Implementation of a new ERP system for material handling equipment manufacturer
Rotobec: a company in constant evolution
Founded in 1975 in Sainte-Justice, Quebec, Rotobec is a family-owned business specializing in material handling equipment and hydraulic rotation systems for the forestry industry. Over the years, the company has expanded its activities to the steel recycling, waste handling, and bulk material handling and railway industries. Rotobec helps businesses improve operational effectiveness and reduce downtime. Most of the equipment components are designed and manufactured in its Quebec and New Hampshire plants. Rotobec uses the most advanced technologies to provide the toughest material handling equipment on the market. Through its extensive network of distributors and agents, Rotobec is constantly growing. Today, thousands of customers in over 40 countries around the world trust Rotobec.
Epicor ERP, installed and implemented by EC Solutions, met our many needs and translated into considerable improvements for Rotobec’s management as a whole. As such, management was better able to keep up with market developments and ensure the success of the company’s growth.”
Jérôme Poulin, Rotobec IT Coordinator
- Location: Sainte-Justice, Quebec
- Industry: Material handling equipment and hydraulic rotation systems for the forestry industry
- Website: Rotobec
- Real-time monitoring of production
- Data extraction (statistics and sales predictions, purchasing history, etc.)
- Communication between 5 different locations
- Efficient planning of production or resource capacity
- Increase management process
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Multi-phased implementation to ensure a successful project
Rotobec has five facilities: a factory in Sainte-Justine, Quebec, a factory in New Hampshire, offices in British Columbia and Texas, and another plant currently being built in the United States. To ensure a successful deployment of Epicor ERP system , the implementation project was was excuted in a multi-phased approach. as opposed to implementing the system in all facilities at once.
EC Solutions prioritized the implementation of the financial modules in Kelowna, B.C., since it is the smallest site. Once everything was functional, the system was then activated in New Hampshire, which is a larger distribution centre than the one in Kelowna. Today, the New Hampshire facility also manufactures equipment. As for the Sainte-Justine factory, being the parent company, it was last on the list since it involved many departments and complex processes impacted by the new ERP system.
The transition for this implementation was also executed in several phases. The first phase included the integration of the sales orders from the legacy system being transferred to Epicor ERP. Transactions affecting inventories and invoicing continued to be performed using the legacy software for a period of time. EC Solutions designed automated integration processes between both systems in order to transfer information and avoid duplicating data entries and risking data transcription errors. Once EC Solutions ensured the proper functioning of adapted and optimized processes, which were configured to fit Rotobec requirements, Phase 2 of the implementation project was then executed.
During this phase, the purchasing system was integrated to Epicor. The third and final phase addressed the engineering, supply chain and production-related processes. The smooth transition of all sites and systems spanned over a three-year period. During this period, Rotobec and EC Solutions teams collaborated to make sure that ERP system effectively met Rotobec’s needs, while mitigating risks and keep any operations disturbance to a minimum.
Rotobec’s business management challenges
Rotobec has been the same management software for the last 25 years. Given it’s sustained growth, it needed more efficient and sophisticated software to better manage its operations. Real-time monitoring of production in the old system was not possible and data extraction was difficult (statistics and sales predictions, purchasing history, etc.). Furthermore, communication between the different locations was not done in real time.
The former software used by Rotobec did not allow for the efficient planning of production or resource capacity, which at times led to delays. The management process as a whole was not fast enough and was not fully computerized. For example, when new orders came in, order priority was established manually. Personnel had to re-organize printed purchase orders. Additionally, the old system had a very limited open database.
Processes were reviewed to avoid recreating the old system in the new one. They are now faster and more precise. Among others, EC Solutions integrated a functionality in Epicor in order for Rotobec to manage program numbers. It allows us to see if a machine is properly configured for the piece it must produce by attributing the right program number to it. EC Solutions developed this unique function from scratch
Jérôme Poulin, Rotobec IT Coordinator
How did Rotobec take control of the production?
Rotobec found the solution with EC Solutions