Wieland Metal Services is the foremost supplier of metal foil, strip, and sheet products in North America, with operations extending across the United States, the Caribbean, and Mexico.
Wieland Metal Services’ raw materials: copper, steel, aluminum, etc., can be very expensive and are purchased in large quantities. According to Scott Faniola, Director of Supply Chain at Wieland Metal Services, the average raw material MOQ is over 10,000 pounds. In addition, these materials have long lead times, so purchase orders (POs) need to be placed far in advance.
Materials Planners at Wieland Metal Services are key to maintaining high service levels without keeping high levels of inventory. With the changing of ERP systems in 2017, the supply chain management system was cumbersome and did not fit the business needs. As a result of this, many spreadsheets were developed to better model the material needs. These required daily management and often lead to errors.
Like any organization focused on customer service, Wieland Metal Services wanted to minimize stockouts. This was especially true for the organization’s sales reps who use service levels as a competitive advantage. Unfortunately, this tended to drive inventory levels unnecessarily high as the current ERP system did not optimize inventory purchases effectively.
“Our team used to spend hours a day determining material requirements, looking for items, issuing POs, expediting orders, etc. Now, with Intuiflow, the data is right in front of us first thing in the morning.”
By implementing Intuiflow, from Demand Driven Technologies with their new ERP system, Oracle, Wieland Metal Services was able to simplify the process of procurement. “Our team used to spend hours a day determining material requirements, looking for items, issuing POs, expediting orders, etc. Now, with Intuiflow, the data is right in front of us first thing in the morning,” said Mr. Faniola; “It’s color-coded so we know what we need to get done by the end of the day.” Demand Driven Technologies worked with Wieland Metal Services to segment their inventory into three replenishment priorities:
• Platinum inventory drives the “can’t miss” inventory due to the customer priority, market, or profitability. The buffer profile is set up to ensure material is on-hand to fill those orders.
• Gold inventory accounts for high volume, high profitability, and medium variability patterns. This allows for lower inventory levels while maintaining high levels of service.
• Silver inventory is for products that have lower levels of volume and inconsistent levels of demand. On-hand availability will be lower, but some safety stock will be maintained to ensure material available is for customers.
Results achieved at Wieland with Intuiflow
13%On-time Performance Improvement
12%Inventory Pounds Reduction
Using different Demand Driven Material Requirements Planning (DDMRP) settings, Wieland Metal Services was able to achieve the appropriate service levels for each of the three segments while maintaining lower inventory.
By following DDMRP recommendations and buying based on netflow category, Wieland Metal Services was able to lower inventory while maintaining service levels. This also allowed them to increase working capital and protect their margins.