Custom Software Case Study:
Nahanni Manufactuing Ltd. in Langley, BC Canada manufactures Dump Truck Bodies and Dump Trailers to order. Established in 1968, Nahanni changed hands several times as it struggled to provide good service and good products to its customers. Nahanni sells directly to trucking companies, individuals and through major automotive dealers.
Late in 2004, Nahanni Manufacturing was acquired by the McAffer family at the lead of George McAffer. George had carefully researched the company, noting its problems and its potential. In addition, he researched the marketplace including the high potential for increased business, and how the competitors conducted their business. George has an MBA and a long history of management in military, government and private enterprise. George took over Nahanni as its chief operating officer, and is very involved in day-to-day operations of the company.
One of the first issues that George dealt with, beginning even before the company was acquired, was to address the issue of information flow. Nahanni products typically sell for over $25,000.00 each. Since the products were made to custom order, the company first estimated the cost of each dump body to be produced. From there, a quotation was rendered and tendered. Following acceptance, multiple forms were then prepared. At the end of the process, an invoice was prepared. No schedules or work orders were used. All processes were documented manually.
In the manual system of the previous ownership, much of the same information was repeatedly filled out in different forms for different departments. The forms, including the quote form that was the primary document to the customer, were very unprofessional looking, many-times-photocopied, with handwritten entries for prices and options. The result was a form that, to the customer, was amateurish compared to computer-produced forms presented by Nahanni’s competitors. Filling out multiple forms for the same job consumed a lot of time, and needed to be done by a knowledgeable worker so that the work was completed successfully and accurately. There was no idea of how much inventory was being used, and where it was going. Nor was there any process to convey construction details to the manufacturing floor.
George was familiar with Addison Information Technology’s “the Integrator” product having worked with it in a different industry. He engaged AIT to create a custom system based on Integrator to streamline the input of information, and to use that same information to produce a far more accurate estimate and quotation. The information was then automatically applied to create a work order for the various factory departments. If there were are changes made at any time in the process these are applied to the original order and quotes and work orders are automatically adjusted so that an accurate price and method of working is always recorded in the system.
As a result of creating a custom software system, the turn-around time of documentation for a dump body has been reduced to a fraction of the time of the manual system. Nahanni Management now confidently turns out a professional and accurate quotation for a custom Dump Body in just a few minutes. With no further input, the system produces work orders and schedules jobs for the whole plant ensuring that the job that was estimated is the job that is produced. A parts purchasing and inventory system works hand-in glove with the quotation system, and an invoice is ready as soon as the job is completed and the customer picks up his truck.
Sales at Nahanni have more than tripled since George McAffer took control, and this multi-million dollar company daily relies on a custom Management Information System from Addison Information Technology.
Click Here to hear what George has to say.
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We recently spoke with George regarding his experience with a Management Information System designed by Addison I.T. and here is what he had to say:
What is your experience of Addison I.T. as a company to work with?
Addison I.T. in an innovative company that responds quickly to our needs. They spend time to understand our needs and provide good solutions.
What is your opinion of Addison I.T. systems design?
It is user friendly, easy to use, covers all of our requirements and is flexible and easy to modify to meet changing needs. A new user can competently use all facets of the system with very little instruction.
Was the Addison I.T. system important to improving operations at Nahanni?
It was absolutely critical to the process of improving quality, efficiency and production capability.
Why did you choose a custom solution, rather than buying “off the shelf”
We had specific requirements that could not be met off the shelf. It was a cost effective solution to our needs.
What do you think of Addison I.T.’s process and response to your needs for different functions in your system?
They are effective, knowledgable and responsive.
Would you recommend Addison I.T. to people wanting efficient software to run their business?
Addison I.T provides a full complement of services to Nahanni including networking, support, installations, and hardware. Recently Addison Graphics completed a new website and thus helps Nahanni market their products as well as produce them.
The Nahanni MIS is an ongoing project, with new uses and new features being introduced on a frequent basis. We at Addison I.T. looking forward to continuing to assist Nahanni to even greater success.
You may contact George McAffer at Nahanni at 604-533-4841. It is also an excellent place to call if you need a Dump Truck Body!