Chem-Pak, an aerosol and chemical packaging manufacturer based in Martinsburg, WV recently went live on ProcessPro ERP. We caught up with Molly Caron, Director, Exec VP ProcessPro Operations about the project.
In the beginning
Chem-Pak not only produces customer packaging for different industries it also offers equipment maintenance and develops innovative chemical products for maintenance and production needs. It has a creative and successful R&D team that has provided solutions to industries including the music and firearms industries. With an ERP solution that was no longer supported and evolving business needs it needed a new ERP solution. Eventually ProcessPro was selected, but not before a competitive process in which ProcessPro beat the incumbent.
According to Caron:“They considered 4 vendors, one of which was their previous ERP provider along with 3 other Tier 2 software vendors, including ProcessPro.” What was interesting is that they were looking for an on-premises solution rather than a cloud-based one. Manufacturers in the US are slowly moving towards cloud-based solutions with several recognised advantages including cost and security. For single site manufacturers it still appears as though they prefer the solution located on-premises.
Why ProcessPro ERP
We asked Caron why ProcessPro was selected, she replied: “ProcessPro’s R&D functionality set us apart in their ERP selection, along with ProcessPro’s user interface, and our expert knowledge of the process manufacturing industry.”
Interestingly Joe Blauert, CEP, ProcessPro added another reason in another release prior to the implementation: “Chem-Pak saw great value in our ERP solution, especially our Materials Requirement Planning tool for purchasing and production.”
What seems to be most relevant is the way in which ProcessPro engages with its customers. Caron added “We pride ourselves on “The Power of One” – ProcessPro Premier is developed, sold, installed, implemented, and supported soley by our team of in house experts.”
As a small ERP provider ProcessPro were able to bring their batch manufacturing experience from other installations over the last few decades to Chem-Pak. That releationship and understanding of the business processes that they needed will have helped during the selection and subsequent implementation phases.
ProcessPro created a team to implement the systems. The project was completed in October/November 2016. Chem-Pak actually chose to use a big bang approach as Caron explained:”Chem-pak went live on a fully integrated solution across their entire manufacturing operation without a traditional phase 2 plan for implementing functionality at a later time– meaning they implemented all of Premier’s core functionality straightaway, as well without the need for any custom modifications.”
That lack of modifications is important for Chem-Pak. It should mean that they are able to upgrade their software easily as ProcessPro bring out new releases. Chem-Pak may have learnt this from their legacy, presumably customised ERP solution fell behind the technology curve. It also means that they would be able to move the solution to ProcessPro On-Demand in the future. ProcessPro On-Demand is the cloud based solution that ProcessPro offer.
What are Chem-Pak using
Chem-Pak also implemented the Business Intelligence (BI) and warehouse management (WMS) addon modules in addition to the core system. While Caron could not be drawn on the exact size of the implementation Chem-Pak have less than fifty employees according to Glassdoor and take advantage of the concurrent licensing’s model that that ProcessPro uses.
The solution is already delivering the improvements that Chem-Pak sought. We asked Caron changes Chem-Pak have completed, she replied: “Systemized business processes to reduce paperwork and manual work-arounds. Automating their warehouse and inventory transactions with WMS and hand held scanners, and improved production scheduling.”
It is therefore likely that during the implementation process Chem-Pak modified some of their business processes to fit within the flexible scope of the ProcessPro solution. The expertise of the implementation team no doubt helped with this process. Chem-Pak would not have been aware what the optimal solution was using ProcessPro.
It will be interesting to see what level of improvements Chem-Pak have experienced. Certainly the introduction of hand held scanners interfacing direct to their ERP solution will have significantly improved a number of processes. Whether this enables Chem-Pak to improve profitability and in time scale the operation only time will tell.
Now live for several months it is not just Chem-Pak that benefits from ProcessPro. Caron commented: “Chem-Pak’s customers and employees will benefit from readier access to accurate and timely data. Improving the ability to provide their customers real-time order status information. Their customer service employees will benefit from ease of use in order fulfilment and look-up.”
Unfortunately, ProcessPro were unable to provide a spokesperson from Chem-Pak for interview. It would have been useful to learn what business metrics Chem-Pak had improved upon following the implementation. A first hand account of the whole process would also have been interesting.
ProcessPro has built a strong niche for itself in the process manufacturing community especially. What was most impressive about this project is the big bang approach taken by Chem-Pak. It demonstrates a trust in ProcessPro that they subsequently delivered on. That trust would have built during the selection process with references and a demonstration of their industry knowledge. Chem-Pak could also have chosen to phase the project during implementation if they choose to.