Enterprise Software

Recliner company sits back and lets real-time management do the work

If your company is having problems keeping track of tens of thousands of product orders at once, you might try adding real-time management to your ERP system. It worked for Berkline. Here's their story.


Is your company having problems keeping track of 60,000 product orders at once? Try integrating real-time transaction management applications into your enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.

Some companies heed the old adage, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” but when it comes to upgrading their ERP systems, one furniture manufacturer isn’t listening. Berkline, a company that has been making casual furniture since the 1930s, is busy updating their shop floor automation ERP system to handle real-time transactions.

Berkline, a division of LifeStyle Furnishings International Ltd., makes the recliners and recliner sofas we sink into after a hard day’s work. The company was in need of a system to handle the daily operations on the shop floor and the manufacturing side of the business. As a company, Berkline had some managerial obstacles to assess when selecting a real-time management system. Berkline runs a multi-site organization that functions on a made-to-order basis. Both of these company-specific structures can be hurdled by real-time.

The decision to choose real-time scheduling was necessary for Berkline to keep up with the large number of product requests they receive. They also needed a system capable of changing requests into product orders and then connecting all the information from each manufacturing site into one reliable networked system.

“Real-time is absolutely critical to our ability to manage our processes. At any given time, we probably have 60,000 pieces of furniture in process just at our facilities,” said David Hood, Berkline’s vice president of operation services. “Knowing where [products] are and what steps they are in during the day is just not possible without it being in real-time.”

The right partner for the job
For the ERP renovation, Berkline chose Synapse, a program designed by Integrated Business Systems & Services (IBSS). “The made-to-order world of furniture has a lot of uniqueness to it,” said Don Futch, vice president of business development for IBSS. “Berkline needed a software package with the flexibility and power to have real-time changeability so that a few minutes after a phone call order comes in, the adjustments on the shop floor can reflect what was requested.”

The supple nature of the real-time scheduling features of the Synapse product gives Berkline the ability to update all shop floor processes several times a day. Synapse also comes with the ability to conduct online transaction processing (OLTP). OLTP is a process by which transactions can be added to a management system without interrupting the system’s normal production schedule.

Real-time management, when combined with OLTP, keeps product orders in check and networks all automated processes together in one real-time database. With OLTP and real-time, working together, Berkline has been able to reduce their production times.

“From a management's standpoint, real-time is very critical, especially in this business,” Hood said. “Our times from having an order processed to the complete product are very short. We’re down to approximately ten working days, which in this business is very fast. Times in this business are normally five weeks to five months.”

“The difficulty with Berkline is similar to a lot of companies who have made-to-order type issues,” said Futch. “Manufacturers no longer have the luxury of gearing up to run a single product in large batches for inventory. They have to run their manufacturing operation so they match what’s being ordered with what’s being made.”

The partnership with Berkline and IBSS is not a new one. Berkline has been using IBSS products for almost ten years, however, Berkline was attracted by the real-time capabilities of Synapse. “The advantage to us is going to be to bring our current system up to current technologies,” Hood said. Futch agrees that the new IBSS program used by Berkline is a good fit. “The Synapse engine allows us to create applications that have real-time ability. We gave them the standard package that is configured so it looks like it was custom-written for the individual division,” he said.

What will work for you?
The keys to look for when you select your own real-time and OLTP systems are:
  • Can it create applications with real-time changeability?
  • Can it quickly interface to new environments?
  • Is it highly configurable?
  • Does it contain flexible manufacturing application?

If your company is facing the challenge of tracking 6,000; 60,000; or 600,000 process orders, updating your legacy system to OLTP and real-time management may be just what you need to keep it all in check.

Is it time for real-time solutions?
What type of management system do you use to keep track of orders? Let us know by posting a comment below or dropping us a note.

 

Is your company having problems keeping track of 60,000 product orders at once? Try integrating real-time transaction management applications into your enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.

Some companies heed the old adage, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” but when it comes to upgrading their ERP systems, one furniture manufacturer isn’t listening. Berkline, a company that has been making casual furniture since the 1930s, is busy updating their shop floor automation ERP system to handle real-time transactions.

Berkline, a division of LifeStyle Furnishings International Ltd., makes the recliners and recliner sofas we sink into after a hard day’s work. The company was in need of a system to handle the daily operations on the shop floor and the manufacturing side of the business. As a company, Berkline had some managerial obstacles to assess when selecting a real-time management system. Berkline runs a multi-site organization that functions on a made-to-order basis. Both of these company-specific structures can be hurdled by real-time.

The decision to choose real-time scheduling was necessary for Berkline to keep up with the large number of product requests they receive. They also needed a system capable of changing requests into product orders and then connecting all the information from each manufacturing site into one reliable networked system.

“Real-time is absolutely critical to our ability to manage our processes. At any given time, we probably have 60,000 pieces of furniture in process just at our facilities,” said David Hood, Berkline’s vice president of operation services. “Knowing where [products] are and what steps they are in during the day is just not possible without it being in real-time.”

The right partner for the job
For the ERP renovation, Berkline chose Synapse, a program designed by Integrated Business Systems & Services (IBSS). “The made-to-order world of furniture has a lot of uniqueness to it,” said Don Futch, vice president of business development for IBSS. “Berkline needed a software package with the flexibility and power to have real-time changeability so that a few minutes after a phone call order comes in, the adjustments on the shop floor can reflect what was requested.”

The supple nature of the real-time scheduling features of the Synapse product gives Berkline the ability to update all shop floor processes several times a day. Synapse also comes with the ability to conduct online transaction processing (OLTP). OLTP is a process by which transactions can be added to a management system without interrupting the system’s normal production schedule.

Real-time management, when combined with OLTP, keeps product orders in check and networks all automated processes together in one real-time database. With OLTP and real-time, working together, Berkline has been able to reduce their production times.

“From a management's standpoint, real-time is very critical, especially in this business,” Hood said. “Our times from having an order processed to the complete product are very short. We’re down to approximately ten working days, which in this business is very fast. Times in this business are normally five weeks to five months.”

“The difficulty with Berkline is similar to a lot of companies who have made-to-order type issues,” said Futch. “Manufacturers no longer have the luxury of gearing up to run a single product in large batches for inventory. They have to run their manufacturing operation so they match what’s being ordered with what’s being made.”

The partnership with Berkline and IBSS is not a new one. Berkline has been using IBSS products for almost ten years, however, Berkline was attracted by the real-time capabilities of Synapse. “The advantage to us is going to be to bring our current system up to current technologies,” Hood said. Futch agrees that the new IBSS program used by Berkline is a good fit. “The Synapse engine allows us to create applications that have real-time ability. We gave them the standard package that is configured so it looks like it was custom-written for the individual division,” he said.

What will work for you?
The keys to look for when you select your own real-time and OLTP systems are:
  • Can it create applications with real-time changeability?
  • Can it quickly interface to new environments?
  • Is it highly configurable?
  • Does it contain flexible manufacturing application?

If your company is facing the challenge of tracking 6,000; 60,000; or 600,000 process orders, updating your legacy system to OLTP and real-time management may be just what you need to keep it all in check.

Is it time for real-time solutions?
What type of management system do you use to keep track of orders? Let us know by posting a comment below or dropping us a note.

 

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