ICM Products

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.

Industry - Chemical Manufacturing

Chemical Manufacturing


Cassopolis, MI

NexTec ERP icon
System Selected

Sage X3

Key Results

On-time delivery rose from 50% to 96+%

Inventory holdings reduced by 22%

EBITDA increased by 1.5%

Main Functionalities

Here’s how NexTec Group and Sage X3 helped solve ICM Products’ challenges.

Strategic Planning Pays Off

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.

Proven Partners

Following the successful implementation of its barcode/RFID initiative, ICM engaged 4aBetterBusiness and NexTec to lead the effort to implement the Sage X3 ADC module.

“NexTec Group is a great resource for the ADC implementation,” says Paul Vragel, President of 4aBetterBusiness. “NexTec is experienced and knowledgeable in the internal workings and functionality of Sage X3 and ADC, and has experts on staff capable of addressing any of the implementation issues encountered. Their responsiveness was great.”

Vragel cites an example in which he emailed the NexTec primary contact for ICM about an issue at 5:20 pm on a Friday afternoon. Expecting not to hear back until Monday, he instead received a call 10 minutes later, with not only the answer to the question, but also with additional insight on the best use of the functionality.

22% Reduction in Inventory

The thorough preparation through process reviews and implementation changes supported by 4aBetterBusiness and NexTec led to big dividends for ICM. Before noon on the day the old system was switched off and the new system switched on, the first orders using the entire end-to-end system were being successfully processed.

With the data scanned and transmitted directly into Sage X3, ICM is enjoying a 22% reduction in inventory, improved order processing time, a greater than 96% on-time delivery rate and a net earnings boost of 1.5%.

“We’re delighted with the process and outcomes, and the support provided by 4aBetterBusiness and NexTec Group”, concludes Cottington. “As impressive as those results are, we’re especially pleased with the way the process developed the engagement and buying of our employees. This will enable ICM to sustain those gains and achieve ongoing improvements in performance and profits.”

“We’re delighted with the process and outcomes, and by the support provided by NexTec and 4aBetterBusiness.”
Levi Cottington
CEO, ICM Products
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