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Cracking a Rubik’s Cube inventory challenge

How Exceptional Software Solutions, LLC, an Exact Macola Channel partner, helps AMI Bearings address inventory management to keep 50K interchangeable parts across North America in stock, all the time.

Meet AMI Bearings, Inc.

Established in 1990 by parent company Asahi Seiko Co. Ltd., AMI Bearings, Inc. is a world-class supplier of mounted ball bearings serving North America. Featuring the broadest possible combination of over 50,000 interchangeable mounted ball bearings, the company serves industries from bakeries and fitness equipment to sawmills and waste water treatment plants.

Keeping count of 50,000 custom configurations

AMI’s main warehouse is located in the Chicago area. It addition, it maintains 10 remote warehouses across North America. Unlike its competitors, AMI offers a virtually endless line of bearings products that interestingly are always available as “standard.” It’s how customers get the bearing they need with the right type of locking device, lubricant, sealing and rings without the wait. And that means keeping 50,000 parts in stock, all the time.

“It’s a lot to keep track of as you can imagine,” Jennifer Belk, Technology Manager says. “There’s an enormous amount of combinations of bearing and housing components.”

With an extraordinary amount of options, volume and inventory to manage across multiple warehouses, AMI Bearings, Inc. chooses Exact Macola ES as its ERP system to help get the job done.

A new partnership to help power parts control

The success of AMI is due to the countless ongoing friendships it has with authorized distributors, suppliers and end users. Exceptional Software Solutions, LLC., provides business and software consulting solutions to the bearings’ manufacturer as AMI’s Exact Macola channel partner and is honored to be among its elite set of supplier friends.

“We’ve been a longtime Exact Macola user. However, we didn’t always receive the support and attention we needed,” said Jennifer. “When we met Tod and the Exceptional Software Solutions, LLC. team, we had no idea that a relationship like we have today was even possible. Within the first 30 days, we had more support, interaction and received more help with our challenges than ever before,” she said.

Our entire team operates with a mantra that it’s our responsibility to help our customer’s organizations grow by improving the business processes of their total operation, so they are better able to compete for and provide to the customers they service.” — Tod Replogle, President of Exceptional Software Solutions, LLC.

Teaming up to solve the puzzle

Each AMI warehouse location carries a vast array of inventory. And because components are interchangeable, warehouse associates can create infinite configurations to meet sales requirements on the fly.

That’s why AMI’s inventory control requirement was extremely complex and specific. “Manual searches were inefficient” Jennifer said. “Those requests were time-consuming and error prone. I knew there had to be a better way,” she said.

Jen had a clear vision of what AMI’s Exact Macola ERP system had to do to support the firm’s inventory management needs. It needed a highly sophisticated solution to systematically manage inventory down to the component level, in real time across 10 different locations. She wasn’t sure how they could get there, yet was determined to find a way.

“When clients come to us, part of what they desire is a real partner they can count on to get into the trenches with them. A champion on the Macola side to help remove barriers by blocking and tackling, as well as an extremely knowledgeable consulting perspective that can take into account their holistic business so they can get what they need out of their Exact ERP solution,” — Tod Replogle

Teaming up together, the Exact Macola experts at Exceptional Software Solutions, LLC. started by listening to the bearing manufacturer’s needs, and analyzing how changes in its system and processes could not only become successfully adopted across remote locations, but serve the entire organization from warehouse associates to upper management.

After a series of in-depth conversations, the ESS LLC team architected a total solution to help AMI crack their Rubik’s Cube-like inventory challenge. Key to the solution was leveraging functionality and implementing complex technical customizations within the power price inquiry screen inside its Exact Macola ES ERP system. Not only that, it was a solution that Jen and the AMI team could implement on their own with guidance and support from ESS LLC. What could be more tailor-made?

“Tod and team are constantly willing to share their skill set and demonstrate their commitment to our company’s success long term.” — Jennifer Belk

Approaching the parts problem as a team helped bring about a solution everyone could smile about. “Honestly, they (Exceptional Software Solutions, LLC.) could have charged us to implement the intricate changes on our behalf, but instead they guided us through it. It empowered our team to be able to fix our own problem and helped save costs too,” Jennifer said.

“The contrast between AMI’s previous Exact channel partnership relationship and the current with the Exceptional Software Solutions, LLC., team is profound. I feel like I can call Tod for anything. He picks right up, is willing to share his experience and is always there to listen.” — Jennifer Belk, Technology Manager, AMI Bearings, Inc.

The ESS LLC team’s support helped AMI materialize a way to easily manage inventory transactions as well as accounting entries, and more. Since implementing the customized solution she says, “We now have a dashboard displaying all the information we need on the home page, and someone just types in the part number, and all the information about it comes right up.”

Not only that, the solution has streamlined the entire process. “We’ve gone from the back-end of the process taking three minutes or more to just 10 second per order,” Jennifer said. “That’s huge.”

Right partner, right ERP, right results

With the software consulting knowledge of Exceptional Software Solutions, LLC., and slick customizations to the price inquiry screen inside their ERP system, Exact Macola ES, AMI Bearings has accomplished three critical business achievements to pinpoint parts precisely:

1. Utilized technology to reduce errors and improve accuracy— Prior to the update, some critical inventory tasks were handled by hand. The process was time consuming, labor intensive and error prone. “Now we are able efficiently capture inventory data through the system — and that’s great news for us”, Jennifer said.

2. Provided top management a clear line of sight on inventory control “The increased efficiency and transparency has made top management happy too”, Jennifer said.

3. Gained operational confidence — “What I appreciate about the solution is that I know everything that’s supposed to be done is being done now — with certainty”, Jennifer said.

“Instead of spending hours looking up individual pieces of inventory and trying to track them by hand, customizations in the power price inquiry screen within our Exact Macola ES system has allowed the entire AMI team to spend their time where they are most needed: helping customers and shipping orders. And that makes for a much more streamlined operation, and very happy customers.” — Jennifer Belk, Technology Manager, AMI Bearings, Inc.

Learn more about us from our customers or get in touch with us by emailing tod@esoftsol.net.

About Exceptional Software Solutions, LLC.

No matter how unique or intricate your company’s ERP processes or desired workflows are, Exceptional Software Solutions LLC’s team of professionals is here to guide you every step of the way. With some of the world’s leading Exact Macola and Synergy experts on our team, we love to create solutions for your tough ERP technology problems.

With more than 300+ years combined management, sales, consulting and Exact Macola ERP expertise, our a best of breed software solution company, incorporates vast knowledge in Exact Macola ERP and proven skill sets in the manufacturing industry to deploy, deliver, train and help customers across the US and Canada improve their business processes. Simply put; we will do it better, more efficiently, and with greater customer focus than other companies in the marketplace. Now that’s exceptional!

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