MISSISSAUGA, Ont.–A Toronto company says its software can have manufacturers up and running towards savings in no time.

pVelocity Inc. launched The Profitability Dash on Thursday. The enterprise resource planning (ERP)

system “”bolt on”” is a four part suite: scorecard reporting, sales forecasting, product and customer profitability analysis and manufacturing footprint analysis.

According to its president and CEO Ron Shulman, Dash downloads key ERP data into its database and manipulates it in a variety of “”what if”” scenarios. The subsequent reports and intelligence can be used to plot the company’s course.

Rick Lijana is the vice-president, global manufacturing for ONDEO Nalco, an early user of Dash. He said the water treatment and process chemicals company installed Dash across its plants in North America. He said it has already realized US$36 million in savings, increased plant asset utilization to more than 85 per cent, up from 30 per cent, and the software paid for itself within two months.

Faris Shammas, executive director, Ontario of the Canadian Plastics Industry Association, echoes Lijana’s praise. He said Canada has fallen behind the United States in terms of production over the past 20 years, but there is a ray of light. Judging by the results from various pilot projects he’s witnessed in the plastics manufacturing industry, he says Dash has improved productivity and profits.

“”This is really the most cost effective way for Canadian companies to close that gap,”” Shammas said and added that one company saw a profit increase of 63 per cent.

The pilot projects offered a number of lessons. Shammas said firms don’t necessarily know where the “”real”” costs are, they don’t always know which products are profitable and most profitable, and different parts of the company aren’t always working in harmony.

pVelocity vice-president, technology, Jim Haggart said it usually handles the integration with thecustomer and the time varies. Getting the software up and running is the easy part, he warned. Getting useable data from the ERP is another story.

Lijana agreed.

“”The real integration time is not the technology piece, it’s the data piece. You’ll plug in Dash and you’ll get it (results) in a matter of days. But then you’ve got to go in and validate the data, and you’re going to find 1,000 mistakes,”” Lijana said.

IT managers can take heart, however, because once the system is up and running it is virtually maintenance free according to Shamma. He said one project at company of 60 people didn’t have an IT department at the beginning, but did eventually hire one person for the job.

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