John E Goudey Manufacturing’s experience with BatchMaster demonstrates that choosing the right software, implementing it properly and keeping it up to date, saves both time and money and it preserves intellectual property.
Goudey has been a market leader in the Canadian wood coatings industry for over 75 years and has been owned by the Currie family since the 1960s. Goudey reached a crossroads in 2009 with the passing of their owner and the loss of their long time general manager, due to a terminal illness. It was at this point when the owner’s wife, Merrilyn, stepped in to take over the business and was faced with several significant hurdles including:
- A significant amount of key information was missing as it was “in the heads” of her husband and the former general manager.
- Inefficient production, sales and R&D processes due to outdated and poorly implemented software programs
- Managing change in a well-established business without offending valued long-term employees
After taking some time to assess the situation, Merrilyn brought her eldest son Chris in to manage the business and transition the business from being “people dependent” to “process dependent”. Production software would be a key tool in creating processes for:
- Inventory management of raw materials, packaging and finished products
- Raw material and finished goods costing
- New product development
- Quality control
- Custom formulation
- Meeting government regulations.
Goudey had previously implemented BatchMaster, but was only using a fraction of its capability as it had not been implemented properly. They suffered from the “garbage in, garbage out” scenario as they did not enter the right information in the right places within the software. Therefore, the information they got out of the software was unreliable. To cope with this, they created a “double entry system” where they also used spreadsheets to manage their data. This wasted a lot of time.
Chris surveyed the software market for a cost-effective solution for his sizeand complexity of his business and determined that re-committing to BatchMaster was the best option. Goudey then hired an IT professional to manage the implementation with the help of BatchMaster’s specialists as well as Goudey staff who would be expected to use the software.
The involvement of Goudey staff during the software implementation was one of the keys to a successful implementation. First, staff could see that this software was not going to replace them. It was going to make their jobs easier and more enjoyable. It replaced the monotonous task of “double entry” with more interesting work like product development and data analysis. It also enabled them to give their input on new processes that would be personally useful to them.
Six months after the implementation, Goudey was able to realize the following benefits:
- 25% improvement in inventory accuracy for raw materials and finished goods
- 50% savings in administration time to process custom colour orders
- Faster scaling of formulas
- Faster reformulation to reduce VOC levels to meet government regulations
- Faster and more accurate reporting of chemical use to government agencies
BatchMaster was a key tool in helping this well-established manufacturing company tackle a defining moment in its history. It helped store intellectual knowledge that would otherwise have been lost. For example, said Chris Currie the president and owner of John E Goudey Manufacturing, “If you developed a formula over five years, and five years ago it was flawless but now there problems, you can go back over the entire history of development of that formula, even if the original developers have left the company, and see where things went wrong. Maybe it was a forced change of supplier for a raw material, or a change of specs for one or more materials – the history is there. BatchMaster really helps with trouble-shooting”.
The software also made the company more competitive in an increasingly globalized economy by streamlining its processes, enhancing quality control and helping get new products to market more quickly. However, the key to getting the most out of BatchMaster is a methodical implementation involving the professionals and staff members, and keeping the software up-to-date with the latest version at all times.
Tags: Paints and Coatings