ABI Attachments manufactures innovative ground engaging attachments for the equine, sports turf, contractor, and property owner markets. Founded in 1997, ABI’s mission is to empower the world with better ways to get outdoor work done.

Business Challenge

ABI Attachments designs, produces, and distributes over 5,000 attachments a year. As the company began to decrease its reliance on third-party manufacturers—and assemble a larger percentage of products in its Mishawaka, Indiana headquarters—executives realized that their spreadsheet-based planning system was not enough to effectively manage more than 1,200 component parts.

The installation of NetSuite’s ERP software helped, but ABI’s VP of Finance, John Dilling, said the company still struggled to get the information it needed to prevent stockouts.

The organization began to search for a solution that could deliver more robust and effective insights while fitting seamlessly into their NetSuite ecosystem.

Solution

After learning about Replenishment+ and the DDMRP methodology, Dilling said it wasn’t long before the company decided to implement the leading native-to-NetSuite solution.

“I’m a CPA, so GAAP makes sense to me for reporting stuff from the past. But as I dug into the literature, I realized that when it comes to planning ahead, the idea of building a flow-centric organization is right on board with what we're trying to do,” explained Dilling.

It also wasn’t long before the company began to see progress. The hands-on implementation provided an opportunity to re-examine ABI’s processes and make improvements—while customizing Replenishment+ views and capabilities to meet the company’s needs. Inventory buffers gave the team an intuitive view into customer demand and where they would need to invest to maintain smooth material flow.

“Demand Driven Technologies was as nimble and flexible as our company,” said former ABI Purchasing Agent Scott Harney. “The support that came out of the team has been tremendous.”

Results

According to Dilling, benefits like insight and visibility were near immediate: “R+ has given us a lot more insight into our inventory control, production planning, and materials planning than we’d had before.” Stockouts were a thing of the past, as were the near-weekly surprises that the team had to drop everything to address in the past.

Over the course of the next year—and in spite of the pandemic—other benefits began to emerge. At the end of 2020, in spite of year-over-year sales growth of 12%, active inventory dropped by 18%. Service levels also stayed at a stable 94%, and so did on-hand values. Inventory spend, meanwhile, grew more efficient thanks to the R+ inventory buffers, which helped ABI’s planners focus their attention on the items that were most problematic to their flow—and make improvements accordingly.

Yet the most promising benefit, according to Dilling, is the ability Replenishment+ gave the company to increase in-house production. Insourcing delivers higher margins, and it also enables ABI to adapt more efficiently to fast-changing commodity prices with bigger orders and better deals. “It really just works for us,” explained Dilling.