ERP System Upgrade
1802 Fashion Court, Joppa, MD 21085
Better Engineering is a small manufacturer of high-quality, automated, aqueous-based industrial parts washers and cleaning and sanitizing systems utilizing spray, immersion, and ultrasonic technologies. For more than 60 years, Better Engineering has specialized in building custom parts washing systems to solve any cleaning problem. Their team of highly skilled engineers develops innovative solutions to build critical automated cleaning systems for virtually every industry.
Better Engineering’s line of industrial parts washers and cleaning/sanitizing systems includes turntable style cleaning systems, conveyor washers, immersion and ultrasonic cleaning units, heavy-duty degreasers, cellular parts cleaning units, and sanitary systems. Their cleaning systems use detergents that are water-soluble and biodegradable, thereby making them safer for the user and for the environment.
COVID-19 created many challenges for Better Engineering and negatively impacted their supply chains through issues including; longer lead times, identifying and qualifying additional suppliers, and difficulty fulfilling orders due to lack of inventory.
Additionally, the direct impact on the business caused by disruptions to customer operations as well as contracts and sales lost to customers shutting down operations, going out of business, cutting back on production, re-prioritizing their investments, and cutting back on costs throughout the pandemic has caused variability and inconsistency in Better Engineering’s order demand. Issues getting inventory from suppliers and consistent increases in the cost of materials have forced Better Engineering to invest substantial amounts of money towards purchasing larger quantities of inventory in advance which also leads to issues with inventory management. Constant price changes from suppliers have created discrepancies into their pricing models leaving workers unable to accurately quote customers affecting both profits and customer relationships. Many of these challenges around order processing and inventory management were pointing towards an opportunity to improve their ERP systems to allow for better management and access to information.
In response to the challenges identified, the Maryland MEP team provided technical assistance and support through the Maryland Supply Chain Resiliency Program to upgrade Better Engineering’s current ERP system. These improvements were implemented with the goal of improving visibility into organizational data, creating efficiencies in the ordering and inventory management process and increasing communications across the organization. In an effort to ensure the process is scalable, the MEP team utilized an approach to address the root cause of each problem and empowered the workforce to perform real-time problem solving while also establishing a framework for continuous improvement.
As a result of these efforts, Better Engineering is able to combat the current supply chain hardships with systems, processes and data that enables leadership to analyze item usage and weigh it against lead time and price to make intelligent inventory decisions. These improvements have both directly and indirectly impacted the organization through expanded hiring, reduced waste and or paper as well as impacts on New and Retained Sales in excess of $1,000,000 and more than 50 jobs.
Supply chain resiliency is without a doubt the most important issue in manufacturing right now. The Maryland Supply Chain Resiliency Program is a generous and necessary program for the relief of manufacturers’ continued struggles with alternate suppliers, lead time variations, and price fluctuation. Being on a new version of an ERP system that makes each of these struggles a bit easier to overcome is a game-changer for an SMB like Better Engineering. While the headache is still there, the program has been like taking an Aleve when that headache is really throbbing.
Maryland MEP has made the process of navigating the Maryland Supply Chain Resiliency Program extremely simple and painless. To be frank, the government-sponsored grant process isn’t known for its ease, efficiency, timeliness, or flexibility, but Maryland MEP managed to change that perception for us. They have been there every step of the way by email, conference call, and in-person to ensure all parties benefitted in the way they’re supposed to. If government programs are known for their “frictional losses,” Maryland MEP is the grease that keeps the wheels moving smoothly.