RSM helps AmTote gain manufacturing and inventory visibility
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AmTote International, Inc. is a privately held technology services company based in Hunt Valley, Maryland. The company develops software, manufactures hardware and operates systems for pari-mutuel and fixed-odds wagering operators around the globe. AmTote is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Stronach Group, one of the premier horse racetrack operators in the world; the company manufactures betting machines for those tracks, as well as many additional facilities and off-track betting locations worldwide.
In 2013, AmTote was referred to RSM US LLP by Microsoft to replace an unsupported version of Microsoft Dynamics GP and upgrade to a modern, supported Dynamics GP 2013 platform. Since that successful implementation, AmTote has experienced steady growth in demand for its betting machines, and soon required a more effective tracking platform. AmTote had historically tracked many manufacturing and inventory processes within Excel, and with larger orders on the horizon, the company was concerned about outgrowing those spreadsheets.
RSM suggested implementing the manufacturing module within Dynamics GP 2013 to introduce automation to critical functions and stronger demand planning. The manufacturing module, as well as other modules, was included in the Dynamics GP 2013 core package, so the company would not need any additional license purchases.
Prior to the Dynamics GP manufacturing module implementation, the RSM team developed a pilot program to provide a proof of concept and verify that the platform would meet AmTote’s unique needs. RSM gathered AmTote’s requirements, examined the processes it conducted in Excel, and set Dynamics GP up in a test environment.
The pilot program determined that the manufacturing module would bring significant additional visibility and efficiency to AmTote’s processes.
“The pilot program was very helpful,” said Lisa Schoener, AmTote’s accounting manager. “We discovered there were a lot of necessary things that we were missing, and once we started the pilot program, we realized what we needed to do.”
The RSM team began the transition to the Dynamics GP manufacturing module by bringing automation to AmTote’s raw materials. RSM initiated a process to assign SKUs, along with valuation and costing methods, which provided inventory insight that AmTote never had before. Instead of only tracking finished goods, the company now has complete inventory visibility, from raw materials to finished goods and work in progress. The automation enables stronger demand planning to help understand what AmTote has on hand, what it must order and what the timing is to deliver finished goods.
Additionally, RSM implemented the multibin functionality within the Dynamics GP manufacturing module, allowing AmTote to track bin locations within its warehouse. The company now has a better perspective on the overall value of its inventory and where it is located at all times, increasing the efficiency of the picking, processing and packing functions. RSM also introduced lot tracking into AmTote’s inventory, so employees can accurately perform first-in-first-out picking, rather than relying on their intuition.
RSM also helped AmTote leverage the Dynamics GP manufacturing module’s materials requirements planning (MRP) capabilities. Instead of manually evaluating inventory and potentially discovering that not enough of a specific material is on hand, the system will suggest purchase orders to maintain necessary inventory levels. This process saves time, streamlines purchasing and helps to avoid material shortages.
“The MRP functionality brings all of the factors together from our inventory together into one place, from what we need to purchase, to what we need to get our assembly group to build,” said Allen Collins, AmTote’s manager of purchasing and logistics. “It helps us more effectively manage our inventory and decrease the time to get a project together from beginning to end.”
In addition, by implementing the Dynamics GP manufacturing module, the RSM team updated AmTote’s cost accounting processes. The company has greater insight into labor accounts and how those costs flow into manufacturing, as well as the associated inventory costs. AmTote can take a deeper dive into not just inventory valuation, but all of the overall facets of its profit and loss statement. Ultimately, AmTote has more overall visibility into its true costs and assets in the manufacturing process.
“We needed to tie in soft labor costs to understand how much it truly costs to build our products,” commented Collins. “Rather than having a guesstimate or a lot of excess paper flying around, we liked that it can tie labor into the process, and we get a more accurate labor-fielded cost for what we build.”
With the manufacturing module, AmTote can target the profitability of a specific order and track variances to determine if any process adjustments are necessary. The company can quickly view actual labor time versus what is recorded, purchase price versus standard costs, and full purchase order and sales order processing in addition to inventory and manufacturing data.
Accurately determining the true profit on large orders was difficult and almost impossible in Excel, which worried AmTote as larger orders continued to come in. However, with the Dynamics GP manufacturing module, tracking costing from when materials come in to when orders go out is one common, concise thread. The company knows if it is billing enough, whether it is obtaining raw materials inexpensively enough and where potential efficiencies can be gained.
“We now have that true cost of what it takes to build our terminals,” said Collins. “They could include from 360 to 400 part numbers per item, and having a much more accurate cost is very beneficial. We can also produce that number very quickly, given the current scenario of the market, whereas before, it would have been quite a task and a long process.”
Following the manufacturing module implementation, RSM helped guide AmTote through training to help employees best utilize the new platform.
“After the implementation, RSM trained our team, going through the new screens and the new processes for us,” said Collins. “They even developed workflow charts for us and held our hands in the first few days of the process to make sure we were comfortable with the system, and they were always available for follow up conversations afterwards.”
RSM’s implementation of the Dynamics GP 2013 manufacturing module provided AmTote with a much higher level of visibility into its inventory and manufacturing processes. The module helped the company understand its specific costs and profits from orders, enabling more effective decision-making. In addition, the implementation introduced greater efficiency in AmTote’s manufacturing and inventory processes, significantly reducing the time that was previously spent manually recording information in Excel.
Key benefits of RSM’s Dynamics GP 2013 manufacturing module implementation for AmTote included:
· Greater insight into manufacturing and inventory processes without the need for additional license investments
· Increased automation for stronger demand planning
· Stronger ability to accurately determine materials and labor costs and order profitability
· Enhanced tracking capabilities to understand the status and value of raw materials and work in progress
They said it
“RSM was very helpful, providing direction and guidance throughout the entire process. They learned enough about us to know exactly where we wanted to go with the module and stood shoulder to shoulder, side by side with us in the decisions that we made.”
Allen Collins, Manager of Purchasing and Logistics, AmTote