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Rapid Insight: Manufacturing case study

Streamlining the Flow of Information to Create a Data Driven Culture at TCI, LLC

data driven culture at tci
  • Optimizing the Sales Reporting Process

  • Real-Time Shop Room Scheduling and Workstation Assignments

  • Automated In-House Lean Manufacturing Metrics

In the age of instant information, data analysis is key to staying competitive. For many organizations, accessing the data is not a simple task. Deeply ingrained, mission-critical legacy systems, typically not easily replaced, are a major roadblock that can lead to missed opportunities. TCI, LLC, a manufacturer of power quality products for large industries, has innovatively solved this problem with the aid of Construct, the data blending, cleansing and preparation tool from Rapid Insight. The fast-growing company has made every aspect of their operation data-driven over the last three years, and they have only needed one man to make it happen.

Customer Testimonial

“Rapid Insight has saved us countless hours in the three years we have been using it. Across the company, there has been so much time saving just from doing it within Construct, instead of having someone try and do it manually.”

Ross Borenstein, Systems Administrator and Analyst, TCI, LLC

TCI’s Information Technology Department has become the central nervous system of their evolving data culture. There you can find Systems Administrator and Analyst Ross Borenstein democratizing data and streamlining the flow of information to all parts of the company. Borenstein may be up against a data-packed enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, but with Construct, he is able to bypass data access and reporting challenges and efficiently provide information to all of TCI’s departments. By effectively getting the right data to the right people, they have eliminated the need for other departments to retrieve their own information and they have revolutionized information-sharing within the company. Simply put, Construct is the catalyst that has brought TCI into the modern age of data-enabled businesses.

Customer Testimonial

Once I saw what Construct could do, I really ran with it,” shared Borenstein. “We were in the process of moving certain reports out of our ERP system and combining them with other Excel or SQL inputs. It was perfect timing to start using Construct to simplify data sharing.”

Optimizing the Sales Reporting Process

Two of Borenstein’s biggest areas of focus are TCI’s bookings and sales reports. Borenstein connects directly to their Epicor ERP database with Construct, expediting the reporting process. Accurate, timely reports are automatically generated and distributed to key stakeholders through Construct so that everyone, from the President and CEO to Sales and Marketing, can be more informed.

In the past, someone in TCI’s marketing department was spending many hours every week creating the same reports within Epicor. Now, Borenstein can easily prepare the data, and automatically generate, schedule, and share it each month within one Construct job.

“Construct has saved us countless hours in the three years we have been using it. Across the company there has been so much time saving just from doing it within Construct, instead of having someone try and do it manually,” shared Borenstein.

Real-Time Shop Room Scheduling and Workstation Assignments

In the past, scheduling on the shop room floor was a cumbersome process. Communicating personnel placement and shift schedules for the day was extremely time-consuming. The process was manual and undocumented. Workers would have to go to their lockers, wait in line at the supervisor’s desk to verbally receive their assigned workstation, go back to their lockers to retrieve their things, and then head to their correct work area. Each day the supervisors had to take the time to look at the jobs for the day and then assign them to each worker, creating too many steps and inhibiting productivity.

Borenstein has developed a new process. He receives three spreadsheets from each supervisor that include names, assigned workstations, and other information ahead of time. In Construct, he filters, merges and outputs the data to a SQL database and pushes information to displays on the shop floor. Employees punch-in, immediately check the overhead display, and head straight to their assigned workstation. In addition to the day’s schedule, other information such as meetings or changes to the workflow is entered as well. This new arrangement has saved “two minutes per person, per shift, per day,” according to TCI’s manufacturing manager. When there is a large amount of people on the shop floor on any given day, hours of productivity are gained each week.

Automated In-House Lean Manufacturing Metrics

Key to TCI’s success has been superb customer service and a wide array of customized parts. Engineers work hard to stay up to date on the shipment and condition of parts. Internal communication among TCI engineers has typically been in the form of manually sending emails back and forth. Now, Borenstein takes advantage of Construct’s email feature to schedule and send messages regarding new parts. When a new part is deployed, the engineers pay close attention to it. Borenstein simply created a Construct job that checks product data for certain characteristics. For instance, when a newly designed part is shipped, this information is highlighted and communicated. Additionally, emails regarding the shipment go out to the shop floor, customer service, and the tech support team. Their legacy ERP system did not handle this task very well, so Borenstein built another job in Construct so TCI can be easily aware of how these new parts are performing, where they are in the world, and in what condition.

A More Current Manufacturing Catalog

Construct is even helping keep TCI’s online marketing catalog up to date. The marketing team now receives data that arrives already packaged in the right format for uploading onto the website.  Built in Construct, this “Catalog Part Job” extracts data directly from their ERP system and creates a new SQL database that is better formatted for their website needs.

Looking to the Future

As he looks to the future, Borenstein plans to use Construct to help others in the company get the data they need. Every week there seems to be a new request for a job or a report.

“A lot of these projects were the ideas of other people in the company. I’ve just been able to bring them to life with Construct. Before, we really couldn’t do that,” expressed Borenstein. “I don’t know how we would do all of this any other way.”

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