Challenges That Led To A New System
Operating for years using BusinessWorks, the company’s needs began to outgrow the software. The manufacturing process had been managed manually and was impeding their ability to grow the business.
“We knew we needed something else. We cut our data entry processing time by 70%. It’s so much better in every way. They learned how we operate, inside and out, and that ensured we got it right the first time.”
The customers who purchase Tigé Boats are a demanding bunch. These are tournament waterskiing and wakeboarding boats, prized for their flash appearance, speed, and maneuverability. These boats are in a class by themselves; a patented technique allows the driver to alter the hull’s altitude with the push of a button thereby optimizing the boat’s wake for either skiing or wakeboarding. The pros buy them. The pros drive them. The pros get pulled behind them. To satisfy this discriminating group, Tigé custom builds each boat to order, allowing the customer options like powerful stereo systems, bigger motors, showers, heaters, and cruise control, not to mention those little details like a choice of upholstery fabric!
Operating for years using BusinessWorks, the company’s needs began to outgrow the software. The manufacturing process had been managed manually and was impeding their ability to grow the business. “We knew we needed something else,” says Rick MacDonald, Tigé’s Controller. They purchased an early version of Sage 100 from a local reseller primarily because it fit the company’s budget and allowed for an easy transition from BusinessWorks.
It takes Tigé two weeks and over 75 manufacturing steps to build each boat. Compound that by the production of 12,000 boats each year—each custom built to order—and you begin to understand the power Tigé was requiring from their software. The early version of Sage 100 satisfied all Tigé’s accounting needs, but as a make-to-order manufacturer, Rick and his crew found the Work Order and Bill of Materials awkward. The sales staff in California would fill out sales orders and work orders and then fax them to the manufacturing group in Texas for input. They found themselves inputting data into three places to get what they wanted.
While well versed in the basics of Sage 100, Rick didn’t feel his prior reseller fully understood Tigé’s manufacturing needs. Rick went shopping for some expertise and found it when he spoke with the staff of Business Computer Solutions. “They have knowledge of the boating industry,” says Rick, “That was important to me.” Combine that with a high level of understanding of the manufacturing process, and Rick began to feel right at ease. “They knew exactly what they were doing,” Rick says about BCS.
During a visit to Tigé’s manufacturing facility in Abilene, where BCS “really took the time to understand our business,” the consensus was reached that JobOps, an integrated Job Operations and Production system for Sage 100 would meet Tigé’s demanding manufacturing needs. JobOps was added, and at the same time, Tigé upgraded to the newer version of Sage 100, the client-server version of the older software. The newer Sage 100 version provides the remote users in California easy access to the software.
Prior to the Sage 100 upgrade, if the California sales staff needed to access the system, they would log in using PCAnywhere, a slow, cumbersome connection. BCS helped Tigé’s hardware vendor set up a WAN using Citrix Metaframe to give them the simplicity and performance they needed to operate seamlessly from the California office. Now, the remote users' login with a simple click of an icon on their desktop—performance is excellent, and they have easy access to information. The configuration of a boat order has been reduced from hours to minutes. Sage 100 also adds the additional processing power needed to handle the growing transaction volume.
Functionally designed for custom manufacturers, JobOps has turned out to be a perfect fit for Tigé. JobOps allows Tigé to track real-time labor, materials, purchases, and other costs while monitoring the status of each job through the production process. It combines job costing, bill of materials, and manufacturing systems’ features into one powerful, cohesive module. JobOps also seamlessly integrates with Sage 100, allowing custom manufacturers such as Tigé to improve performance, effectively manage resources and monitor costs. The training curve was low since the staff was already familiar with the earlier version of Sage 100.
The sales staff uses the configurator module from JobOps to “Ask the Questions.” The answers provided not only create a Sales Order with the proper price and description, but also generate the Work Ticket that includes all the steps, parts, and labor requirements to build the boat as specified by the customer. “Sage 100 cut our data entry processing time by 70%”, says Rick, “It’s so much better in every way”.
Sage 100 and JobOps together truly “toe the line.” Staff members at Tigé who have experience with more complex and more expensive software have remarked that the features and functionality of Sage 100 and JobOps outperform them. To pay Tigé’s 160 employees, a stand-alone time clock is used on the shop floor and an import utility brings the data directly into Payroll. The software “works just the way we want,” says Rick, “I can’t say enough” about Sage 100 and Business Computer Systems. Rick appreciates the time spent by BCS to allow them to get the most from their software, “They learned how we operate, inside and out, and that ensured we got it right the first time.” Rick rates BCS’s product knowledge and implementation skills, “Excellent in every aspect. They did a fabulous job for us”.
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