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Case Study #3

CFM Magestic
CFM Majestic is a leading North American supplier of hearth products - gas and electric fireplaces, wood burning stoves, gas barbecues, indoor-outdoor space heating units and counter-seasonal garden accessories. The company operates manufacturing and distribution facilities in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Sales in 1999 rose 30% to $356 million.

CFM has implemented Baan enterprise resource planning and management software to integrate control of its largest division including three manufacturing operations. Disus has worked closely with CFM since 1998 to extend the reach of its Baan modules from the factory floor to the Internet.

The Factory Floor

"From the moment pallet-loads of raw materials arrive at the receiving dock, we track them," says Jeff Bellanger, Applications Specialist at CFM. Jeff has worked closely with Disus to build a real-time data collection interface between the Connectware system used to track materials in the factory and the Baan software CFM uses to manage all its operations.

"Using hand-held terminals, employees scan or key in information from suppliers' shipping labels including our P.O. number, and the quantity and type of material," Jeff explains. "That information goes directly into Baan but it's also used to print our own label, which attaches to the material and travels with it. When a tractor operator moves a skid into temporary storage, the location code is entered and passed to Baan. When material is assigned to a production run, the operator moves it to the specified machine and enters that information, which is passed to Baan. When only a partial skid-load is used, the remainder is returned to storage and the details are entered by the operator and passed to Baan."

"From raw material to finished product, we know the quantities we're using, where it is, the type of product it's for, and the state-of-completion of the product. Finished products are assigned serial numbers that are passed to Baan, and by comparing Bills of Material for each type of product with the serial numbers of the finished products, we can audit the efficiency of the process."

"The key is the real-time integration of information from the factory floor with the Baan modules we use to plan and operate the business. That's where Disus comes in. Disus has made the Connectware data from the handheld terminals available and understandable to the Baan modules. And, they've consolidated multiple steps in Baan procedures into single-step CFM procedures, making life easier for the folks on the factory floor."

The Internet

CFM's growth is the result of strong demand for their products and a series of strategic acquisitions - Harris Systems, RMC International and Jomoco Products. Each acquisition has added complimentary products, markets and critical mass to CFM. Capitalizing on this requires innovative sales and marketing.

"CFM's customers are distributors, retailers, developers and builders," says Ron Calvert, President, Vermont Castings, Majestic Products. "We want to be the company they want to do business with, and that means making it easy for them."

"Regardless of what product mix a customer orders, we process it as one order, shipped on one truck, making one delivery and with one invoice. That's the back-end, the part the customer doesn't see," explains Ron. "The front-end is where we're building the customer relationship and the Internet is one of the tools we're using to deliver fulfillment."

The thin client interface to the Baan Order Entry Module that Disus has built for CFM allows a customer to view any of the company's products and ensures that the products are configured with prerequisite accessories such as pipe, fans and vents. Customers can build and submit purchase orders, order replacement parts and access reports showing the status of their orders and accounts.

Ron believes that using the Internet to let customers access the business is good business. "Every customer will use the system a different way. But the message we're sending is 'we're open for business when you want us to be' and that's great peace-of-mind for a builder in Ohio who's worried about a shipment of fireplaces he needs to stay on schedule."

From the Factory Floor to the Internet

From the factory floor to the Internet, Disus people are skilled at understanding business needs. Skilled at turning resources into business opportunities.

Disus is proud to be working with leading companies like CFM Majestic, helping to make them more profitable and productive.

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