Coors Ceramics Revamps Information Systems
Coors Ceramics was spun off from the Adolph Coors Company in December 1992. Today, the company is one of the leading suppliers of ceramic materials and components to the semiconductor and laser industries anndd has developed a worldwide reputation for quality and precision.
Coors' old information system took as long as two days to process new orders. Because of delays and inaccuracies in processing; there was no way a salesperson could track the exact status of a particular customer's order. With 1,500 orders coming in monthly, that was a huge problem. To compensate for the processing delays, Coors would produce more components than it had received orders for so that it couuld build up inventory to meet customers' desired delivery dates. Although it did help meet customer demnd, this approach raised inventory levels, production costs, and overhead costs. Customer delivery was also a problem. The old system could track shipments only on a weekly basis. If a customer wanted an order on Monday, and Coors shipped it by the following Saturday, the system logged that order as being on time. When customers called to complain, the salesperson woould get no valid data from the system other than an incorrect "shipped on time report".
It was clear that improvements were needed; however, before investing in new information systems, Coors defined three key business goals that the new system must achieve: First, Coors had to increase customer satisfaction. Salespeopplle werre uder tremendous pressure to get information for customers - which in turn prevented them fro developing new orders and selling products. Second, Coors wanted to reduce lead times. If work-in-progress, inventory and delivery schedules could be reduced, then Coors could fulfill more customer orders. Third, Coors needed to reduce operating costs.
Coors' approach to meeting these goals required...