Since its founding in 1997, Inovo, Inc. of Naples, Florida, has been a leading manufacturer and distributor of oxygen regulators and conservers for the home healthcare, EMS, and hospital markets. One competitive advantage is that they manufacture many of their own metal parts, giving them high levels of quality control.
Acquired by investors in 2006, Inovo was using Peachtree accounting, which the new owners replaced with MAS 200. With expanded manufacturing requirements stemming from the purchase of Chad Therapeutics’ oxygen conserving assets in 2008 — a move that tripled the size of the company and doubled the number of employees — Inovo now had 120 different finished goods parts, with more than 100 Bill of Materials components each. Inovo realized that its MAS 200 application could no longer meet its business requirements.
The business challenge
As part of the acquisition, Inovo inherited a set of home-grown systems for quality assurance, post-market compliance, production data, and device history records. All were built on outdated versions of MS Access and required the consultants who designed them to make even the slightest master data updates. Inovo knew it had to update its quality control systems to comply with FDA standards and streamline the organization. Their search for a replacement for the quality control software provided in the legacy Access applications led them to Plex Online, the leading software-as-a-service (SaaS) manufacturing enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution.
After reviewing the quality control functionality in Plex and considering the challenges with MAS 200 in a new higher production environment, the company began to explore Plex’s capabilities as a full-scale ERP solution. The scope of the evaluation included:
- Creating ERP-system-driven shop floor scheduling, planning, purchasing, and shipping
- Replacing stand-alone Access databases used to track product test results
- Implementing document control system to manage and control product related documents
- Integrating the quality system with manufacturing operations to meet its growing requirements
Inovo decided to move forward with Plex as an end-to-end solution for its business. The SaaS environment played a key role in the decision due to its streamlined implementation process and limited hardware requirements. Throughout the implementation, Inovo only spent time on value-added activities like designing business processes, rather than evaluating and installing hardware and software for on-site clients and servers. Inovo was able to install Plex for a fraction of the cost of a traditional ERP system. For implementation services, Plex recommended Baker Tilly.
"If you measure it, it will improve — and now we can measure things we couldn't measure before." Michael Mulroy, COO at Inovo, Inc.
Implementation at Inovo
Deployment deadlines were aggressive: the contract was signed in the fall of 2009 and Inovo wanted the system operational before the new year.
After carefully evaluating Inovo’s business requirements, Baker Tilly was engaged to implement Plex Online’s SaaS enterprise resource planning solution, which includes enterprise resource planning (ERP), manufacturing execution systems (MES), quality management, customer relationship management (CRM), shop floor integration, and more.
Implemented in phases, the first phase included manufacturing, inventory management, job/work order system, and financial management including sales order entry, accounts payable, and accounts receivable. In phase two, the quality control modules were added, eliminating reliance on the various Access databases acquired from Chad Therapeutics.
The Baker Tilly team applied its four-phase methodology for implementation and business process re-engineering to implement Plex Online at Inovo. The solution was implemented across the following business processes and went into live production on January 4, 2010:
- Demand management
- Manufacturing planning and scheduling
- Inventory management
- Quality management
- Finance and accounting
- Human resources
- Quality control
- Daily scrap monitoring and reporting, increasing visibility into the worth and reason for scrap
- Tracking machine utilization and work productivity center by center
- Rapid and reliable access to data with few downtime issues
“The cost savings don’t end with implementation — we will shortly start tracking payroll hours in the system, having employees clock in and out of Plex. This will allow us to cancel our contract for ADP Time Clock Management and the lease for the time clocks — saving us thousands,” reports COO Michael Mulroy.
Baker Tilly offers a dedicated manufacturing consulting team with deep vertical knowledge and exceptional Plex Online systems skills. The Baker Tilly Manufacturing Consulting Practice applies best practice methodologies to business process re-engineering and successfully implements corporate-wide ERP business solutions. Baker Tilly takes the complexity and risk out of challenging ERP deployments. For success with Plex Online, connect with Baker Tilly at 800 362 7301.