Each year, Wabash Technologies (Huntington, IN) manufactures more than 20 million sensors, and 5 million fuel injector stators and actuators for the automotive, heavy vehicle, agriculture, construction and small-engine markets. With locations in the United States, England, Mexico and Slovakia, the company's manufacturing plants employ more than 1,200 people.
Because of its large output and scale of operations, Wabash found its paper-based change request system was having problems keeping pace with the volume of orders, to the point where it was starting to impact daily operations.
According to Greg Butcher, the company's manager for computer-aided design and document control, the most pressing problems were misplaced documents and the processing time required to get change requests out to production workers. Markup documents had to accompany each change request, which required the approval of several engineers and managers. Change requests would slowly make their way from one desk to the next. It was often difficult to locate a specific document if it was needed for further revisions.
To streamline the process, Wabash Technologies implemented BizFlow software from HandySoft Global Corp. (Vienna, VA), a specialist in business process management (BPM) and product development technologies and implementation.
"Of all the BPM technologies we reviewed, BizFlow was the most advanced. [It] had an excellent reporting ability and was priced right," says Butcher. "Engineers in our four plants have grabbed hold of it easily. They like it, and it has given us much greater visibility for change request forms and attachments ... We can quickly identify bottlenecks by running reports and reviewing the data."
Butcher notes that the software also facilitates record keeping in accordance with the TS16949 automotive quality assurance system.
"BizFlow keeps archives automatically, whether the quality changes are for manufacturing or engineering," he says. "I'm responsible for these records, so it has really made my job easier. All documents are now easier for all users to find and view, and can be quickly retrieved to meet customer demands for revised or released documents. [The software] enables us to see exactly where changes are and who needs to review or approve them."
For more on BPM software and implementation, call 703-442-5600, visit www.handysoft.com or eInquiry 6.