ANCA builds CNC tool grinding machines. It’s a niche industry, but also one of the cornerstones of discrete parts manufacturing. These machines produce the cutting tools other machine tools use to cut metal. They’re complex machines assembled from thousands of parts, many purchased from highly specialized manufacturers. In some cases, only one or two companies in the world can produce the components ANCA needs. Inevitably, the procurement process is complex and challenging to manage.
Our full case study provides details of how the QAD Supplier Portal helped ANCA streamline their purchasing processes. Here’s a summary of how our QAD Supplier Portal solution worked for ANCA and their suppliers.
Purchasing for Complex Products
Thousands of parts go into a CNC tool grinding machine. These include motors, spindles, bearings, slideways and electronic controls. Each part must be manufactured to the highest standards possible if the assembled machine is to deliver the speed, precision and surface finish that users demand.
ANCA builds their machines in Australia but these precision components are sourced from around the world. In some cases, only one or two companies are capable of making the components ANCA needs, and lead times can be up to 12 months. Machines can’t be built and shipped without having the right parts in inventory, but at the same time, keeping parts on the shelf consumes space and cash. A more complex purchasing activity is hard to imagine!
Procurement System Improvement Goals
Recognizing the vital importance of procurement to their business, ANCA management set about finding a tool to help. Their goals were to:
- Streamline the purchasing process
- Improve supplier communications
- Get better visibility of goods in transit
- Switch from purchase orders to supplier schedules
- Manage consignment inventory
A technology some businesses use for purchasing is Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). ANCA explored this but concluded it wasn’t going to work for their base of small, geographically dispersed suppliers.
QAD Supplier Portal Proves to Be the Right Solution
After a thorough search, ANCA management decided the QAD Supplier Portal was the best answer for their needs. Designed to enable supplier collaboration and provide inventory visibility, they particularly appreciated its cloud-based design and ability to support purchasing models ranging from discrete orders to Kanban and VMI.
For ANCA a cloud-based solution offered the flexibility of access from any place at any time. Dealing with suppliers in Europe, Asia and North America from their Southern Hemisphere location, this was particularly appealing.
A third feature attracting their attention was the ease of integration with different Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) applications. While ANCA already used a QAD ERP solution, they appreciated how easily it worked with the systems in place at suppliers.
Supplier Collaboration Benefits Realized
Implementation proceeded quickly and smoothly with benefits being seen within a few days. Said Vignesh Kodaganallur, Team Leader, ANCA Supply Chain Planning, “With an intuitive user experience, it was quick to train users and it easily integrates with our existing system.”
Today the QAD Supplier Portal is helping ANCA realize savings in ordering and expediting costs. Thanks in part to the built-in proactive alerts, communication with suppliers is much improved and the rate of errors has come down dramatically. There’s better visibility into in-transit inventory and problems reconciling consigned inventory have been eliminated.
Streamlined Component Procurement
Purchasing components for world-class CNC tool grinders is still complicated, and it always will be, but the QAD Supplier Portal has made it much easier to manage. There’s more information in the full case study.