Glider Guard Case Study

Machinery & Equipment / Oldcastle, ON
With the recent opening of a second manufacturing plant, Glider Guard had to change its processes in order to keep up with increasing demand. Implementation was done along small, careful steps. Genius ERP is helping them drive growth.
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The company

Glider Guard, Die and Mold Inc.was founded nearly 60 years ago for the manufacturing of its namesake component: the cast iron guards for the blades on tilling tractors. These guards are notorious for breaking, but Glider Guard has made a name for itself by manufacturing guards known for not breaking. Rather, they bend, while always maintaining full functionality.

In 1980, the Cox family assumed control of Glider Guard, and expanded the company’s product line. The company now designs and builds a number of high performance tools, including stamping dies, progressive dies, injection molds for plastics, and multi-action molds for major auto manufacturers and their suppliers.

The Windsor-based manufacturer is now a second generation family-run company, with Brenn and Brad Cox having taken over operations from their father. Both owners stress the importance of family and a community atmosphere in the 75-employee workplace. “We’re a family company, so we value our employees and customers the same way,” said Brenn Cox.

The challenge

Two years ago, Glider Guard opened a second manufacturing plant across the street from its original location. The company quickly found out it would also have to change processes in order to keep up with increased demand.

“When we were smaller, the few of us working in management knew everything – where everything was and what there was to do – but now that we’ve grown, and continue to grow, we had to do something to keep track of everything,” said Kathy Marsden, long-standing office manager at Glider Guard.

The team began looking for an ERP system, in large part to keep their existing customers satisfied by providing them with the high level of service they had come to expect. Customers were requesting additional details on quotes and wanted to be able to track their orders from design to shipping, and everything in between. “We used to be able to do that manually,” Kathy explains. “We became too big and too busy for that to be feasible.”

The company knew it needed an ERP system that would efficiently track their inventory and one able to identify the location of parts, whether they were in the first plant, the second plant, or in the warehouse. As a ‘purchase-to-order’ company, Glider Guard has a rolling stock of inventory, so it was important to find a system that would save time and confusion by accurately tracking purchase orders. Furthermore, the ERP system would need to store historical data. This would allow the company – when working on certain projects – to look back at a similar job and determine how many machining and man-hours it required. With this information on hand, they would then be able to create accurate quotes for future jobs.

Lastly, the ERP system would have to be compatible with the ACCPAC accounting software that Glider Guard had been using.

Top requirements

The solution

Brenn and Brad Cox, as well as Marsden, decided to implement Genius ERP.

“When we met Jean [Magny, president of Genius Solutions], we immediately realized Genius shared the same values that we did,” says Brenn Cox. “We weren’t just a number to them. They walked us through the system and we could see that – apart from an understanding of the custom manufacturing industry – they added a personal touch and allowed us to feel comfortable.”

“Magny came down from Quebec and explained what Genius Solutions stood for and how they would help us,” said Marsden, who oversaw the entire implementation process. “Not only did he answer all our questions, but he took a sample of one of our jobs and brought it back to Quebec in order to run it through the Genius ERP system. He then walked us through the process from design to accounting to shipping a product through the door. And we thought, ‘Wow, this is perfect.’”

Rather than overhauling their existing processes, Glider Guard opted to implement the ERP software in small, careful steps. To further help with implementation, they hired a new inventory control manager who had experience working with ERP systems: Craig McNeil.

“I’ve worked with two other ERP systems,” explains McNeil. “Genius is different because of the ease with which you can navigate through the system.”

Genius Solutions helps Glider Guard keep track of inventory, whether in stock or in transit. The systems easily creates purchase orders and quotes, as well as compiles historical data. It also seamlessly integrates with ACCPAC accounting software. And Genius Solutions’ support throughout the implementation process was greatly appreciated by management, who felt confident all their questions were answered.

“We couldn’t be happier,” said Brenn Cox. “We’re headed in the right direction and it already feels like it’s part of the woodwork.”

Key features

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