Odoo’s platform laid the foundation for ICS' fully integrated system that optimizes its ETO and MTO workflows.
Indiana, United States
A 20+ year-old legacy system creates limitations for cost management, labor costing, materials costing, quoting, and multi-warehouse management.
InLine Cleaning Systems (ICS)
Inline Cleaning Systems is a manufacturer of parts washers that has been in business for over 40 years. It is a privately owned company that specializes in the manufacturing of conveyor or pass through washers and cleaning systems that are built to the unique specifications of each customer. ICS is part of a family of industrial manufacturing brands that includes EIS Machine & Automation and Rando Machines. ICS and its family of brands specialize in custom built machinery that is either completely customized or highly customized for the following industries:
Locally hosted legacy systems make it difficult for multiple locations, warehouses, and brands to coordinate
A cloud based Odoo system coordinates multiple locations allowing users to access the system anywhere remotely
Limited integration with CAD software SOLIDWORKS slows manufacturing and makes accessing historical designs for the quotation process difficult
Streamline the process of importing design data from SOLIDWORKS for job costing reference and automatically adjust the BOM based on changes
Disjointed legacy systems create complexity for an engineer-to-order workflow and costing with limited integrations across the manufacturing process
End-to-end ETO process maximizes traceability in manufacturing workflows with job cost reports for materials and labor reported in real time
"We chose Odoo because the modern architecture was able to be highly customized to our specific needs as a manufacturing company. We expect to hit at least a 20 year time horizon on the platform."
- Andy Wilcox | President, ICS
ICS specializes in industrial washers that are built to the specifications of each commercial customer. Most of the challenges they have faced in their processes are due to a 20+ year old legacy system.
Acquisition of Additional Companies Required Centralized Operations
ICS had acquired other machinery manufacturing companies located in different geographic areas from the parent company. With locally hosted legacy systems, coordinating across locations proved to be difficult and labor intensive. Managing teams, workflows, manufacturing orders, design specifications and more required manual data transfers, and with no ability to log in from off-site locations, remote access across brands was impossible.
CAD Integration for ETO Workflow and Historical Design Costing
With limited integration between ICS' CAD software SOLIDWORKS and their manufacturing systems, moving designs through manufacturing required many manual steps and processes that increased the chance of human error and monopolized time and labor resources. This created complexity for costing updates to the BOM with design changes and limited change management in versioning histories of a design.
In addition, accessing historical design specs for the quotation process required manual analysis of the BOM to calculate material and labor costs. This took valuable time away from the sales team and increased the chances of error in the quotation process.
Fully Integrated and Customized ETO Workflows Streamline Manufacturing
Disjointed legacy systems made the process of managing nearly or completely custom manufacturing orders tedious, time consuming, and difficult. With limited traceability and integration across PO, MO, SO, and invoices, processes had to be manually managed with implications across job costing, inventory management, and other BOM components.
"Our engagement with Novobi was quite broad because we brought everything about our business onto the one platform and asked them to develop the engineer-to-order features from scratch."
- Andy Wilcox | President, ICS
Novobi was tasked with building a modern, powerful enterprise software platform to integrate engineer-to-order processes. By combining software with cloud-based technology and data analytics, they created an innovative, efficient, and most importantly scalable solution for the client.
Novobi built upon the open source framework of Odoo, an enterprise software platform that can be expanded with custom feature development aligned to the unique needs of the client. Development encompassed several key features for a powerful, single solution:
Centralized, Cloud Based System with Universal Employee Access
The solution on Odoo centralized ICS' operations into a cloud based system with single sign on for employee access across locations. This ensured coordination over various time zones and allowed employees to remotely access the system even if they were not on the premises.
Migrating to the cloud also enabled greater integration, automation, and scalability of ICS' system.
SOLIDWORKS Integration for Improved Quotation Process and BOM Management
Integrating SOLIDWORKS with ICS' solution provided multiple benefits. The ability to reference historical design data with this seamless integration enabled faster and more accurate quotations for new jobs.
In addition, the SOLIDWORKS integration improved portions of the ETO workflow including straightforward versioning management and automatic updates to the BOM based on design changes.
Integrated ETO Process with Traceability
With an improved and integrated ETO workflow, ICS had full traceability of materials across PO, MO, SO, and invoices with automatic updates to inventory and the BOM based on design changes.
Since the ETO process is flexible and adaptive based on the end client’s feedback, ICS needed to update the BOM frequently during a project. With their new ETO workflow, this can be done quickly and easily with a job cost report that captures costing in real time.
"When we started this project, the goal was to allow ICS to manage everything in Odoo: from a custom integration with SOLIDWORKS to configuring their CRM and running their manufacturing and financial tools. We wanted to bring everything together in one place."
The Novobi Approach
Novobi follows a strict implementation schedule following CMMI and Scrum frameworks with weekly sprints, ensuring that clients can expect demos and workable solutions weekly or biweekly. Novobi also follows best practices in configuration and customization to ensure the system functions correctly and protects client's intellectual property. This approach makes it easier and more cost-effective to upgrade in the future.
First, Novobi established the main goals of the client for a new system based on the shortfalls of their legacy system. After performing a GAP analysis to determine what out-of-box Odoo functions would satisfy the needs of the client, Novobi determined necessary customizations that would improve the end system and provide the client with their exact needs.
With a high-level solution plan in place and approved by the client, Novobi proceeded with preparing a timeline, detailed user stories, and mock-ups to identify the main and supporting features to ensure a seamless user experience.
Implementation included migration of legacy data, centralization of processes into a new Odoo system, and build out of custom modules. The process was structured with development sprints tracked and managed through JIRA with weekly updates and feedback sessions.
The system underwent extensive testing prior to launch. Following initial internal testing, the product owner reviewed the system to confirm the design and ensure that the system worked as expected. After final approval, the system was launched and closely monitored for an additional month to ensure any issues could be addressed immediately.
Novobi provided extensive user training to ensure the client was comfortable and confident on the new system. This included training on Odoo itself as well as on the portions Novobi customized such as payroll. Training was offered via Zoom, written documentation, and video content from Odoo for supporting modules.
Novobi has provided ongoing maintenance to the system to ensure 99.9% uptime with minimal timeouts or disruption of service. Novobi also provides support and assistance to the client for any troubleshooting issues as well as for upgrades that the system may need to scale as their business continues to grow.
Novobi's approach included migration of legacy data for the client and comprehensive training both before and after go-live of the new system. The implementation strategy utilized a standard SCRUM methodology to keep the process paced and transparent for the client with risk mitigation. A go-live checklist was created and delivered to ensure that all parts of the implementation process and project scope were addressed prior to or concurrently with roll out. As a result, hand off of the new system was seamless, and ICS was able to begin running operations on the new Odoo platform.
With labor and material costing
Manual processes are automated for speed, efficiency, and accuracy in the system providing better reports for material and labor costing. Material costs from vendors are recorded using the FIFO method for streamlined inventory. Clock in/out functionality assists in labor costing to manage and track labor for payroll.
Streamlined Quotation Process
With CAD integration to access historical designs
An improved integration between SOLIDWORKS CAD software and ICS' manufacturing systems ensures more accurate costing for efficiency in the quotation process. Historical design data can inform the BOM for new manufacturing jobs with less manual analysis.
For access, scale, and integration
ICS now utilizes cloud infrastructure for scalability and OPEX investment. They operate on a single system for sales, purchasing, inventory, ETO workflows, payroll and accounting as opposed to multiple legacy system. This also allows for remote employee access and employee management across companies and locations.