SteelFab, Inc. fabricates custom ground support equipment such as platforms and staircases for the aeronautics industry. The company’s largest customer is Boeing, with whom SteelFab has done business for 30 years. To ensure its projects remain profitable and on track, SteelFab relies on Sage 100, JobOps, and the talented consulting firm of ICS Support.
Raise the Bar
The company has been using the Sage 100 accounting and financial modules since 1999, but until recently, job costing, purchasing, and inventory control were handled manually. “Our old accounting firm supported Sage 100. When we changed accounting firms, we needed to find a new support team and were introduced to ICS Support,” recalls Laura Bowker, SteelFab’s bookkeeper.
After reviewing SteelFab’s operations, ICS Support recommended the company incorporate the Sage 100 Inventory Management, Purchase Order, and Sales Order modules—plus JobOps, a job management solution that tightly integrates with Sage 100.
“JobOps has changed the way we operate,” says Bowker. “We’re able to proactively manage our jobs because we have information along the way, not just after the fact.”
Meet ISO 9000 Requirements
Boeing requires that its vendors be ISO 9000 certified. In order to meet the certification requirements, SteelFab needed better documentation, and control over its manufacturing process. “We were costing our jobs manually, and the whole order entry and purchasing process was manual too,” explains Bowker. “There wasn’t any easy way to document the work we were doing, because so much was done manually.”
An essential part of SteelFab’s ISO 9000 certification process is instituting an electronic filing system. To meet this requirement, ICS Support implemented Paperless Office, a Sage 100 Extended Solution, for SteelFab. With Paperless Office, all registers and journals are printed to a PDF formatted file and electronically archived. “We don’t have to print and file those stacks of journals anymore,” says Bowker.
“But the best part is the search engine. It allows us to search through those journals for a name, a date, an account number, and instantly find whatever we’re looking for.”
Capture Labor Costs
Time Tracker, a component of JobOps, provides an efficient, easy-to-use method of capturing employee time. Workstations on the shop floor serve as the portal allowing employees to clock in and out of jobs using a barcoded badge and a card reader. “It’s easy for employees to use,” says Bowker.
This real-time data capture gives management access to up-to-the-minute labor cost information. “Before, we had total employees’ time on a spreadsheet to determine our labor costs for a job,” says Bowker, “Now we have up-to-the-minute labor costs for any job or any employee, anytime we need it.”
Simplify Payroll Processing
Payroll has become an efficient, streamlined procedure. Employee time, captured by Time Tracker, is quickly and automatically transferred to the Sage 100 Payroll module during weekly payroll processing. “Deductions and garnishments we’ve set up are processed automatically,” explains Bowker. “It’s very easy.”
Before JobOps and TimeTracker, Bowker and her staff manually entered employees’ time from the spreadsheets into the payroll module. “We’re saving hours and hours of duplicate data entry time every week,” she says.
Once a job is awarded, SteelFab’s purchasing team orders the parts and equipment. “Every item we order references a job,” explains Bowker. “When it’s received, the cost posts to the job, and even before it’s received, we know what costs are pending.”
By ensuring that a purchase order is issued for every purchasing transaction, SteelFab has the confidence that all job-related costs are accounted for. “With the manual system, there was always the concern that we could miss something,” says Bowker, “It was too easy to forget to invoice for a part.”
Build a Strong Partnership
The SteelFab management team appreciates the attentive support and creative solutions provided by the consultants at ICS Support. Bowker credits ICS Support with much of the success of the project. “They understand the software and worked with us to put it to the best use here,” she says. “Their support is fabulous. I love the online support system—I log in with my request and they’re right on it.”
“We’re saving an enormous amount of time, and we have better and more timely information,” concludes Bowker. “We have a total job management solution.”