M Metal is a Singapore-based manufacturer of high-quality steel and non-steel building solutions, providing a comprehensive range of products, with the capability to bring their clients’ concept to final completion.
Custom Developed Solution vs ERP
The organisation faced several challenges that were caused by manual document processing, which needed to be resolved for it’s market expansion. M Metal required an order management solution that would enable the company to:
- Update and share product costs effectively to sales personnel for profitable quotation; there are constant variations in product costs due to fluctuation of material costs and origin of supply
- Track of raw materials and product inventories instantly and accurately, to ensure products can be delivered according to the planned schedule of construction project
- Trace work orders and delivery orders to ensure accuracy and accountability during production, usage of materials, storage and delivery of ordered products.
- Forecast material usage for vital purchasing decisions in volatile market conditions
M Metal decided to engaged Forecepts for customised development instead of procuring an ERP product in consideration of simplicity and usability (and) lower cost of maintenance.
M Metal decided to engaged Forecepts for customised development instead of procuring an ERP product in consideration of simplicity and usability for all staff roles, lower cost of maintenance, as well as ownership of intellectual property.
Developing the Order Management Solution
We made multiple site visits to the client’s sales office and their manufacturing warehouse. We interviewed different ground personnel, from managers to accounts, from sales to production, so we could gather the true insights of the business nature and workflow.
We made multiple site visits … We interviewed different ground personnel … so we could gather the true insights of the business nature and workflow.
As this was the first time M Metal was adopting a company-wide IT solution in order management, we organised several brainstorming sessions with the client’s project manager and their end users. Together, we designed the functional modules that were required to solve the problems and needs of the different user groups from various departments. Screen prototypes were developed and tested by the users to ensure the effectiveness of the proposed features before the actual development of the order management system.
We organised several brainstorming sessions with the client’s project manager and their end users. Together, we designed the functional modules …
We developed the system module by module, and engaged users for feedbacks as soon as each module was ready for testing. We foresaw that any changes to the processes in a single module could have an impact to the bigger picture of the processes that we had agreed upon before development. During development, we carefully organised the code’s structure so that the system would be scalable and flexible enough to allow a certain amount of changes if need be.
Automated & Streamlined Order Processing
The order management system was eventually delivered, improving the efficiency of the business, from responding to RFQs, raising invoices, creating work orders for production, monitoring production progress, tracking of inventory, to the raising and reporting of delivery orders. All of these processes which previously required tedious preparation of documents and intensive face to face communications, are now automated and streamlined with the new order management system. Business decisions like stock clearance or raising of purchase orders can now be easily made; reports can be generated with ease, and departments can share accurate information real-time, between one another.