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Mike Micklewright
Consultant
Quality Quest
QualiFine Develops Cost Effective Tool To Give Operations Manager Instant Access To Critical Data

With over 25 years of manufacturing and management experience, Jamie Dobravec understands what it means to run lean while maintaining quality and working to improve production goals.   Dobravec is the Operations Manager for Grayhill, Inc., a manufacturer of standard and custom components for the commercial, industrial and military markets.  Like most managers doing more with less, he doesn't have a lot of extra time to run production data and analyze it.  Today's software tools are designed to streamline the process, but Jamie found retrieving the market intelligence he needed cumbersome and ineffective.  That's when he tapped Jay Bronec at QualiFine to help him optimize his software by developing a custom solution that would allow him to access the right data quickly.

"Everyone has an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) package these days," says Jamie.  "But the amount of data is overwhelming and takes too long to weed through.  Certain pieces of information are critical to running my business, but cutting and pasting the queries into an Excel sheet is a nuisance.  All of the information I needed was there, but there was no way to visualize it quickly."

While there are a lot of packages with high price tags on the market, Jamie says Jay's field experience and knowledge allowed him to be innovative.  "As a solution provider, I work to integrate disparate and/or under utilized programs into one unified system," Jay explained.   "I believe use of available resources is crucial to a successful system.  When Jamie asked me to create a dashboard, I wanted to know what software packages were currently in place.  His AS400 queries were resident in a reporting tool called Showcase which gave Jamie no visualization.  I used the existing queries and connected them with an inexpensive AS400 driver, then integrated that information into the GainSeeker Dashboard module."

For Jamie, the result was a cost effective dashboard that automated his queries while providing him with a powerful visualization tool. "One screen gives me a snapshot of where my business is at and the satisfaction level of my customers," Jamie said.  "We make over a hundred shipments a day and can't possibly monitor each one.  But as a result of the solution Jay integrated, the computer tracks those shipments and highlights any issues or problem areas."

The market intelligence Jamie needs has been streamlined into four queries which run automatically and are instantly available in an easy-to-use-format.  "With just a couple mouse clicks I can see exactly where I'm at in terms of monthly goals for sales, gross profit margin, on time deliveries and first pass yield targets," says Jamie.  "Because of Jay's know-how, I've got a low cost ERP analysis tool that captures my data and allows me to drill down to just what I need.  We didn't create new data.  Jay designed a process that provided me with a different approach to using it."

With the new dashboard system, every company transaction is recorded.  The dashboard's speedometer gives Jamie percentages for key factors such as which deliveries are on time and which shipments may be a problem.  Detailed information is visualized for quick reference.

"What I love about this system is that with one click I can access the metrics that I track and know whether I'm below or above goal.  I can look at the metrics graphically and get as much detail as I need to make much better decisions which is positive for the overall performance of the company."


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