New Jersey Rivet customers can now look at their account to find out the status of their orders (both shipped and open) on the Internet. They are able to track packages 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, without having to call. They are able to check on available inventory of parts that they buy. Customers like the fact that they can check on inventory of only their parts; with their part numbers being a main search criteria. This means no wasted time. If the customer needs the part, they can even place an order over the web.
Michael Van Name, Assistant Manager, said, “We see that the future is going to be in E-commerce and we decided to be on board from the beginning and not wait for the competition to beat us there. The Internet site is completely integrated into The Business Edge, our ERP System, so that all of the information that is available on the web is current up to the second.”
If you are a customer of New Jersey Rivet and you would like to use their B2B module, visit www.njrivet. com, click on “My Account” and fill out the request form.
Since New Jersey Rivet replaced their custom software in 1998, the company has been on a continuous improvement path. The Business Edge afforded them many internal efficiencies and has enabled them to provide better service to their customers.
During a recent interview, Van Name said, “By having better information quickly and processes that align with The Business Edge seamlessly, we were able to cut down on the “catching up” of paperwork. We are still feeling the effects of the efficiency of The Business Edge in the office by people spending more time working on longer term projects and less time on day-today processes. The Business Edge has made it quicker to enter an order, print an order (remember those old impact printer continuous forms and having to change from picking tickets to packing lists to invoices to save the expense and space of having four printers in the office — now we can use one laser printer with multiple drawers), allocate an order, print the packing list and ship the product. The system just flows from one step to the other.”
He continued, “With The Business Edge, we are able to service customers much quicker than before. During Order Entry we have our exact inventory displayed right on the screens and know at once if a product can ship out that day. If a customer calls up to expedite an order, we can tell immediately if we have stock, if the product is about to be produced, or if the product is at a finisher — all within the Business Edge. No more having to find paperwork in a separate system to see what we have at the plater or what is on production.” New Jersey Rivet has been in business since 1934. It has been owned by the same family since 1938. They are a stocking manufacturer of semi-tubular and solid rivets, and manufacture approximately 3 million rivets per day.
When asked what made them choose The Business Edge, Mike said, “Since we carry a large inventory of product to service our customer needs, we were looking at distribution software that would allow us to maintain our vast inventory of parts (thousands of different product codes are stored in The Business Edge – our current inventory is approximately 650,000,000 rivets).
“We needed integration of Order Entry, Inventory, Purchasing, General Ledger, and Accounts Payable. On top of this, our old system only allowed 16 digits for a part number, and we wanted to expand this. Most other systems did not allow more than this, or if they did, we had to follow very specific rules on how the part numbers were entered into the system. The rules were very specific and did not fit our needs.
“When we were talking to Computer Insights, every time we asked about finding part numbers in The Business Edge, we kept hearing ‘Yes.’ Yes to 39 digit part numbers, Yes to finding different categories of parts, Yes to having a technical description of a rivet to search for specific attributes of a product. We could have intelligent part numbers (of our own definition) and the system would support us. Then we found that the system was developed in such a way that if you learned Order Entry, it took very little time to learn the Purchase Order system. This system seemed too good to be true. But it wasn’t.
“During the conversion from our old system to The Business Edge, we also decided to change our Product Codes around. So, we had to re-label our entire inventory and at the same time, we took a physical inventory. That is the last time that we took a physical inventory of our entire stock. Now, with the Business Edge, we are able to take quick inventories of the lot we are dealing with. Since we are able to see the exact quantities in the lots, we are able to keep The Business Edge very accurate with the physical inventory. We have no need to do a complete physical inventory anymore.”
Mike was discussing some of their internal processes when he brought up the subjects of outside processes including plating and internal manufacturing processes. He said, “When I joined the company after getting my MBA from Lehigh University, my first task was to work with The BUSINESS EDGE to align our processes to ones supported by the system. The Processing Purchase Order system completely aligned with our need to deal with plating our product. We can create orders to our vendors for specific finishes, allocate our inventory to the processing purchase order, and finally, maintain traceability of the product throughout the system. The tracking of the inventory throughout this system has stopped our employees from saying, “I think that went to the plater.” Now, we say, “That is at the plater and will be back on their next delivery.
“For a manufacturer, the PPO system also allows us to maintain traceability for manufacturing the rivets. We create a PPO for a rivet that uses our raw material component — wire. On a daily basis, we are able to receive in the rivets made for the past 24 hours, and decrease our wire inventory — all while maintaining the records needed for lot traceability.”
New Jersey Rivet takes full advantage of the on-line webtracing module in The Business Edge that enables them to press a button in The Business Edge and bring up the tracking page of UPS or any other shipper that has this information available on a web site. Mike says, “Customers would call us up asking for the status of the order. If it was shipped, they would ask for the tracking number. By the time we would read it off to them, we would have the web-page loaded and tell them where their order was. We love it when we are able to tell them it was already delivered!”
Mike also said, “The system has allowed us to cut down on order pickers, due to the enhanced information we are able to give them on our Picking Tickets. We have gone from 5 people to process orders, clean product off of production and process plating as it returns to 3-1/2 people.”
Mike explained that as part of their continuous improvement program, they are now going through the ISO approval process. He stated, “As we are going through our ISO 9001 process, The Business Edge has turned out to be a critical instrument in maintaining our records. We have the data at our fingertips and can mine it to make good business decisions based on the correct data. An ISO 9001 auditor stated that The Business Edge was an impressive system to store data. The Business Edge maintains our ‘Approved Vendor List’ instead of us having to keep an extra document to maintain. We can tag each vendor as Approved, Probationary, Grandfathered, Removed/Not Active, and MRO Items Only. This system stops us from entering Purchaser Orders to Removed/ Not Active vendors. At the same time, we can enter purchase orders for MRO type products — labels, boxes, cleaning supplies, oil — and maintain history of when we bought them last and how much we buy. The Business Edge is an easy tool to use to quickly buy the MRO items.”
Mike has the proper perspective on the nature of business today. When asked what differences he has seen since growing up with New Jersey Rivet, he replied, “Since my grandfather’s time in the business, the product has changed very little. We still make rivets on the same machines, using the same materials. What has changed is the customer’s needs. Instead of all customers getting the same basic packaging, the same label and the same product. We have to have a system to deal with communicating these requirements to our employees. The Business Edge solved the problem by recording what we need to do. (Multiple notes for a customer, customer specific labels and custom products for a customer all can be printed on the Picking Ticket and we can store more information on the internal specification stored in The Business Edge). Everything is at your fingertips.”
This article appeared in Distributor’s Link Magazine