Ampacet Corporation is the world’s leading manufacturer of the pelletized pigments that add colors to plastics. The company spans the globe with 12 manufacturing sites on four continents. Managing the supply chain of such a global enterprise, as you can imagine, is challenging.
“We never had a global view of our organization,” explained John Smith, Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing Manager. “We had reports from different facilities around the globe in different formats, at different times, and with different data. By the time we could normalize the data and analyze our performance in standardized terms, the information was out-of-date. We needed a system that would allow us to get real time information from our facilities, regardless of where they were located, so that we could respond faster.” A classic supply chain problem, which was affecting Ampacet from both the supplier and provider sides of their business.
Like most manufacturing businesses, JD Edwards worked well for Ampacet’s larger factories, but was cost prohibitive for some international and smaller locations. Even then it was also difficult to generate meaningful reports from JD Edwards where it was installed. “We still had two separate systems” Smith said. “Our biggest headaches were very basic—we couldn’t easily switch between metric and imperial measures and currency conversions were a nightmare. Finally the word came down from our CEO that he wanted a real time global view.” Finding a global solution was time consuming. “We looked at all the data warehouse and business intelligence solutions on the market,” Smith went on. “They were too expensive, too complex, too rigid, or too restricting. Then we found Halo, a solution that could run in conjunction with what we already used.” Now Smith manages a whole network of Halo systems from his home office in Indiana without the need to rip out existing systems.
“Our CEO is an enthusiastic user. Halo lets him keep current with trends and patterns that were almost impossible to perceive before we started using Halo.”
John Smith, Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing Manager, Ampacet Corporation
One of the key strengths of the Halo system is quick implementation and ease of use. “We can train new users in less than 15 minutes. We give them a quick demo, show them where to find the data and they’re able to drive the system independently,” says Smith. “Enabling our staff to do their own analysis takes a lot of pressure off the IT team, who can now spend their time focused on more pressing work.” Since implementing Halo, Ampacet has been able to respond to market forces and supply chain issues much more quickly. “We can now see exactly what is going on in our various facilities with a few clicks of the mouse,” Smith concluded. “Our CEO is an enthusiastic user. Halo lets him keep current with trends and patterns that were almost impossible to perceive before we started using Halo.”
Besides a six-month ROI, the benefits Ampacet received are:
- Real-time metrics on all business activities;
- Dramatically reduced time in decision making processes;
- A global view of the business;
- Lowered overhead and improved operations; and
- Enhanced legacy systems throughout the entire enterprise.
Businesses are more competitive when they can focus on their business and not get stuck in the minutia of supply chain and operations issues. For Ampacet, Halo was the most effective way of bringing together a diverse world-wide business and increase efficiencies while making optimal use of existing IT infrastructure.