Accurate and timely performance data is just as important to manufacturers as the latest welding technology, super-strong adhesive or unique-thread fastener. Without it, companies can’t analyze how well they are operating today—or make changes to meet the challenges of tomorrow.

Instron and DTR Industries Inc. are manufacturers that place a high priority on data. Instron designs, builds and services instruments, systems and accessories that evaluate the mechanical properties of materials and components. DTR makes a broad range of automotive anti-vibration products such as hydraulic and conventional engine mounts, body mounts, engine drivelines, and exhaust- and body-isolation mountings.

In late 2012, Instron managers relied on several outdated and disparate business software systems that were no longer sufficiently supported by the vendors. Mark Ritter, director of strategy development for Instron, says the company needed something better. Specifically, it needed software that would improve competitiveness by providing easily accessible, timely and global business analysis data for strategic and tactical decision making.

“We needed to reduce the risk of failure of a business-critical system,” admits Ritter. “Plus, we needed to improve efficiency via modernized tools and process simplification.”

The company also determined that the software had to support multiple languages and currencies, as well as mixed-mode manufacturing and distribution. Equally important, the software needed to ensure attentive support to, and detailed communication with, every customer.

Instron met with several large and small enterprise resource planning (ERP) software vendors before choosing IFS Americas. Early in 2013, the IFS Applications software suite was implemented at 17 sales and service sites worldwide, and five manufacturing sites in the United States, the United Kingdom and Italy. Suite modules include engineering and product design, manufacturing, distribution, maintenance, business performance, financials, sales and support, human resources, and sales and marketing (customer relation management).

Also in 2013, DTR began using IFS Applications at its manufacturing facilities in Bluffton, OH; Midway, TN; Novi, MI; and Chihuahua, Mexico. DTR managers especially like the software’s ability to support the company’s wide range of manufacturing operations. These include rubber mixing, extruding and curing; metal stamping; aluminum die casting; plastic injection; welding; final assembly; and painting. 

Besides anti-vibration products, DTR also makes urethane sound-reduction products and a complete line of rubber and plastic high-pressure fuel and vapor hoses. The company was established in 1988 and its main customers are Honda, Nissan and Toyota.

DTR is a subsidiary of Sumitomo Rico Co. Ltd. (formerly Tokai Rubber Industries Ltd.).

Over the past three years, Sumitomo Group management has been so impressed by the performance of IFS Applications that it has implemented the software at several other member company facilities.

IFS Applications 9 (the latest version) also helps manufacturers optimize their supply chain and plant assets. The suite features an Enterprise Explorer interface, which is designed for mobile devices, and a wide range of touch apps.

Automotive manufactures that use IFS software include Volvo, BMW, Scania AB and Toyota. For more information on ERP software, call 888-437-4968 or visit