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"Without Software 21 and its FlexGen 4 adaptive enterprise solution, Sawbones could never have enjoyed the success we have. Our ability to produce high quality medical training products on-time and at competitive prices would not be possible."

–Foss Miller, President

 
Pacific Research Laboratories

Company:

Based in Vashon Island, Washington, Pacific Research Laboratories (PRL) is the leading manufacturer of "Sawbones," made-to-order models of bones and organs used in hands-on training programs across orthopedic, medical and veterinary education fields. PRL manufactures over 2000 complex and unique training products for companies, universities and professional organizations including Johnson & Johnson, US Surgical, Stanford University, UCLA School of Medicine and the American Association of Neurological Surgeons.

Challenge:

"Manufacturing such precise and delicate medical tools is difficult and exacting. Our manufacturing environment is complicated and complex," said Foss Miller. "Our research and development team is constantly finding ways to make our products more realistic and we have to keep the manufacturing process running smoothly despite all the changes. The fields of internal medicine and orthopedic surgery are always changing too. We have to keep up. A very challenging task."

PRL has earned a solid reputation for producing quality products on time, at the right price. However, the challenge for PRL was sustaining the high levels of performance it had maintained in the midst of an industry that churns technical, educational and manufacturing process changes at an astounding rate. The ability to manage costs, delivery and customer satisfaction were deeply impacting PRL's ability to adapt to the changing marketplace.

Solution:

Software 21 implemented the full compliment of FlexGen 4 applications with a particular focus on production control, scheduling and performance analysis. Advanced Planning and Scheduling provides the tools to identify any manufacturing or delivery bottlenecks on a real-time basis, allowing PRL to maintain highly consistent production flow and on-time delivery of products across the U.S. and Europe .

Software 21 also implemented a comprehensive touch screen automated data collection system to gather factory floor data to drive real-time production control and scheduling, labor efficiency analysis and product costing to price right. To assure that only what is required is built, demand driven sales order management was implemented to effect a pull requirement on production planning and control.

Results:

On-time delivery of all customer orders remain at an all time high of 98%.
   
Production Control has reduced shop floor disruptions to less than 3% on an annualized basis, including material shortages to less than 1%.
   
Overall production flow is maintained at a very consistent level with a great deal of flexibility available to adjust to shifting market demands and customer requirements.
   
PRL has the available infrastructure and processes provided through FlexGen 4 to grow and evolve as market opportunity allows, with no additional investment.
 
 

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