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Autodesk, Manufacturing

Overcoming Product Inventory Challenges with an All-Inclusive ERP Solution

A Team D3 Client Success Story with Cush Suspensions using Autodesk Manufacturing Solutions and Cetec ERP

The Customer

Cush Suspensions specializes in OEM and aftermarket suspensions for trucks and trailers to help drivers achieve optimized ride quality. They are a provider of both engineered-to-order suspensions and standard suspensions for trucks and trailers.

Cush Suspensions needed an all-inclusive solution to meet the tracking requirements of production, work order management, and inventory control. Cush needed an ERP system that would integrate with their Autodesk Manufacturing Solutions, manage product inventory, and provide product and materials traceability, allowing for better management of made-to-order, made-to-stock, and other production processes.

The Customer’s Challenge

Cush has been in the suspension manufacturing business since 2000 and consistently provides superior suspensions to customers that are durable and inexpensive to service and repair. However, behind the scenes, Cush was experiencing a need to streamline the procurement process to buy strategically, optimize cash flow, and increase efficiency. As many companies do, Cush depended on the experience of tenured individuals and few processes to keep the train on the right path. This approach left Cush with unreliable data, which caused purchasing to occur on a job-by-job basis. Inevitably, a disconnect was identified through a surplus of extra inventory and obvious roadblocks to efficiency that needed to be addressed.

Cush uses the full suite of Autodesk Manufacturing solutions to design their suspension systems, including Vault for product data management. This made it crucial for Cush to find an ERP system specifically tailored for Autodesk manufacturing clients.

The Process

  1. Integration: Integration is typically a minor aspect of ERP implementations as it already contains several of the feature sets that are typically covered with external product integration, streamlining the process.
  2. Evaluate project costs and lengths: Next, we took a look at costs and what disruption to daily business and operational instability we would face, allowing us to avoid excessive costs and shorten project length.
  3. Data Migration: We created a plan to migrate data to environment 1-2 months ahead of time with software driven, reproducible scripts to map data into Cush’s ERP “test” environment. Rigorous validation of all imported data was conducted to prepare for changes and updates as needed before going live.
  4. Process Change & Implementation: In this stage, Team D3 helped to enforce process and workflow changes from the top down by equipping company management to support the transformations internally.
  5. Testing: When testing began workflow processes were analyzed from initial input to final output. We identified the most important scripts to Cush’s business process and made sure they were all executed smoothly. Later rounds of tests simulate a go-live, comprising of management of inventory, sales orders, purchase orders, and production orders.
  6. User Training: It was crucial to make sure Cush’s team was involved from the start. We were able to define a training program that worked for individual departments, task types, and individual users.
  7. Go-Live: For go-live, we launched a plan with the primary goal of operational stability and continuity. This plan included moving Cush’s core business functions together, such as order processing, purchasing, inventory control, warehousing/receiving/shipping, and accounting.

The Solution

The consulting team at Team D3 decided that Cetec ERP was the only solution capable of connecting Cush’s ERP system directly to Autodesk Vault and their product data.

Additionally, Cush found the Cetec ERP platform the only one they could rely on to deliver the right tools and people to help them implement APIs and custom work where needed. Cetec ERP could solve immediate issues Cush was facing and would equip them for successful growth and future expansion on their customized ERP strategy with Team D3’s continued support.

The Business Outcome

Cush Suspensions can now tackle any inventory tracking challenge, from high-mix to low-volume environments, improving efficiency and streamlining the procurement process, cutting through complex dependencies of supply chains and material needs to buy strategically and optimize cash flow. In addition, Cush:

  • Found 1M in inventory.
  • Saw an increase in productivity levels, therefore, achieving outlined goals.
  • Gained flexibility for Make-to-Order and Make-to-Stock.
  • A decrease in human error due to process automation.
  • Eliminated the hazards of tribal knowledge by creating standardized processes.
  • Improved relationships with vendors and suppliers.
  • Transformed Cush from a mom-and-pop to a true SMB that’s scalable.
  • Business decisions are now made based on accurate real-time data.

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