Wired For Success

Like a company’s production equipment, a facility’s software and hardware must be able to keep up with its growth and technology. ERP systems are a good example of this, even though it may take a little bit of shopping around to find exactly what’s needed.

 

Haynes Wire produces more than 2 million pounds of nickel- and cobalt-based stainless steel wire per year.

 

Like a company’s production equipment, a facility’s software and hardware must be able to keep up with its growth and technology. ERP systems are a good example of this, even though it may take a little bit of shopping around to find exactly what’s needed.

Hayes Wire Company (Mountain Home, North Carolina) did just that: It searched for the right ERP system suited to help control the company’s visibility and profitability.

Because its existing home-grown ERP system was unable to manage and provide access to the information Haynes Wire needed to operate its expanding business, a team was formed within the company to select and implement a packaged and supported ERP system suited for the needs of a wire producer.

Haynes Wire Company produces stainless steel medical wire and nickel- and cobalt-based wire for structural and welding applications. Its 70 employees generate more than 2 million pounds of nickel-based, cobalt-based and stainless steel wire products
annually.

One of the biggest concerns with the incumbent system was a lack of information on per-order costs—a rather serious concern in such a competitive field like Haynes Wire’s. On top of that, order setup was cumbersome and had to be redone for each new order. In addition, the legacy system’s minimal reporting and tracking capabilities and no routing history left the company with little in the way of information tools to run the business.

"The business was well managed," says the company’s vice president and CIO, Jeffrey Young. "But most of the information was only available in the aggregate. We really didn’t know how costs applied to specific processes or orders."

The Haynes Wire team eventually discovered Axiom 5.1 from Axis Computer Systems. A prime concern during the selection process was to identify a supplier that understood the wire-processing business and could provide solutions to support its complex, unique requirements. Axis and Axiom met the company’s needs. Not only did the Axis sales and support team understand the wire business, its software fit Haynes Wire’s requirements very well. When it got down to the final three candidates, it was the coil tracking and heat traceability throughout the system that made the difference. "Axiom has great tag control and lot tracking," says Mr. Young. "That is very important to us, and it’s the reason we chose Axiom. Its capabilities were much better than those of the other finalists."

Axis then implemented the system with a little modification—another key factor in Haynes Wire’s decision. After struggling with custom code for many years, the company definitely wanted to stay within the functionality of a supported package system.

The implementation was completed 1 month ahead of schedule (in 8 months) and under budget. "It was very much a company project, not an IT project," says Mr. Young. "The users were the leaders in all phases of the implementation, and that’s the way it should be."

Haynes Wire now proudly showcases its Axiom system for customers who visit the plant. It emphasizes its high level of accountability and traceability, along with shopfloor reporting capabilities. The increase in on-time shipments—from 44 percent to 95 percent—is additional proof of the system’s success. The system also provides the ability to accurately capture costs and understand expenses per product and per order.

The system allows Haynes Wire to level-load the shop floor and reduce leadtime to produce products. This has resulted in better on-time delivery and less stress on the facility to rush material through. "Axiom provides detailed information throughout the process that has been used by management to make better business decisions," Mr. Young explains. "This has resulted in increased business and higher profitability."

 

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