Technology Succeeds with Innovation
Business Intelligence portal tracks key performance indicators and improved production for CSC.
Corrugated Supplies Company (CSC), headquartered in Bedford Park, Illinois, is a manufacturer and distributor of corrugated cardboard sheets. CSC operates three plants in Illinois, Indiana and Alabama. CSC has made substantial investments in equipment, software, technology and people to position itself as the premier firm in the custom-run niche of the corrugated cardboard industry. From its use of sustainable materials and green technology to indoor park spaces, including a pond, for employee morale, CSC is as innovative on the outside as they are on the inside.
With plants in three states, CSC was looking to standardize the way it monitored and measured the activities on the production floor at all plants. CSC has a custom ERP system that continuously collects data from the manufacturing process at multiple points. Previously, this data was distributed though Microsoft Excel® reports and pivot tables, and various other formats, but managing the latency and version resulted in problems. In addition, Excel® was not a good delivery mechanism to the plant floor hourly employees. CSC wanted a universal delivery of the company’s performance to all management and personnel. It wanted to eliminate some of the manual processes and reports built outside of the system to measure results.
CSC sought a methodology to collect, report and analyze shift and daily production metrics. Armed with this information, CSC could then understand and improve individual shift production numbers. Before this business intelligence solution was implemented, it could take days to determine if a problem was occurring with a particular shift or machine. CSC needed a business intelligence solution that would enable the company to accurately collect data and report on problems, saving significant time and money. One of the goals was to show the progress of production’s performance throughout the week to determine if the business was meeting production goals.
SWC started by designing and developing a robust extract, transform and load (ETL) solution architecture to improve data quality. This solution runs plant, machine and shift data and completes the process in less than three minutes. SWC then created an analysis services cube which calculates metrics for measuring production. All of CSC’s productivity and waste formulas from user-defined Microsoft Excel® workbooks were reverse-engineered into the cube.
SWC established a SharePoint® site for each plant where a shift dashboard was deployed. Each shift dashboard has a scorecard for the shift with related analysis content. The Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for the shift include:
- Average Speed (feet per minute)
- Overall waste percentage
- Wet end waste and sub waste numbers
- Uptime with downtime details and analysis
- Ratio or partial paper rolls consumed and zone percentage
The solution implemented by SWC captures all production metrics related to paper consumption and finished unit production. All of the production data is captured in a single production cube utilizing five key statistic measure groups, including inventory, roll stock consumption, speed log, corrugator statistics and unit manager statistics.
The business intelligence solution immediately improved data accuracy and reporting for CSC. Reporting processes and the ability to analyze information for more timely decisions also improved. The solution helped to reduce waste percentages, which translate into cost savings.
Based on the success of the initial project, SWC went on to build additional cubes that incorporated CSC’s shipping, customer service and accounting department’s metrics.