leave the conference room.
Jennifer: There's a lot of reasons why data is necessary, and my real-time data is necessary. It all comes down to customers. You want to make your customers happy. That's the main goal of ours, is making our customers happy.
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