Dazor Manufacturing Corporation is a recognized name world-wide in high quality lighting products. A privately held company located in the greater St. Louis, MO area, Dazor has been innovating and manufacturing lighting solutions in task lights and magnifiers for nearly 70 years.
Faced with international competition in an expanding marketplace, Dazor’s owners recognized their potential for growth, but realized they needed to make some adjustments in their operations to position themselves to better manage and nurture that growth.
“We sought to gain every possible market advantage with the choice of technology. The system had to give us the data and insight we needed to help us streamline our operations and maximize production output with no additional labor. We needed a solution that would deliver the greatest return on investment with the least disruption to staff and operations” said Chuck Bauman, Dazor’s Director of Operations.
Bauman, a longtime manufacturing consultant, had originally been brought in to re-engineer Dazor’s business processes so they could better serve the international marketplace.
His initial focus was to learn the intricacies of Dazor’s operations and to identify areas they could adjust to make better use of their current staff.
What he found was they had the staff in place to achieve their goals but lacked the information systems needed to support them. They lacked the tools to obtain real-time information, making managing the operation a difficult task.
Their current systems weren’t well integrated and were extremely outdated. The hardware their systems ran on was old and was beginning to fail. As a result, customer’s orders were moving slowly through the business leading to long lead times, late deliveries, and high production costs.
In the fall of 2006, Dazor began research for a new information system solution that would provide the real-time information they needed while allowing them to streamline their operations with minimal disruption.
“By this time, due to hardware problems, Dazor needed to move extremely quickly,” said Ian Creswell, Passport’s PBS Manufacturing Product Manager. “Their server was showing signs of failure so time was certainly of the essence.”
Dazor selected PBS late in the fall of 2007. Their implementation plan was defined by the end of December and training began in January, 2008. Much of their training was completed using on-line collaboration tools.
Data conversions were completed by the end of January and Dazor went live on February 1, 2008. Passport was on site for the first few days working with the Dazor staff and their PBS Partner to help ease them through the transition.
Chuck Bauman states it best. “We were able to streamline Dazor’s entire business process. This was accomplished through the cross-module integration provided within the PBS product lines. We were able to reduce the overall sales lead-time by 20% which meant we were fulfilling orders faster than ever.
In addition, the added planning capabilities helped improve on-time deliveries significantly by achieving a better flow of inventory. All of this was accomplished without adding a single employee. In fact, within 90 days of completing the implementation Dazor realized a savings of 3 full time equivalents.
Soft benefits are more difficult to quantify. They include real time reporting of information and trends, less opportunities for data entry errors, integration of all systems into one database assuring everyone has the same data, virtual elimination of paper copies of most internal correspondence, ability to give customers real time status of orders in house and orders shipped, reduction of parts outages due to poor data, elimination of physical inventory once a year (we now cycle count), and many, many others.
How does one document the benefits of data errors and mistakes not made because of improved systems and procedures? With an annualized ROI exceeding 100% after the initial breakeven period we consider the project a tremendous success.”
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