Businesses today run on data. Whether the latest tech start-up or a nearly century old iron castings foundry, data is what keeps the business competitive and moving forward. For the last 13 years, British Columbia’s Penticton Foundry has relied on its Odyssey ERP system, a foundry-specific solution developed on Progress® OpenEdge® by B&L Information Systems. Like all businesses, the foundry business is ever changing—and Penticton regularly looks to B&L to make sure it is maximizing its ERP system’s data.
“We always have to be on the top of our game,” said Ryan Morcombe, Penticton Controller. “Our customers rely on us for our quality products and our ability to accurately do things like job costing and scheduling—areas that depend on good data.”
Controlling margins is essential to the success of any business, but even more so in a niche iron casting foundry business like Penticton’s, where precision in both the manufacturing process and in the decisions that drive the business are fundamental to success.
“One may not think that the foundry business is very complex,” Morcombe said. “But we deal with over 13,000 products and have both OEM and custom orders—we consistently look to Odyssey to help us be better and better at what we do.”
It was about 13 years ago that Penticton installed its first OpenEdge-based Odyssey module. Today, Odyssey touches virtually every aspect of the business: financials, maintenance, quality, job costing, scheduling, labor reporting, sales and purchasing.
"Penticton’s latest implementation is the General Ledger," said Matt Gacek, Vice President-Business Development for B&L Information Systems. “That is a significant piece of the puzzle that integrates all their accounting functions into one system.”
With the GL recently installed, Morcombe is looking forward to a new level of efficiency.
“There are a number of duplicate entries that we can now eliminate and further improve decision making by connecting more financial information and reporting data,” he said.
With on-site CAD design, pattern-making facilities, quality controlled alloy composition and precision chrome white iron castings, Penticton is a full-service, one-stop-shop and its growing business over the years reflects its quest for innovation, consistency and quality.
“Sales have been growing by double-digit percentages year over year,” Morcombe said. “That means a lot more data and transactions. Yet, with Odyssey, as we further refine our business processes, we have been able to defer the need to hire additional administrative support.”
Morcombe noted that bringing the accounting systems under the Odyssey umbrella reduced the need for duplicate entries at month-end. “We save hours in reconciling purchasing and sales records at the end of the month with the redundancies we were able to eliminate,” he said.
The scheduling module has resulted in stronger job quotes, increasing both on-time delivery and customer satisfaction. For example, more and more data is now entered into the system directly from the shop floor, increasing accuracy and expediting production.
“Shop floor data was manually captured then entered into the system,” explained Bryan Townsend, Production Scheduling. “Now, with the use of scanners, data capture is fully automated and in real-time. This has not only reduced error and duplication, but expedited production and improved job costing—a
win-win for both us and our customers.”
From a job costing standpoint, Odyssey provides the flexibility to handle Penticton’s high-volume OEM customers and low-volume custom customers.
“No matter the type of job, with Odyssey, the customer benefits with faster and more accurate quotes,” Townsend said.
The quality module has also helped drive results, better tracking scrap rates. “We have much better visibility into defects and can zero in on issues on the shop floor faster,” Townsend said. “This is crucial to quality control and reducing downtime.”
The maintenance module has automated the entry and tracking of trouble calls, again, improving efficiency and reducing downtime. “We have complete visibility into what the maintenance issue is and where,” said Dean Ashby, Maintenance Manager. “We produce business critical products for our customers. The ability to maximize quality and minimize downtime is huge.”
According to Morcombe, Odyssey has brought innumerable benefits to Penticton, including:
Consistency: With virtually all aspects of Penticton’s business running on Odyssey, there is consistency in decision-making across the organization, minimal duplication of effort, and high levels of accuracy from accounting to scheduling, maintenance and production
Foundry specific: Because Odyssey is built specifically for the foundry industry, it is flexible and adaptable to Penticton’s complex manufacturing processes, whether large OEM product runs or highly-intricate custom projects
Easy data access: With the ability to readily export data to Excel and other spreadsheet and reporting solutions, Odyssey allows Penticton to easily generate any number of customizable reports.
“Odyssey gives us the ability to control margins, ensuring we remain profitable across all our different types of products,” Morcombe said. “We feel we haven’t even begun to unlock the system’s potential. We know there are so many more capabilities of Odyssey that will have a positive impact on our business as we grow and change moving ahead.”
The wide range of functionality that Penticton Foundry takes advantage of matches perfectly with what B&L Information Systems seeks to provide to the metalcasting industry, and why it relies on OpenEdge to do so.
“The scope and breadth of the Progress OpenEdge platform means that we have the agility to respond to the needs of the metalcasting industry with every maintenance release and version, keeping Odyssey customers on the cutting-edge of industry ERP,” B&L’s Gacek concluded.