AF Gason designs and manufactures world-class broadacre farm machinery as well as industrial and wood-heating products. The company’s Industrial Services Division provides technical solutions for commercial and industrial applications across multiple sectors. AF Gason distributes and supports all its products via an extensive dealer network across Australia and New Zealand.
The Business Challenge
At the time of implementing SYSPRO in 2011, AF Gason needed an enterprise system which could be used across the entire length of its supply chain to ensure one source of the truth.
AF Gason uses SYSPRO as its enterprise system across the entire length of its supply chain. The SYSPRO solution including SYSPRO MOM, records everything on the manufacturing side of the business from shop floor recording to shop floor data, job management, traceability, procurement and inventory management. It also covers all finance functions such as sales processing and invoicing, payables, receivables and cash management.
“We’ve had 100% improvement in our results over the past couple of years, and a great deal is related to being able to use the information out of SYSPRO to give us better decision-making capability in the business,” says Leon Nash, Chief Financial Officer at AF Gason.
AF Gason has adopted many of the new elements in the system, including SYSPRO Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM). “We attribute the major payback on our investment to SYSPRO MOM and the ability to use shop floor recording and job recording appropriately. Our job recording accuracy levels have improved by more than 20%, and we’re close to 50% improved efficiency on the shop floor,” says Mr. Nash.
Jason Yole, AF Gason’s Production Manager, agrees. “SYSPRO MOM has opened our eyes to what we can do with the business. We can see down to the job level of a particular operation, so we know if any changes need to be made and exactly what they are. The data collection in terms of our ability to see whether we are working according to our standard times, and if the returns are meeting expectations, is top-notch.”
From inventory management to traceability, engineering design change control and mobility
SYSPRO has delivered tangible benefits to AF Gason in all areas of its business. From an inventory management perspective, Mr. Yole says “To get an air seeder through the factory, there is 1800 operations on a basic air seeder. SYSPRO gives you that full visibility from an inventory control point of view. The system has helped us to understand where our costs sits and how much of a particular item we need to hold.” Mr. Nash continues “We’re able to utilise inventory turns and inventory days as calculations within the system to work out what our carrying value is and a lower carrying value than we would otherwise have.”
AF Gason utilise the information from within SYSPRO for tracing their products all the way through the supply chain. “We utilize that information for traceability for ISO 9001 accreditation. We also use traceability from a warranty perspective once the product is out in the marketplace. We can track back and see what batch it came from, where it came from in production, trace other units that have been done through the same process. It’s essential to our capability to be able to answer customer requirements,” says Mr. Nash.
Often AF Gason will have engineering designs by different engineers that are not necessarily the same. “Then we’ll come up with a view that we need to change that and make it such that we can manufacture one item to do what perhaps three or four used to do. Utilising that information in SYSPRO is really useful within the business and being able to cut down our amount of time that’s spent on engineering design. Because we have a backlog of work, and it’s been able to cut that backlog of work probably by 30%,” says Mr. Nash.
In terms of mobility, AF Gason’s sales staff are located around the country, as well as some affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, are able to work from home. The ability to use tablets on the shop floor has also enhanced productivity by around 10%. “Given the number of people we have on the shop floor, that’s a significant improvement,” Mr. Nash says.
Making the most of SYSPRO
Mr. Yole describes AF Gason’s relationship with SYSPRO as ‘second to none’. “The support we get from SYSPRO is unparalleled,” he says. “They’re always available to help us. We’ve had quirky little problems that they’ve sorted straightaway, and big problems that they’ve reported to the South African team, ensuring we received bug fixes. I couldn’t rate them any higher.”
Mr. Yole believes SYSPRO’s greatest strength is its flexibility. “We’ve not come across a single scenario that SYSPRO hasn’t been able to assist us with. You can do almost anything,” he says.
“From an overall business management perspective, we utilise the information out of SYSPRO every single day. We’re utilising manufacturing, cost and sales information to help us better understand where the opportunities are within our business and where we can really make a difference. SYSPRO allows us to do that. It enables us to manufacture better equipment and give the customer a better-quality product,” says Mr. Nash.
Mr. Nash concludes, “I think in terms of payback for us in terms of our investment within SYSPRO on an annual basis, it’s a really simple decision for me as the CFO to say it’s a very cheap system for us. It’s the benefit by far and away outweighs the cost of the annual maintenance agreement.”
Mr. Yole concludes, “SYSPRO is literally part of our family now. We continue to grow with it. Everyone uses it every day. We couldn’t do without it.”