Located in Central Pennsylvania, TRS Technologies is a world leader in piezoelectric and dielectric materials technology, transforming raw powder into piezoelectric rings, discs and plates. These products are revolutionizing technologies in the medical, sensor, industrial and defense domains. Examples include medical ultrasound systems with higher resolution, reduced package size in sonar systems and new low-temperature instrumentation.
According to TRS president and owner, Wes Hackenberger, the company was struggling with on-time delivery and scheduling inefficiencies when he first connected with IMC. “After working for a period of time without a real tool, we had transitioned into using Microsoft Project, but even that was extremely time-consuming.” Hackenberger, himself, was spending a considerable amount of time with scheduling productive capacity and responding to customer service issues, limiting his time to focus on critical areas of business success such as pursuing new product development, adding new customers and leading the company in the execution of its business vision and mission. That’s when IMC Business Adviser Russ Lawrence became involved, bringing in the expertise of consultant Harry Landsburg of the Delaware Valley IRC.
The project was broken into several key phases: assessing the circumstances, defining current and future needs, securing RFP’s from qualified vendors, facilitating software demonstrations and making recommendations on a final, integrated solution that would ultimately allow Hackenberger to delegate scheduling to another member of his team.
At the onset of the project, Landsburg interviewed TRS leadership and other personnel to get a full understanding of the process flow for scheduling, from quoting delivery dates through to the completion of production and the closing on the work order into finished goods. He then drafted a business process narrative describing TRS, its current technology, the value proposition for the project and the current state and future state capabilities required from software to support TRS’ requirements. The document was finalized with TRS and then circulated to vendors who fit the scope requirements. Those vendors were instructed to reply with an overview of their solution’s capability to satisfy the needs of TRS, as well as budgetary pricing.
Landsburg evaluated the proposals and guided TRS through the selection process. This included facilitating a series of software demonstrations by the vendors, who were provided a demonstration guide directing them to present at minimum what the selection team needed to review. Once vendors were narrowed through that process, solutions were discussed and a second round of presentations were convened to provide TRS the opportunity to view the software again, but with their own sample data implemented. The process enabled TRS to evaluate the solutions more thoroughly in order to make the best decisions possible.
Hackenberger noted that the process, itself, produced several positive results for the TRS. The impacts included:
- On-time delivery improvements – from 70-80% to 92%
- Retained sales – $2 million
- Plant/equipment investment – $600,000
- Employees retained – 10
- Employees created – 3
These outcomes were realized as a result of the work accomplished through the project with IMC – even before implementation of a software solution. As of January 2015, TRS had not purchased the solution, but Hackenberger indicated that he would be making the investment.