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Case Studies

  • A Novel Approach to Planning and Scheduling

    • APICS partners

    Graphicast is a specialized foundry with two functional operations areas and two kinds of demand. The company implemented LillyWorks’ Protected Flow Manufacturing (PFM), a scheduling software that pools queue and touch times for the entire work order and develops an end-to-end schedule. ......Read More

  • Elevating Potential Inside and Out

    • APICS partners

    Werner Electric is a distributor of electrical, automation, and lighting services and solutions serving the industrial, contractor, commercial, original equipment manufacturer and systems integrator markets. As the company has grown and order volume increased, Werner Electric struggled to keep up with the demand. The inside sales team had to manually input orders, and, with some being several pages long, the process could take hours.......Read More

  • Successful Turnaround Boosts Performance

    • APICS partners

    Finning International Inc. is one of the largest dealers of Caterpillar equipment in the world. With more than 50 warehouses and branches, Finning Canada is the biggest division in the company, responsible for the rental, sales and customer support services of Caterpillar engines and equipment for western Canada, including British Columbia, Yukon, Saskatchewan and parts of the Northwest Territories. ......Read More

  • Lean Technology Boosts Food Plant Efficiency

    • APICS partners
    November/December 2017

    In 2013, Lakeview Farms underwent a transition that combined three separate plants into one food production facility. During the transition, several inefficiencies surfaced, and employees experienced some transition-related confusion. ......Read More

  • Building a Better Conveyor Solution

    • APICS partners
    September/October 2017

    Conveyors move both large and small objects at relatively slow speeds, sometimes with frequent starts and stops. Conveyor drives, the motorized systems that move conveyor belts, require high torque to meet the acceleration and load-carrying capacity requirements of each conveyor. However, conventional motors produce insufficient low-speed torque to enable direct drive for conveyors, so a gearbox is needed to match high motor speeds to slow conveyor speeds.......Read More

  • Material Handling Fleet Boosts Efficiency and Ergonomics

    • APICS partners
    July/August 2017

    Henningsen Cold Storage is one of the largest family-owned public refrigerated warehousing companies in the United States. Based in the Pacific Northwest, its expanding network of facilities includes 11 warehouses across the country. To best accommodate its customers, Henningsen works to make the most of its available warehouse space. For example, its facilities include racks with expanded heights and weight capacities as well as narrow aisles to fit as many storage rows as possible. The company also demands higher speeds and accuracy while moving products.......Read More

  • EDI Cuts Communication Distance among Global Suppliers

    • APICS partners
    May/June 2017

    Founded in 1986, Arhaus’s mission is to provide unique, high-quality, and well-designed home furnishings to its customers. The company designs its own products, searches for the best manufacturers around the world while controlling quality, and brings the furniture directly to its customers through an online store at and more than 60 retail locations throughout the United States. ......Read More

  • Aligning Facilities around the World

    • APICS partners
    March/April 2017

    Automotive supplier Metalsa has experienced significant growth in recent years. Expansion initiatives—including the opening of a distribution center in Mexicali, Mexico; the construction of a new plant in Shenyang, China; and the acquisition of ISE Automotive of Bergneustadt, Germany—have caused some growing pains. ......Read More

  • Monitoring Tool Keeps Systems Running

    • APICS partners
    January/February 2017

    Using robots, lasers, and high-powered jets, Klein Steel processes and delivers more than 95 million pounds of metal and custom metal components to 2,500 US customers, including some in the petrochemical and nuclear industries. In order to meet the oil and gas and nuclear industries’ strict regulatory controls on materials, quality, handling, and shipping, Klein Steel cannot afford any downtime for these devices. Therefore, the company must be able to anticipate issues before they happen.......Read More

  • Helping a Start-Up Keep Up

    Warehousing solution accommodates expanding business
    • APICS partners
    November/December 2016

    In its first year of trading, third-party logistics (3PL) start-up Total Reliance expanded so quickly that it outgrew its off-the-shelf warehouse management system (WMS). When company leaders began looking for a new solution, they wanted to support the company’s growing customer base and capture opportunities on the horizon. Furthermore, they sought a tool that would give them the confidence and credibility to pursue prospects that might not otherwise select such a new player in the 3PL space.......Read More

  • Click for Speed

    Automated order picking boosts Medline’s e-commerce efficiency
    • APICS partners
    September/October 2016

    In a world of one-click shopping, consumer expectations push back to the distribution center store activities such as item picking at the time of purchase. The e-commerce market has created an explosion in the total number of orders that need to be fulfilled quickly and cost effectively for the end consumer. To keep up with these market demands while seeking to outperform its competitors, Medline Industries leaders sought solutions to help maximize the company’s warehouse space and product volume.......Read More

  • Translating Financial Regulations

    Sun Chemical takes a proactive approach
    • APICS partners
    July/August 2016

    Sun Chemical manages operations in 56 countries to meet materials needs for the packaging, publishing, coatings, and plastics industries, among others. In 2006, the company began transitioning its more than 200 plants to a single, global SAP enterprise resources planning product. In addition to this undertaking, the $3.5 billion firm also faced significant challenges making the transition for its operations in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Mexico.......Read More

  • Adjusting the Recipe for Success

    IBP helps Mondelez International manage spin-off
    • APICS partners
    May/June 2016

    In 2013, Mondelez International spun off from global food manufacturer Kraft Foods Group and instantly became a multi-billiondollar start-up company. Mondelez, which owns many well-known brands including Cadbury, Dentyne, Halls, Nabisco, and Oreo, began to face the typical challenges of a newly formed organization: high growth expectations, cost pressures and challenges, customer demands, and aging infrastructure and planning processes.......Read More

  • Online and On Time

    Centralized AP system calls in digital support
    • APICS partners
    March/April 2016

    In 2013, ADM opened a single North American services center to centralize accounts payable (AP) processing for its 250 manufacturing and grain elevator locations in the United States and Canada. However, the large agricultural processor and food-ingredient provider soon was flooded with invoices, and leaders realized they needed a digital solution to streamline the process.......Read More

  • A Duty to Automate

    Customs regulations and warehousing integration help save on taxes
    • APICS partners
    January/February 2016

    Graff Diamonds is involved in every step of the jewelry-making process—from sourcing rough stones to cutting and setting the gems and retailing the finished pieces in 30 stores and concessions around the world. Careful logistics is required to ensure the materials and finished products are tracked throughout the entire process.......Read More

  • Transportation Turnaround

    Power engine company gains cost control
    • APICS partners
    September/October 2015

    Cummins designs, manufactures, distributes, and services power engines and related technologies. Its approximately 5,200 dealer locations and 500 company-owned and independent distributors serve customers in about 190 countries. Cummins leaders sought to gain better access to reliable transportation data and a network that operated in real time, particularly on the outbound side. They also aimed to gain visibility into inbound shipments from the supply base.......Read More

  • Simplifying Work Across Time Zones

    Simplifying Work Across Time Zones
    • APICS partners
    July/August 2015

    Epec Engineered Technologies designs and manufactures custom build-to-print products, including circuit boards, battery packs, fans, motors, and cable assemblies for all sectors of the electronics industry. Epec faced difficulties with data access, timely reporting, transparency into key metrics, and collaboration across diverse operational and financial stakeholders.......Read More

  • Recharging Customer Service

    Electrical supply firm streamlines sales orders
    • APICS partners
    March/April 2015

    Revere Electric Supply is a fourth-generation electrical distributor serving original equipment manufacturers, repair operations, system integrators, and government agencies. Operating out of eight locations across the Midwest, Revere’s growing customer base meant an increasing demand for its large product catalog.......Read More

  • A Winning System Integration

    Growing logistics provider wows customers
    • APICS partners
    September/October 2014

    Biagi Bros. is a nationwide third-party logistics (3PL) provider based in Napa, California, that works with diverse areas of the supply chain, from transportation to warehousing. ......Read More

  • Piecing It Together

    Prototype assembly firm finds value in an agile partner
    • APICS partners
    January/February 2014

    As agility is key to Advanced Assembly’s competitive advantage, the business requires an equally agile supply chain and distribution partner in order to source small quantities of electronics components for customers that need prototypes quickly.......Read More