Priema turns necessity into a virtue

How a necessary ERP migration improves supply chain collaboration

Priema is a metal processing company with a specialism in the deformation of various metals, such as steel, copper and stainless steel. Operations that Priema performs include: deep drawing, punching, welding, assembling and wet painting. The company has two locations in the Netherlands (Hoevelaken and Hardenberg) and also a location in the Czech Republic.

Priema supplies metal parts to a wide range of companies, including Miele, Liebherr, Honeywell, and Bosch. One of the largest customers is PACCAR with whom Priema has maintained close chain cooperation for many years. Priema supplies parts to four PACCAR locations: DAF Eindhoven, DAF Westerlo, DAF Brazil and Leyland UK.

Bert Jan Roesink, director at Priema, explains:

“Through EDI, we get a full sales forecast for a year. A number of weeks are fixed, those are orders. The rest is prognosis. Based on this forecast, we plan our production and our purchase to material suppliers. All communication with PACCAR is electronic via EDI. We are fully integrated, both on the order receiving side and on the delivery side.”

Born out of necessity

The trajectory we have embarked on was actually born out of necessity, explains Bert Jan Roesink:

“Our ERP package Vantage 6 (predecessor of Epicor) was in need of replacement. We ran into two specific issues: the software was no longer supported by the supplier. Because of the age, no one had any more substantive knowledge of this package. In addition, Vantage 6 ran on an outdated 32-bit server environment that was no longer supported by Microsoft.”

For these reasons, Priema decides to migrate to the latest version of Epicor. In addition to the ERP migration, this meant that the EDI links with paccar’s four branches also had to be rebuilt from scratch, because Epicor processes the information in a completely different way than the old Vantage 6.

Special cooperation between two specialists

In order to steer this project in the right direction, Priema has appointed two specialists:

  • Scherpthe, premium Epicor partner for the migration of the ERP system.
  • OMS International for the chain integration with PACCAR and the associated EDI link.

Scherpthe and OMS International complement each other well, says Wouter van den Heuvel, owner of Scherpthe:

“Our expertise lies in the capabilities of Epicor. We know very well what we need from PACCAR to get the right information in Epicor for Priema. OMS International is strong in EDI and the mapping from PACCAR. Their strength lies in understanding what PACCAR needs from us. We then translate this together into what Priema needs in Epicor. In this way we complement each other flawlessly.”

Priema’s ambitions

Priema decides to turn necessity into a virtue and wants to immediately realize a number of important improvements during the migration:

  • An EDI connection with DAF Brazil, which was not there before.
  • An EDI monitor that gives Priema insight into changes that PACCAR makes to orders and forecasts, so that they can respond to them in a timely manner.
  • Covering more software-based security at the request of the planner, so that the process is less error-prone and fewer manual checks are required.

Mr. Roesink talks about the wishes within the planning process:

“Our planner has the need to plan as reliably as possible. This means that the forecasts must be as good as possible. This requires information. For example, the planner wants to know which products will receive minor adjustments or will be phased out and in what kind of packaging they should be delivered. PACCAR sends all this data into their messages, but that means we have to check all that information and get it into our system in the right way.”

By wind and weather

In order to get the project off to a good start, OMS International and Scherpthe invest at the start in an extensive brainstorming session about the common approach. They decide not to set up the messages for the four PACCAR locations separately, but to create one incomplete message that contains all the information that is needed, so that there is only one mapping towards Epicor. Instead of four mappings, there is one large mapping.

This decision saved a lot of time, but as with any project, there are also factors that slow down the process. In this case a very big one: Corona.

Bert Jan Roesink on the challenges during the corona crisis:

“We wanted to have the three Priema branches live at the same time. The implementation, especially at priema’s foreign branch, was far from easy due to Corona. At one location they ran faster than at the other. The available capacity of people was a limiting factor here, from which we learned a lot. The project has therefore taken longer than we had hoped for, but what counts for us is the end result: we managed to go live with all branches in the Netherlands and the Czech Republic at the same time. And that go-live went smoothly!”

Reliable planning process and saving of manpower

“Our planning process is now much more reliable and requires less time. Many more checks are captured with software so that fewer errors creep through. Errors that we previously had to filter out manually. A nice side effect is that the second planner that started with us was trained in a much shorter time, because much more is automatically captured. There is only a small list of points that the planner has to look at manually,” says Bert Jan enthusiastically.

In addition, Bert Jan points to the savings that the EDI link provides:

“The EDI link provides us with a lot of savings on manpower. On the delivery side with PACCAR we are now fully EDI linked. Every day, 80 to 90 code numbers go over the EDI lines. Each code number has an invoice. If we have to create and send all those invoices by hand, you can check how much work we save. In addition, we prevent errors. When processing manually, you always have to deal with errors in numbers, shipping method or items. The EDI link guarantees us a high degree of reliability.”

Scherpthe and OMS International are also content. In the first place because Priema is satisfied with the end result, but also because the collaboration tastes like more.

“When two parties complement each other well, such as Scherpthe and OMS, we achieve synergy and that is pure profit for our customers. That is why I am already looking forward to the next project that we can tackle in collaboration with Scherpthe”, says Arthur Dekker, sales and marketing manager at OMS International.

About Scherpthe B.V.

Scherpthe B.V., based in Eindhoven, is the proud partner and Dutch distributor of Epicor ERP Software. Started as a small startup in 2012, Scherpthe now has years of experience with Epicor ERP; both with implementations with new users, and upgrades with existing Epicor users.

Scherpthe is therefore today the Dutch preferred partner of Epicor ERP for companies that want to optimize their digital working environment in the cloud and cash in on their growth ambitions.

About OMS International

OMS International, based in Leerdam, is an expert in data integration and electronic B2B/B2G communication using EDI. For more than 30 years, OMS International has been using expertise and experience for companies in various industries.

Every EDI issue requires a specific approach, tailor-made solutions. Thanks to its broad range of services, OMS can guide and carry out the entire process. From analysis to implementation and support. Just like every organization, every service of OMS International is unique. The company distinguishes itself by quality, smooth cooperation and good service.