ICM Products Reduces Inventory and Boosts Profits
Manual data entry and a lack of automated workflows and data controls were affecting ICM’s on-time delivery performance. NexTec and 4aBetterBusiness teamed up to design and implement a robust automated data collection solution based on Sage X3.
About ICM Products
ICM Products Inc. manufactures an industry-leading array of chemical compounds including silicone polymers, defoamers and specialty emulsions for a wide variety of applications. Its engineers draw on nearly 50 years of experience to develop custom chemical compositions that meet the exacting requirements of its commercial and industrial customers. The company has grown from a single US location to an international operation with offices in the US, England, Italy and China and sales of over $80 million. ICM’s partnership with NexTec Group and 4aBetterBusiness have set the company on a firm foundation for continued growth and success.
Here’s how NexTec Group and Sage X3 helped solve ICM Products’ challenges.
Recognizing a major opportunity for ICM, 4aBetterBusiness proposed that the product labeling take place during the company’s annual inventory count. ICM’s CEO, Levi Cottington, and CFO Tom Gawlik, both agreed that this was the right opportunity to introduce bar coding/RFID technology.
The inventory count was to be conducted in just three week’s time, resulting in a short window for ICM and NexTec. Both firms had confidence that their teams were up to the challenge, and decided to divide the project into two phases. In phase one, inventory would be properly labeled and counted, and the data capturing devices would be rolled out. Phase two would involve the implementation of the Sage X3 ADC module to fully automate the collection of operational data.
With NexTec’s assistance, ICM procured and configured the necessary hardware and equipment, including mobile scanners, printers and bar code/RFID labels, while 4BetterBusiness defined and documented workflows, oversaw the labeling of the warehouse and delivered operator training.
The planning and execution paid off: in just three weeks, ICM had a fully labeled and lined-out warehouse, labels on all its products and was capturing data using its mobile scanners.
“This initial system gave us immediate improvement in the quality of data capture,” says Chad Pickle, Director of Supply Chain for ICM. Pickle also noted additional benefits the company is realizing, including: reduced errors by eliminating handwritten data recording and transcription, reduced time spent finding and handling materials and reduced frequency of materials-related changes in the company’s production schedule.