Improved delivery reliability

Company and challenge

VILPE Oy, formerly SK Tuote Oy, develops and manufactures roofing supplies for the needs of modern building. The company was founded in 1975, when the founders invented a unique “mushroom fastener” for attaching insulation to flat roofs. More than four decades of customer-oriented and innovative product development has produced a wide selection of top-notch products for various building and roofing needs. The company has more than 30 patented solutions, their operations have quality and environmental certifications, and they employ 115 people. The company’s manufacturing and product development takes place in Finland and there are subsidiaries in Russia, Poland, the Ukraine, Sweden and the Baltics.

The company was looking for a solution for improving the availability of the end product stock. Before beginning the Expak project, the sales department had a problem with the end product stock having the wrong products.  So at the beginning, stock value was high, but availability was poor. Predictability of sales and fluctuating demand were challenges for production planning. Additionally, the defining of control values for thousands of items was laborious. Production wanted a solution with which to manage production better, raise availability and automate calculations.

“Delivery times have shortened significantly.”
Niko Sarapää, Production and Product Development Project Engineer, SK Tuote Oy

Solution

The company chose Expak’s solution in the spring of 2013. Expak was the ideal solution for planning product choices and batch sizes, warehouse management and item management. SK Tuote wanted a solution that was easy to use and would produce clear facts, based on which availability and warehouse values could be corrected.

Expak finds the information directly from the ERP of SK Tuote and calculates item-specific control values, which production and purchasing then use in planning. It automates routine calculations for the company’s thousands of items and frees up time this way. At the same time, the solution offers an easy-to-use desktop for monitoring key figures and an easy way of creating additional reports to support decision making.

Results

Improved delivery reliability to customer – now at 99.97%

SK Tuote’s delivery reliability from the warehouse to their customers has risen from the already good 97.5% to almost a full 100%. The solution has improved the delivery reliability of the entire chain, from raw materials to end products. Automatic calculations of thousands of end products, the intermediate stock and purchasing items make daily production planning and making of purchasing orders easier.

Stock structure change

Using Expak, the stock structure has been corrected, so that the share of high-turnover products has increased significantly. Equally, the share of low-turnover products has decreased. Expak helps production planning in making product choices and defining batch sizes so that the products are manufactured in accordance with turnover.

Shorter delivery times through better predictability

In production planning, the predictability of product turnover has improved. The defining of control values for thousands of items has also been automated. Now, using Expak, stock value and structure values can be managed continually.

Management of entire supply chain including suppliers

Expak has been a great help in managing product lifespans, making control method changes and drawing up lists of outgoing products. Through the implementation of Expak, production, sales and purchases are in better dialogue with one another, and reports to support the decisions of the different departments are easy to create. For example, the supplier delivery reliability to the warehouse has improved by 38%.

Correct change through facts

As the fluctuating, seasonal demand for products is now more easily managed by SK Tuote, production and operations can be developed further. Expak has unified its operations. According to SK Tuote’s Production Engineer, Niko Sarapää, Expak has created new opportunities.

“Expak has increased awareness of the products’ lifespan around the entire organization. Expak has been a concrete help in managing product lifespan. It easily provides delivery numbers and turnover and has made creating lists of outgoing products and defining control methods easy. It has been important in all phases that we have been able to use Expak’s expertise in developing the process,” says Sarapää.

“Customer’s delivery time demands have become significantly tougher over the last few years. Expak has helped in enabling this also. I dare not even think about what the situation would be today using the old methods and stock structure.”
Niko Sarapää, Production and Product Development Project Engineer, SK Tuote Oy

Delivery

The solution was delivered to SK Tuote in the spring of 2013. The solution was first implemented in production and then in purchasing during the second phase. The delivery was completed in a few months, and Expak was in full use by the end of summer 2013.

“Expak’s implementation went smoothly. Expak’s project manager answered my questions right away and he had a lot of expertise. There was no need for separate user training as the program is simple to use. The entire implementation took a couple of months,” says Sarapää.

“During the first phase, I was learning during the project and implementation, and after that I guided and instructed others in the use of the program too,” continues Sarapää.

A functioning program and support

Expak as a ready program has created a solution for SK Tuote’s management needs and support has been good.

“The entire time there was a feeling of going in the right direction, and over a longer time period, facts proved that this really was the case. The stock structure improved and the share of high-turnover products increased,” says Sarapää.

“Results were visible about a year after the start of the project. Expak has done its work in accordance with the goal. Our sales are seasonal and stock values are high, so it took some time for the issues to be corrected.”

Sarapää says about the customer support of Expak:

“If there has been a problem, Expak has provided information quickly about why data wasn’t moving or what the problem was. Support has been smooth and the answers have come quickly. It’s most important that issues are reacted to and there is no bureaucracy or unnecessary clarifications,” summarizes Sarapää.