The construction industry is central to the overall health of the U.S. economy, and recent data has revealed the housing market is a key factor in the sector's recovery. With a quickening demand for residential and public construction, to a lesser extent, manufacturers will need to respond with flexibility and confidence using integrated software tools to manage inventory and maintain control over distribution.
Housing Heating Up
The U.S. Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce released the April 2014 construction spending report, showcasing continued strength. The seasonally adjusted annual rate reached more than $953 billion, which is 0.2 percent more than the figures for March. The number for private construction hit nearly $687 billion, more than half of which can be attributed to residential projects. The seasonally adjusted annual rate for this type of building was $378.5 billion in April, a 0.1 percent increase over March. While, the percentages remain fairly steady - showing incremental increases - the overall portrait for construction compared to last year is much more optimistic.
All organizations involved in home construction will likely face a more complicated supply chain. One company that can vouch for the need for greater inventory management collaborated with RFgen to better handle manufacturing of cabinets, which it then markets to builders, as well as kitchen and bath dealers. Before the manufacturer began working with RFgen to integrate a data collection solution with its JD Edwards EnterpriseOne system, it used an outdated platform that was no longer sustainable for the company. The business faced lengthy downtimes as a result of system outages, which significantly damaged its ability to meet customer requirements. By partnering with RFgen, here's what the company gained:
- Robust Software
The best solution for the manufacturer was the RFgen Mobile Foundations for Oracle's JD Edwards EnterpriseOne system, largely because of the software's robust nature. For instance, it supports all versions of JD Edwards software created within the past 10 years. At the same time, the software is able to withstand and continue functioning in the event of a single, isolated failure in the system - helping them avoid work stoppages.
- Inventory Management
The software solution was especially important to manage the company's use of raw materials and track inventory. The cabinet maker was flying blind because it didn't have the ability to track materials, including those lost through worker errors or as a result of warping. Using RFgen for inventory management, the company was able to isolate individual saws to measure the yield of each piece of equipment. This kind of information is invaluable to ensure the businesses is making the most of its resources.
- Real-time Visibility
Going further, RFgen's PO Receipts solutions provided more depth to the home materials manufacturer's inventory management. Because this software allows for real-time measurement of components purchased and delivered to its facilities, the company is able to see these items updated immediately.
The mobile data solutions provided to this cabinet manufacturer - a key player in home construction - helped break the cycle of using outdated systems, whether it's antiquated ERP software or manual inventory tracking processes.