Scott Electronics is a successful contract manufacturer that builds cables and assemblies for various industries such as medical and homeland security. Operating in a high-mix low-volume environment, their focus lies within wire and cable harnessing. They also specialize in MRI technology, TSA equipment in airports, and many other products.
Just like VKS, Scott Electronics is a family-run business. Established in 1986, they now operate out of two locations: the first in Salem, New Hampshire (U.S.) and the second in Nogales, Sonora (Mexico). With nearly 200 employees in both facilities, Scott Electronics is ISO and ITAR-certified, among many other certifications.
This VKS use case was conducted alongside the user experience testimonial of brothers Scott Metzemaekers, Scott Electronics' Director of Quality, his brother, David Metzemaekers, the Director of Operations, as well as Jason Caverly, the Operations Manager.
As it happens with most manufacturing companies, Scott Electronics experienced its fair share of challenges. Most of these stemmed from attempts to sustain change and innovation, all the while standardizing work, and establishing KPI analysis.
However, obstacles also presented themselves when it came time to schedule the customer’s variations and demands, while trying to remain flexible.
Although Scott Electronics initially appeared to find a solution to their problems by implementing a new ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), along with an MRP (Material Requirements Planning), it simply wasn’t enough.
"Switching to these two platforms further highlighted a growing need for work instructions that can also collect data."
As an aspiring lean manufacturing company, Scott Electronics turned to VKS in order to increase productivity, improve efficiency, and lower costs. According to them, VKS Solutions turned out to be the missing piece needed to sustain best practices and truly become a visual factory.
Solution 1: Going Paperless
Prior to the advent of digital documentation, each work table on the Scott Electronics shop floor was inundated with printed instructions filled with complicated verbiage.
Due to lack of process standardization, operators proceeded with their own individual ways of working, thereby creating multiple variations of the same product. This made retaining control over the shop floor a difficult process.
"For this contract manufacturer, substituting paper work instructions in favor of digital ones became more than a need; it turned into being a necessity."
Since becoming a lean manufacturer, Scott Electronics now enjoys a greater level of quality, efficiency, and control. Having standardized visual work instructions enabled operators to complete every product in the exact same way each time.
Solution 2: A Manufacturing GPS
VKS is a versatile tool with a range of benefits for companies, but Scott Electronics has their own way of describing the solution.
In their own words, VKS reminds them of the transition made from the map to the GPS. Whereas paper maps are large, quickly outdated, and difficult to read, GPS navigation provides trustworthy information in real-time that is easy to understand.
“In the past when you wanted to drive somewhere you had to pull out this big clunky map. You didn’t know if it was outdated, it was hard to read, and you couldn't use it easily while driving. Then the GPS came out and guaranteed information in real-time, that was always up-to-date, and easy to understand. That's what VKS does for manufacturing. Everyone used to use paper (the map), and now they have the option to use tools like VKS (the GPS) where operators can see information in real-time while they are working, in a visual, intuitive way. The impact and benefit that derive from this will help lead manufacturers into a new era of operational excellence.”
"In the same way that paper maps are now obsolete, so has VKS transformed into being seen as the GPS of the manufacturing world -- a manufacturing GPS!"
As a result of the VKS software implementation, operators are now able to view crucial information in a visual and easy-to-follow way. For Scott Electronics, the ensuing impact and benefits also allowed them to shift into a new era of operational excellence, situating them miles ahead of the competition.
Solution 3: Collecting Data
As a high mix, low to high-volume manufacturer, it is important for Scott Electronics to collect information that is accurate. However, this can be especially hard within a high turnover and complex schedules. Selling products on a global scale also requires world-class standards.
"As Scott Electronics sells highly targeted products, using the VKS visual and precise work instructions turned out to be a seamless and intuitive decision. It also helped strengthen communication between departments and reduce waste."
By using the VKS data collection feature, Scott Electronics is capable of ensuring that quality processes and products are outputted each time. They are also able to grow their market share with an effective quality management system.
The Result: A Lean Manufacturer
Beyond a doubt, Scott Electronics is an Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS) company focused on continuous improvement. Proud to be apart of this initiative, VKS is looking forward to accompanying this aspiring lean manufacturer on their ongoing journey to excellence.
Along with reducing variation and increasing efficiency, implementing VKS Enterprise helped Scott Electronics identify the strengths and weaknesses of their existing processes.
With VKS by its side, Scott Electronics also enhanced their overall capacity and effectiveness as a result of increased throughput. They are now quick to make informed decisions for the greater benefit of the company as a whole.
In any company, the people are always the driving force behind great success. As a “for the people, by the people” kind of company, they know that their people are the heart and soul of their company.
More importantly, Scott Electronics explains that their customers are among some of VKS’ biggest supporters.
Thanks to standardized processes, enhanced traceability, and the visual environment, their customers are delighted to work with a smart factory representing Industry 4.0!
According to Scott Electronics,
"VKS is a dynamic company with a multi-faceted platform. As a software solution born within the manufacturing world, it is a vital tool to quickly identify and solve their challenges."
Ready to try the VKS experience? Make sure to book a demo. It’s free and will allow you to get the answers to any questions you may have. You can also check out more VKS use cases to find out the different ways our clients have implemented our software.