Julian Tile Implements Warehouse Barcoding and Scanning

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The Challenge: Digitizing Manual Processes

In 2012, Julian Tile opened a new 40,000-square-foot distribution center (DC) in Langley, B.C. to process all of its incoming tile orders.

Serving the company’s five locations, the new DC managed the movement and tracked the dye lots of more than 4,000 product skids. (A dye lot is a manufacturer’s code that identifies certain batches of tile.)

Before the new DC opened, all inventory purchase order receipts, sales order picking, multiple bin locations and dye lot numbers were recorded manually using a written and batch data entry process.

This time-consuming workflow process increased the risk of picking errors, which could result in the wrong tile or dye lot being sent to the customer, leading to mismatched tiles – and a negative service experience.

Another challenge: filling customer orders as fast as possible. If a customer wanted to order more tiles, employees had to confirm the original order by searching for paper documents.

The Solution: Read the full solution from Phoenix Systems and riteSCAN by downloading the case study here.

ITW Construction Products Canada

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Founded in 1912, Illinois Tool Works Inc. (ITW), traded in the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol NYSE:ITW, is a Fortune 200 diversified manufacturing company that consists of 650 decentralized business units in 45 countries, and employs nearly 49,000 people. ITW designs and produces highly engineered fasteners and components, equipment and consumables systems, and a variety of specialty products and equipment for customers around the world.

ITW Construction Products Canada is the creation of strategic acquisitions. They began with Buildex in 1967 and focused on fasteners for steel. Red Head was acquired in 1986 to add a concrete anchoring line. The purchase of Ramset in 1991 expanded the concrete anchoring offering. Paslode was added to bring in a wood fastening product line in 1992 and Duo-Fast was the newest member added in 1999 to round out the wood fastening offering.

Business grew with their reputation as an innovative leading supplier of cost-effective fastening systems and consumables to the construction industry. By 1989, ITW Construction Products required a software solution that would provide them the tools to deal with the demands of a growing customer base. After considering various Enterprise Resource Planning solutions, ITW Construction Products chose SYSPRO.

Today, there are 40 simultaneous users across 6 buildings in 3 provinces.  “Performance has never been better. SYSPRO continues to provide us with the flexibility to expand and consolidate divisions as changes in the business climate dictate—this system is very flexible,” says Mr.Tim Dunning, Controller, ITW Construction Products.

The company’s revenues have grown at double digit rates without an increase in customer service or inventory management staff. Mr. Dunning adds, “sixteen years later, we continue to see new features and improvements to the system. The management of our warehouses has been virtually automated with SYSPRO’s e.net solutions.”

The most compelling project undertaken recently by ITW was the integration of a Warehouse Management System with SYSPRO using the Microsoft .NET™ toolset. The mandate was to provide Canadian Tire with a sophisticated fulfillment solution complete with a fully automated data exchange element for their packaged fastener program.  The solution met all of ITW and Canadian Tire’s requirements and succeeded in adding a substantial business element without any increase in administrative or support staffing.  The end result of this accomplishment, amongst others, was the consideration of ITW Construction Products for “Division of the Year”.

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) is mandatory for the efficient exchange of information with customers such as Canadian Tire, Home Depot, RONA and Home Hardware. Currently, ITW Construction Products ships 37,000 line items each week to Canadian Tire alone. SYSPRO’s support of EDI speeds the receipt of purchase orders, the dispatching of advance ship notifications and invoices and also enables ITW Construction Products to do its banking online. “We underwent 3 Canadian Tire onsite audits, they found 0 mistakes; our inventory accuracy rate is 99.99%,” says Mr. Dunning.

The company has numerous production lines running fasteners on a 24/7 basis. The challenge of running a business with the absolute minimum of resources tied up in staff, stock, warehouse space and so on is made easier with SYSPRO’s Requirements Planning. The system knows what the promised delivery dates are on sales orders, the expected delivery dates for purchase orders and the expected lead times for receiving new stock. “Armed with this, we are able to ensure that our products are always available to meet our customers’ requirements while turning our inventory a minimum 9 times per year, comments Mr.Dunning”

“Our goal is to add 20% growth to the bottom line each year while doubling our business every 5 years. SYSPRO has removed bottlenecks and barriers from our business processes and has allowed the company to exploit strategic leavers in the marketplace in order to achieve extraordinary growth over the last 16 years,” concludes Mr. Dunning.

Cedarlane Laboratories Limited

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We are a dynamic organization whose product offerings are reflective of the research community’s changing needs and SYSPRO has been a valuable resource by providing us with the tools to empower our strategic decision making capabilities.

Susan Gater, Operations Manager, Cedarlane Laboratories Limited.

Founded in 1957 and incorporated in 1975 by three researchers from the University of Toronto and the Ontario Cancer Institute, Cedarlane Laboratories Limited has matured into a world leader in the research and development of reagents -- materials used to detect, measure and prepare other substances for research, particularly in the area of immunology.

Located in Hornby, Ontario, Cedarlane distributes products of more than 300 companies worldwide to over 20,000 life science researchers who trust Cedarlane’s quality products and service excellence. In 1997 Cedarlane chose SYSPRO software to assist in running their operation.

In 2000, Cedarlane decided to diversify by establishing a daughter company, Cedarlane Shipping Supplies Inc., to specialize in shipping supplies for temperature - sensitive goods. Because of the highly sensitive nature of their products and the company’s commitment to the highest quality standards possible, Cedarlane Shipping Supplies was a logical evolution. “Our success is measured through satisfied stakeholders enjoying the benefit of a stable and viable organization which strives for continuous improvement. Cedarlane Shipping Supplies is a result of this mind-set,” says Susan Gater, Operations Manager, Cedarlane Laboratories.

SYSPRO’s manufacturing, distribution and multi-company functionality allowed Cedarlane to efficiently seize the opportunities they saw in distribution and quickly formulate strategies for growth in the new business without the additional operational expense of acquiring new software. The modular nature of the software provides scalability and flexibility allowing Cedarlane to select only those functions needed to increase operational control and efficiency. “SYSPRO enables us to run both our manufacturing and distribution business on the same system; it has given us a solid foundation for successful supply chain management, from purchasing through manufacturing and distribution,” says Susan.

By 2003, Cedarlane’s distribution arm had a supplier catalogue database, which had grown to over 1,000,000 items, and once again, Cedarlane looked to SYSPRO with a new requirement. The challenge was to make use of the existing, continuously growing, supplier catalogue database to automatically update their SYSPRO inventory system at the time an order was placed. Manual processes existed to update the inventory files, which resulted in delayed customer service -- specifically, order fulfillment and inventory accuracy. Because the supplier catalogue database contained all available products, some of which Cedarlane’s clients might never be in the market for, the challenge was keeping unnecessary product items out of the SYSPRO database until the items were sold. Out of the 1,000,000 possible product database, Cedarlane estimated that only 20% of these would actually be in demand by their customers; thus, they did not want to populate their inventory with unnecessary items.

The solution involved the development of a custom sales order entry screen so that when the customer service personnel select a stock code, the supplier catalogue database is read and compared to the SYSPRO Inventory Master file. If the item does not exist, the system automatically updates all relevant SYSPRO files with the details for the item including, supplier contract pricing, supplier/stock code cross reference, pricing and warehouse details. Should the stock code exist in SYSPRO then the information is compared to the latest information from the supplier catalogue database. Once all lines are added, the entry is saved and a sales order is automatically generated, which can be maintained in SYSPRO and the necessary documents may be printed. “New customer service personnel are fully operational and entering orders within a day, whereas before it would take months to train an individual,” comments Susan.

SYSPRO’s ongoing product development is focused on leveraging key technologies such as Microsoft .NET® and COM (Component Object Model) to allow for interoperability between SYSPRO and other business critical applications. The SYSPRO e.net solutions framework provides a structured way of directly accessing the business functionality within SYSPRO software while maintaining the software’s built-in business rules and security.

Cedarlane gained the following business benefits from the integration between SYSPRO and the supplier catalogue database:

  • Quick and easy selection of items from the extensive supplier catalogue database by customer service personnel
  • Elimination of duplicate database maintenance
  • Improved accuracy of inventory and pricing information resulting in improved customer service levels
  • Self-maintained, expandable system to accommodate future growth and expansion.
  • Seamless integration with its existing SYSPRO system and compatibility with future SYSPRO releases
  • Significant reduction in staff training time

“We are a dynamic organization whose product offerings are reflective of the research community’s changing needs and SYSPRO has been a valuable resource by providing us with the tools to empower our strategic decision making capabilities,” concludes Susan. Currently Cedarlane is in the planning stages to duplicate the SYSPRO e.net interface for the purchasing of materials. This is part of their global strategy as they actively pursue new markets. For more information on Cedarlane, visit their website at www.cedarlanelabs.com.

Accu-Flo Meter Services

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Accu-Flo Meter Services
Calgary, Alberta,


Accu-Flo provides meters for various industries. Because of rapid growth and an inventory level greater than 2,500, the company needed a powerful ERP system to automate their manufacturing processes and provide stringent control
of their inventory.

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