Vishay Precision Group measures the success of a new supply chain solution

The Vishay precision Group (VPG) is an international manufacturer of highly technical and exceedingly robust measuring instruments.

The company makes the highest grade weighing tools and operates in a truly specialised market place where it has earned the highest respect for its exceptional service and attention to the highest detail.

When, in 2006, the UK arm of the business found that its then IT service provider was seen to be lacking in essential areas of the company’s supply chain management VPG found the answer right on its doorstep.

Based in Basingstoke VPG manages all of its manufacturing, orders, sales, accounts and dispatch for its UK operations and beyond. Operating a second hub in Bradford, Yorkshire the company prides itself on the highest levels of staff competence and customer service. According to VPG’s UK IT Manager Stuart Hollocks this is a quality that the company looks for in all of its business partners.

Showing all round competence

“When we decided that we had come to the end of the road with our previous service providers we knew that we needed to partner up with a company that would show us all round competence and commitment,” says Hollocks. “Luckily for us we found this just around the corner when we engaged the services of K3.”

VPG runs an exacting schedule within its manufacturing process, with many of its precision weighing gauges used in highly sensitive areas such as the weighing of aircraft, cargo vessels and payloads whilst also producing specialist gauges to measure stress and weighbridge requirements. The instruments and accessories brought to market by this remarkable engineering company really do cover the highest of health and safety issues.

The company’s Revere transducers and Evergreen Weigh systems are used worldwide, and all the company’s products must meet the stringent requirements called for when weighing all types of aircraft.

Hollocks explains the problems that VPG was facing with its supply chain software infrastructure and reporting. “We were facing numerous software issues, poor reporting and programming and we really needed a partner that could step straight in and eradicate all of these problems whilst we were working with our legacy suite of tools. They also needed to implement a new working platform that would be stable and easy to operate.

“Being a local company to us K3 quickly rectified our problems, eventually upgrading us to a Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 system that suited our needs and our potential growth as a business.”

“We were facing numerous software issues, poor reporting and programming and we really needed a partner that could step straight in and eradicate all of these problems whilst we were working with our legacy suite of tools.”

“Immediate improvements were seen in the speeding up of our order processing and procurement for manufacturing and also in the elimination of day to day human error.”

Keeping the business running

Microsoft Dynamics NAV is a business management solution that automates and streamlines business processes. Highly adaptable and rich with features, Microsoft Dynamics NAV enables companies to manage their business, including finance, manufacturing, sales, shipping, project management, services, and more.

Stuart Hollocks, Vishay Precision Group, IT Manager
Companies can easily add functionality that is relevant to any area of operation, and that is customised to support even highly specialised businesses such as VPG. Microsoft Dynamics NAV delivers comprehensive business management functionality, from financials to supply chain to manufacturing and more. It connects the many moving parts of the organisation, giving better visibility into and control over what’s going on within a businesses’ manufacturing process.

“After K3 assessed our needs and it came to the time to implement the project, we were adamant that our business be kept running during the change over period. When we spoke to K3 initially we stressed that everything we’d asked for be delivered in pretty keen lead times, and that’s exactly what they did.

“We worked towards making the changes over one weekend and closed down on the Friday and we were up and running with the new Dynamics NAV system by Monday lunchtime after spending the morning going through the new process with the team from K3. K3’s development team were instrumental in delivering the exacting programming that we called for and setting up the highly visible reporting platform that we needed.

“It was our intention to run a pilot scheme in advance of the change over and this ran prior to the new working process and gave our staff a massive advantage when it came to going live completely on Microsoft Dynamics NAV.”

Speeding up order processing

Hollocks confirms that improvements have been seen right across the VPG supply chain process since implementing Microsoft Dynamics NAV. “Immediate improvements were seen in the speeding up of our order processing and procurement for manufacturing and also in the elimination of day to day human error.”

The speedy accessing of reports is a mainstay of the VPG working day and according to Hollocks improvements have been registered right across the board. “Correct and timely reporting gives us a sturdy platform to operate and improve from. The streamlining that has been brought by Dynamics NAV has made things work how they should and helps us at all levels of our business.”

The face that Dynamics NAV gives VPG the joined up writing needed for manufacturing is something that hasn’t gone unnoticed by Hollocks. “We are benefitting on many levels including inventory control, manufacturing procurement, purchasing, sales and order processing and administration and accounts.

“Even in reverse logistics as many of our high level strain gauges and instruments have to be returned for vigorous verification and calibration assessments and adjustments during their working lifespan and we can now track and trace all of these tasks with ease.

“Running a tight ship is what VPG is all about so obviously we would expect the same of any of our business partners and service providers. We get this with K3 and we like the support that they give us. Everything that we asked K3 to do was delivered inside of very keen lead times.

“Their support network has been very good and we have developed a very tight working relationship. We feel both loved and looked after by them,” concludes Hollocks.