PELLENC s.r.o. Nové Mesto nad Váhom is a subsidiary of the French company PELLENC SA, which is one of the largest manufacturers of specialized agricultural equipment, with the main product portfolio consisting of machines and equipment for grape harvesting, vineyard and orchard care, grape sorting lines, and olive harvesting.
Since the beginning of 2014, PELLENC has been using the IFS Applications ERP system for production planning and management. After six years, it is now switching to a new version.
The original implementation of IFS Applications ran from March 2013 until February 2014, when the project was completed. However, the system had been put into routine operation earlier at the beginning of January. During that short time, thanks to the cooperation with the supplier, it was possible to set up the system and run the new system to meet the company’s needs.
Changes in the setup of business processes
In 2016, a new strategic business development plan for the PELLENC Group was adopted. One of the objectives of the plan was to improve customer service, which meant, among other things, a significant reduction
in delivery times.
“For us, as the main supplier of structural units for final technology assembly in France, this task meant a significant reduction in production lead times. For production management we used to use the system of assembly to order, we produced components in batches using MRP optimization tools. However, in view of the required changes, this way of managing production activities began to appear inefficient.” says Ing. Mário Bezák, Head of Production Planning and Internal Logistics at PELLENC s.r.o.
The primary measures to be taken at that time were related to the need to speed up material flows in production and optimise the use of production resources; the second group consisted of measures to address changes in order processing and delivery execution. “Using standard IFS tools, we simplified the structure of assembly orders so that these activities can be clearly managed without the need to interfere with the design structure of the products, even without creating production orders.
“In the next phase, we started to use customer schedules and recalls delivered via EDI messages, which moved us more towards the management system applied to suppliers in the automotive industry. We have started to utilise the Kanban system to ensure the supply of standardized parts for assembly, we are working with safety stock and forecasts for pre-stocking of manufactured components but also materials before the start of the main production. Our advantage was that at that time we already knew IFS Applications to such an extent that we implemented a significant part of the changes in the information system settings ourselves, without the need to use consulting services from the ERP system supplier.” says Ing. Mário Bezák.
Further fundamental changes have taken place in the area of material flows in production and their entry into the system. The company has set up a separate warehouse for the parts produced in the welded assembly division. The same has been done for materials for assembly. This has significantly improved inventory control and accelerated picking for production orders. However, this would not have been possible without the implementation of a mobile warehouse management solution. Recording the receipt of stock into the warehouse, issuing for consumption, reordering or inventory – these are just a few of the standard functions available for which we use barcodes, which significantly improved the management of inventory flow. Of course, these tools are also used in material warehouses and also in finished goods warehouses.
The centralised collection of production data has gradually been replaced by the recording of records directly by the workers at the individual workplaces, so that the data in the information system is as close as possible to the real “live” situation. This was the only way to achieve improvements in the planning of the production process.
“We have adapted the configurable IFS Shop Floor Workbench for recording production data to make it as simple as possible for the workers, and we have equipped the production workplaces with the technology needed to process the records. From my point of view, I think the hardest part of the whole implementation was convincing some of the workers that they should enter the production records into the system themselves. Today, however, practically everyone is entering the information into the system without too many problems. And, importantly, we have the IFS Advanced Planning Board tools for production scheduling in a capacity-constrained environment,” says Mário Bezák.
“We are already familiar with IFS Applications and implementing changes is now easy, even if we cannot do without the support of InfoConsulting Slovakia consultants. With the original system, however, their implementation would not have been possible at all – and therein lies the fundamental difference.” adds Mário Bezák.
At the end of last year, PELLENC expanded the system’s functionality with the new IFS Employee Equipment module. With more than 350 employees, it was no longer practical to manage the circulation of personal protective equipment and tools, their ordering, and the processing of accounting records without the support of the system.
Upgrade to IFS Applications 10
“In the coming weeks, the new project will begin, which means the transition to the new version. A number of new features have been added to IFS Applications version 10 that significantly increase the system’s usability. We have had the opportunity to view the improvements to the system with our own ideas for further development, but since we are regularly informed about new developments, it was basically just a matter of clarifying some details.” says Ing. Bezák.
“The benefits of the new version in the area of process management are already evident. Firstly, in the new version we will be able to make a lot of adjustments ourselves – via the IFS Application Extensibility tools, and secondly, IFS Lobby is an excellent tool for visualizing the status of processes, identifying deviations and determining the path for their elimination. This will significantly reduce the time users spend in front of screens. And streamlining administration is one of the core goals of this project.” says Ing. Mário Bezák, PELLENC s.r.o.
The key contributions
- Powerful reporting – data availability for decision making and easy presentation
- Linking the data-base with the parent company; linking drawing documentation to IS records and simplifying the processing of production documentation
- Integration of the IS with the program for the creation of firing plans via IFS Connect
- Support for data recording in production and warehouse management using barcodes
- Comprehensive tools for quality management and the possibility to analyse the occurrence of non-conformities