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User Solutions has announced another successful manufacturing scheduling application for Plastilite. Plastilite Corporation, located in Omaha Nebraska, provides insulated and protective packing solutions to companies shipping perishable and fragile products across the United States. Their containers are now routinely used in transporting everything from Omaha Steaks to pies to vaccines and even biological materials, and the list of uses keeps growing.

In order to continue their growth and improve manufacturing competitiveness, Plastilite decided to implement a new ERP System this year. Part of Plastilite’s requirements was to improve their manual planning and scheduling system which, up to that point, was basically one person’s hands-on experience of running operations.

Fourth Shift, an ERP system from Softbrands, Inc., was the frontrunner for addressing most of their accounting and inventory needs, however the scheduling module was not flexible or advanced enough to manage the complexities of Plastitlite’s scheduling needs.

According to Jon Ehly, Plastilite Chief Financial Officer, Fourth Shift recommended Resource Manager-DB from User Solutions, Inc. as an add-on for Fourth Shift to handle the advanced production planning and scheduling requirements. The combination of many injection molding machines, and with each machine different tool configurations to manage holding different combinations of molds for a variety of products was far too complex for ERP’s basic infinite capacity scheduling system.

“We made the decision to go live with both systems in the same week – a process I would not necessarily recommend for the faint of heart,” Jon remarks with a slight smile. “We had started the ERP Training and Implementation months ago then called User Solutions to come on site to help us with the scheduling module. They arrived on Monday and by Friday we had a complete optimized schedule generated with full integration with our ERP System. In one week, they helped us break down all of our key scheduling data, enter routings with alternate workcenters and variable chest and tool sizes, import open orders from ERP System, generate an optimized, finite capacity constrained schedule, and export back to our ERP System the updated, viable, dates to synchronize with MRP and Inventory.”

Ehly further states, “User Solutions, in advance of coming on site, added additional functionality to their program in anticipation of what we would need – without extra charge! They added the ability for a set of alternate workcenters that, once the optimal workcenter was selected, was then able to select the best chest and mold for that production run.”

Jon concludes, “It was refreshing to work with a vendor who absolutely delivered on their promise. Initially, they expected to have a prototype of the process implemented in one week. Instead, they were able to fully load the schedule and integrate with our ERP system – all in one week. We strongly recommend for other manufacturing companies, who are struggling with manual scheduling techniques, to give User Solutions and Resource Manager-DB a try. In the day of complexity in systems and processes and integration, it was amazing how easy this piece came together for us.”

Company Information: Since 1991, User Solutions, Inc. has been offering manufacturing software that is affordable and easy to use. From an Excel Add-On for Workcenter Scheduling to a cloud based application for mini-ERP, what makes us unique is that we solve planning, scheduling, and tracking challenges the customer’s way, instead of forcing them to adapt to a rigid, complicated, expensive system.

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