Eifel Success: Proprietary Access-Based ERP System Enhances Efficiency
While others use standard ERP systems, Eifel goes beyond the basics with a proprietary, customized system that provides us with a comprehensive resource for customers’ projects.
Eifel uses a custom ERP system built in Microsoft Access that started out as a simple quoting system but has evolved into much more over the past 20 years.
Our in-house system allows for a comprehensive project order list and quoting process. Due to our detailed and customized process, price quotes are typically more accurate than they would be through an external ERP system. In fact, our quotes are usually spot on, and that’s only one of many factors that differentiates Eifel from its competitors.
“These are educated quotes because we understand the job! As a professional and expert in this business, it comes down to understanding the details of the job, how to break down the moving parts into measurable metrics, and then fulfilling our commitment to the customer,” Owner Rick Hecker said.
Many times, other companies provide very vague and unresearched quotes upfront that end up fluctuating as the project progresses.
On the other hand, we do our heavy-lifting in regard to research beforehand, so Eifel’s initial quotes and estimations are educated and right on par with the end result. Our sophisticated system therefore adds value for our customers, as it enables them to better plan their projects in regard to timing and budgeting.
How the Eifel Success ERP System Began
Eifel Success is the result of diligent consideration of details, the application of tribal knowledge, and many years of varied experience.
When Eifel began researching commercial enterprise resource planning systems, we found that in addition to being outrageously expensive, the software put us in a position where we had to conform our process to its way of doing things.
Instead, our custom system, Eifel Success, reflects our process and grows with it. Updates and changes can be made to the ERP system as soon as they have been vetted and approved by the team. There is no need to pay annual subscription fees and wait for updates.
In the early stages of our custom ERP system, there were several database files in various stages of functionality. Eifel Works got its name because it was the file that “worked.” Hence the name, Eifel Works.
Over the years as Eifel’s process matured, so did Eifel Works. In 2013, Controller Wendy Tabor learned Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) code, and the entire system was revamped, becoming much more sophisticated, automated, and able to manage a plethora of items. All the pertinent details are captured and analyzed in one central location accessible to everyone. Thus, the name was changed to Eifel Success.
Functions of the Job Costing Database
Eifel Success is a job costing database that offers comprehensive management and organization of projects. It manages the following:
- Labor, materials, and outsource cost breakdowns
- Customer information
- Supplier information
- Bills of lading (domestic and international)
- Labor and machine hours
- Equipment lists, repairs
- Work orders
- Task lists per department
- Bills of materials
- Stock and components list
- Billing projections
- Quality documents, actions, audits, checklists, etc.
- Employee lists and training
Upon opening Eifel Success, the user, if they are a manager, is prompted with the option to run queries that provide a real-time, true cost of where the job stands at that moment.
Every purchase, outsource, labor/machine hour, quality concern, shipper is linked to the job. Upon the design’s approval, the Job Workbook is completed. The workbook is a list of all the components of the job that must be manufactured or modified. For instance, using Eifel Success, we can determine the exact cost and history of a component through the process.
This information is linked per job component and is readily available:
- Material breakdown containing preliminary sizes and budgeted amounts for steel purchase
- Outsource breakdown containing budgeted amount for grinding or heat treating as applicable
- Actual cost to purchase steel block/plate and its due data
- Actual cost to grind the plate to size or harden a block
- Shippers show when an item went to outsource, when it returned, and who signed for it.
- A task for the item alerts the CNC department that there is data ready and an item to be machined
- Labor hours recorded per machine, per person
- Notes regarding machine are included in the task list screen
- Quality concerns are also linked if applicable
- Summary report showing how much it cost to manufacture the item
Real-time tracking allows us to closely monitor Eifel’s process and a job component’s progress through it.
The job dashboard contains all information related to a job, such as:
- Quote line items
- Part numbers
- Data file names and receipt dates
- Customer contacts
- Type of work
- General description of mold
- Quoted vs. actual labor and purchases
- Bill of ladings to customers including international NAFTA documentation (soon to be updated to USMCA)
- Shippers to outsource suppliers
- Cost breakdowns: labor, outsource, raw materials per component and purchases
- Data incoming and outgoing summaries
- Lineups for engineering changes
- Job notes/audits
- Record of actual purchases
- Meeting minutes/reviews
- Workbook/bill of materials (to be provided to the customer)
- Work order
- Quality concerns
- Tryout process
- Resin received for tryouts
- Tryout process sheet for multiple tryouts
- Invoicing, including progressive payments
- Payments received
- Rework costs
- Records of samples provided by the customer
The CNC task list includes:
- Tap drill charts
- A speeds and feeds calculator
- A treadmilling chart
- Layer and color-coding information
- Component identification number
- Steel type
- Finish sizes
- Data file to be used
- Percentage complete
- Machining notes
Once the item is completely machined, it is checked complete and removed from the list.
In addition to all of the above features, Eifel Success contains information unrelated to specific jobs, such as equipment lists, repair logs, employee lists, and training information and resources.
Eifel Success is an excellent tool for internal resource planning and keeping a project on track.
The system itself also contains historical data on previous projects that you can pull up and reference for existing projects.
“Once a job becomes active in the system, we now have original records to follow the life of the job,” Rick said.
With Eifel Success, both our team and yours will be set up for success from Day One.