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The IB McIntyre Team

At IB McIntyre innovation is a process that involves thinking about their business every day and looking for opportunities to improve. Jonathan Dawson, Commercial Director, says “In today’s world a business must be like a chameleon constantly adapting to changes in the environment.”

IB McIntyre makes it a priority to question things they have always done so they can better understand and implement improvements in productivity and service delivery. Regan Lamb is the Commercial Accountant at IB McIntyre whose duties include finding ways to streamline processes related to stock management, packaging and customer order fulfillment. Last year Regan identified an opportunity in their despatch process that saved the company more than 90% in overtime while increasing throughput by 20%.

This is where it starts to get really interesting. Regan and Jonathan have established a relationship with a technology consultant named Eduard le Roux who helps them bring their ideas into focus and assists in their implementation. Eduard has consulted to manufacturing businesses for almost 10 years where he has designed and implemented solutions pertaining to Scanning, Shop Floor Data Collection, Inventory Accuracy, Material Requirements Planning, Production Planning, Forecasting and other ERP related solutions.

Project Beginnings

Jonathan, Regan and Eduard make a powerful team. Their approach is to examine each part of the business starting
with receiving and inspection of bulk raw materials, carrying through packing and manufacturing to the finished goods store where the order fulfillment and despatch process begins.

They started by taking a critical look at the physical realities of the business and soon realised that they first needed to reorganise their plant infrastructure before they would be able to automate and implement some of the technology tools that could help them.

Optimising Product Movement

Regan and Eduard began by evaluating the way product moved through the business which led to a re-think about the
configuration of their racking. The first step was to rearrange racking in receiving where bins were optimised to the packs they were receiving and barcode labels were affixed to each bin. Following that a similar analysis was completed in the manufacturing/packing floor and the finished goods store. By the time they finished this phase there were already apparent benefits in terms of stock handling.

Tracking Stock Movements with TransLution™ Technology

Once the racking was organised and labeled, Eduard introduced a software package called TransLution™ that operates on wireless barcode scanners and they began tracking stock movements electronically giving them better control over stock and enabling them to more easily find items in the store. The software is easy to use and was configured to
meet the exact requirements for this facility and it integrates directly into the company’s SYSPRO ERP software which was an added bonus improving efficiency and accuracy.

Optimising order fulfillment and despatch

Getting better control of stock in the store and in manufacturing laid the groundwork for the next part of the operation which was order fulfillment and despatch. Once again the project started by walking the floor and understanding the physical attributes of the despatch area to learn where the bottlenecks were. Regan’s understanding of how things actually work in practice combined with Eduard’s knowledge of the technology tools led to an automated scanning process that improved productivity, increased customer order accuracy and saved the company more than 90% in despatch overtime compared to the prior year.

New Opportunities

One would think they are finished and can now sit back with pride at the improvements they have implemented but that isn’t the way things work at IB McIntyre. They find they have come full circle in terms of the stock management cycle and they are beginning to see new opportunities, learned along the way, for improved efficiencies. This philosophy of constantly seeking a better way is systemic at IB McIntyre and is one of Eduard le Roux’s credos. Perhaps that is what makes them such a good team and that is in part why IB McIntyre continues to grow and prosper.

Lessons Learned

Jonathan, Regan and Eduard agreed to share what they see as keys achieving great results:

  • Continually question what you are doing in search of a better way.
  • Use a practical approach and understand the physical realities of the business.
  • Measure your results and let them guide you.
  • Think of technology as a tool built on your experiences.
  • Don’t get trapped in designing the “perfect” solution.
  • Remember whatever you do with systems people operate them, so keep it simple.
  • Allow your staff to be part of the solution. Motivate them to accept change and don’t skimp on training them to achieve the desired result.

About

IB McIntyre, established in 1966, boasts leading brands such as Mackie, Security Pro-Series brands & Partnerships with International brands such as Master Lock. Innovation and service excellence constitute the company’s mission statement and its key to success.

Eduard le Roux holds a National Higher Diploma in Cost and Management Accounting and has been a consultant to manufacturing businesses for the past 10 years. At RSA Enterprise Software Solutions our key focus is to help companies extract value from their supply chain through the use of technology.

TransLution™ Software is offered by AfriSoft Africa and is available through SYSPRO Business Consultants, like Eduard le Roux, in Africa, in the UK and Europe and coming soon in N. America and Australia.