ProActive Integrators

Micreo Keeps the Front Line Safe;

Maintains Highest Quality

ProActive Award - Micreo

Brisbane - 2015

When your core products are deployed in frontline military aircraft, adherence to standards and strong security are inevitably important considerations. So when Micreo set out looking for an ERP solution, compliance and security were key criteria for potential vendors to address. Founded in 2002, Micreo designs and manufactures microwave-electronic and photonic products for commercial and aerospace organizations, such as microwave integrated circuit (MIC) systems for radar warning systems and other defense products. Its technologies have been deployed in several frontline military aircraft and ships worldwide, and more than 70% of its products are exported to the US and Europe. Micreo is a recognized supplier to the Australian Department of Defense and exports to several international defense system integrators. Based in Brisbane, Micreo is one of the few organizations in Australia that has achieved accreditation for the aerospace industry standard AS9100C for both design and manufacture. Understandably, the company has stringent requirements, with 75% of its staff directly involved in quality assurance. Managing Director Tim Shaw comments: "We're in an industry that mandates the highest quality, and that's key to our operation".

Sean Simpson, Director at ProActive Integrators, which helps maintain Micreo's ERP solution, explains that his client must be able to track transactions, record which user has done what and when it was carried out. Security access also has to be managed by user profile and group level. "Only preapproved people can maintain stock information and access item modules," Simpson says. “A comprehensive audit trail is required as well as Electronic Signatures, which automatically logs and sends a notification to administrators when master files or orders have been changed.” Micreo selected SYSPRO as the robust solution able to meet all its unique requirements. The company became a customer in 2009 and upgraded to SYSPRO 6.1 in 2013. Its previous ERP systems were unsophisticated in handling concurrent users and job costing tasks. In addition, the products were disparate and not properly integrated, making maintenance tedious. SYSPRO was able to rectify these issues as well as offer additional functionalities. Michael Walker, Finance Manager at Micreo, says: "All modules are vital to our operations, but SYSPRO's Purchasing, Inventory, Bill of Materials and Requirements Planning modules are particularly important to us. "We operate in a global industry and a highly competitive environment, so efficient management of the supply chain - having the right parts, at the right price, available when needed - is crucial to our business model."

Tracking the supply chain, component by component Micreo needs to properly manage its supply chain. Shaw says: "Our customers measure our delivery using a supplier rating system, and you've got to be up at 100% to satisfy them." The company uses SYSPRO to track parts as well as manage extensive quality control checks during production, storage and distribution. The ERP system helps Micreo maintain detailed production metrics on a weekly basis and is integrated with the company's Electronic Document Access system, a touch screen console used by operators to access controlled documents and record time spent as well as details of the work performed on each task. "Being in the defense industry, it is critical that Micreo has very good control of the revision and release of components as well as their corresponding sub-assemblies,” Simpson says. "SYSPRO allows Micreo to request particular versions of components from its suppliers, and use custom fields in purchase orders.” The company's requirements for multiple versions of purchase order documents, sales orders and invoices, and inclusion of non-standard information, are all accommodated using SYSPRO Reporting Services' advanced functionality. SYSPRO's standard task automation, available in version 6.1, also allows Micreo to automate specific tasks overnight. Previously, these had to be run manually during working hours.

According to Walker, it may be necessary to turn on SYSPRO's Engineering Change Control module to enable stronger control of the company's sub-assemblies and parent-manufactured parts. In addition, the Workflow module will improve information processing between departments and facilitate data entry. "We are finding SYSPRO more and more useful. Personnel from all over the company use it on a daily basis,” he says. "We have developed a suite of applications to download data and create various reports. We find the flexibility to download the data from SYSPRO and develop our own reports very useful." Simpson adds: "The system is clearly proving what an asset ERP can be to an enterprise. In all aspects of the business, especially in production, Micreo now has information at hand and systems to improve efficiency, remove waste, and build a lean operation." Micreo appointed ProActive Integrators in Brisbane from SYSPRO’s wide network of partners. Local support is an important element, Walker says, noting that it is critical to ensure quick productivity gains and facilitate the creation of customized reports and applications, allowing the company to realize SYSPRO’s full potential. With the help of the ProActive Integrators team, Micreo embarked on an extensive exercise to establish written procedures, train its employees, and create custom enhancements to better address its unique business requirements. It was then able to expand its usage of SYSPRO and gain more business benefits. "Before we upgraded to version 6.1, we carried out significant testing and rewriting of all procedures, as well as extensive staff training," Walker says. "Any system is only as good as the weakest link and ERP systems will not achieve full potential without relevant procedures, training, and user engagement." Emphasizing the need to constantly improve productivity, Shaw explains: "When we started the company in 2002, our prices were effectively a lot higher. Since then, our prices have halved, thanks to the rise in the Australian dollar. At the same time, our labor costs have risen far more sharply than those of the United States." To survive and thrive in this environment, Micreo has to be extremely productive and efficient.

For additional information on SYSPRO ERP Software and Workflow Foundation, call Sean Simpson at (07) 3310 87380 or email:

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