Success Story – Western Trailers

Western Trailer Logo

“«[…] with Agni Link, we are successfully pushing BoMs into Microsoft Dynamics. This is a game changer for us because prior to this all BoM data was entered manually with occasional error and very time consuming.”
IT Manager
Customer: Western Trailers
Issue: Manual entry of data resulting in errors costing significant amounts of money, along with fair amount of man hours to input this data. Led to a difficult to shake culture of manual processes instead of automation.
Technologies used: Engineering: Autodesk Vault, AutoCAD Mechanical, Autodesk Inventor
ERP: Microsoft Dynamics NAV
The Customer
Western Trailers is a manufacturing company located in Boise, Idaho. The company started in 1958 and made its entry in the trailer manufacturing industry in the late 1960’s. They now build high quality, custom built-to-order trailers that are some of the strongest and lighest in the industry. Today, they have over 450 employees who share the vision developed by a group of managers and supervisors : ”To be the preeminent trailer industry leader, by listening to our customers’ needs, continuously delivering quality and innovative transportation solutions, and utilizing our people, core values, and technology to build, supply, and serice the best products on the road.” The key to their success is in the quality of their employees and their willingness to go the extra mile in order to provide the highest level of detail in their work.

The Challenge
Western Trailers needed a solution that would allow them to eliminate the manual transcription of Bill of Materials data into the ERP, while eliminating the chance of errors in that data. Moreover, Western Trailers had to go through several unsuccessful attempts to implement CAD-ERP data integration. That process led into a lot of money thrown out the window. A culture of manual process had taken hold of the organization, and they needed to shake things up.“We have tried several CAD/ERP solutions over the years and none of them worked. This was expensive and left us very leery of CAD to ERP integration, said IT Manager Dan NURSALL.

The Solution
That has now changed. With Agni Link, we are successfully pushing BoMs into Microsoft Dynamics. This is a game changer for us because prior to this, all BoM data was entered manually with occasional error and it was very time consuming.»
Agni Link has been chosen to solve Western Trailers’ ever lasting problem. It has now been rolled out since 2017, and they couldn’t be more satisfied. With the proper implementation, Western Trailers was able to see significant changes in several aspects of the engineering department and thus, in a very short amount of time.

The Benefits
The system implementation brought the following benefits:

  • Pushing of BoM data into Microsoft Dynamics;
  • Reduction of engineering lead-time as well as reallocation of labor time to tasks with higher added value;
  • Elimination of errors in BoM data that translated to less errors on the shop floor;
  • Increase in the accuracy of BoM data which resulted into a more efficient use of raw materials;
  • Automating the creation of Balloons, Parts Lists and Bills of Materials in AutoCAD drawings
  • Automatic conversion of existing “vanilla” drawings into “smart” AutoCAD Mechanical drawings
  • Design engineers can now view the current supplier prices of all component;
  • Users can now compare multiple suppliers of the same part with visible competitive pricing;
  • Flexibility in the way Agni Link integrates with their company-specific environment;
  • New window that shows how their processes actually work and where they need to be modified or streamlined;
  • Change in company culture from manual process-oriented to automated process-oriented;
  • Addition of ”best practices” in the engineering department that led to beneficial changes, helping the company overall.

In an increasingly competitive, global environment, Agni Link helped Western Trailers obtain a definite edge through dramatic cost reductions, by taking the fat off the creation and maintenance of BOM data, while greatly reducing costly errors on the factory floor. What’s more: Agni Link’s benefits spans across the entire company, including:

  • Engineering (e.g. making ERP data available to them online, at all times, on an as-required basis
  • Production (e.g. ensuring that up-to-date BoM data is available at all times on the factory floor
  • Accounting (e.g. by providing timely BoM information and ensuring that up-to-date data is available at all times on the factory floor)
  • Executive (e.g. by making a wealth of product data available in a more timely fashion)

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