COUNTERPART: Fostering Efficiency in Custom Manufacturing

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Joel Genzink, Head of Sales
Moving a part or assembly from your CAD design software to manufacturing is often difficult, and especially so for engineer-to-order (ETO) companies. Most existing ERP systems require an engineer to design an entire machine before generating a Bill of Material for procurement. In addition, engineers typically must manually enter the data of those components every time, which increases the likelihood of human error. As a result, the mistakes and delays in procurement translate to reduced efficiency and increased cost in manufacturing. This is where COUNTERPART by Smooth Logics makes all the difference.

The company offers a bi-directional ERP named COUNTERPART, which is specifically designed to cater to the needs of custom manufacturers. In addition, the solution underpins SOLIDWORKS design information to facilitate visibility throughout the project instead of using only the part number or description in the catalog.

“Our COUNTERPART ERP uses SOLIDWORKS design information as the driver throughout the entire process, providing greater engineering productivity and significantly improved visibility,” says Joel Genzink, Head of Sales at Smooth Logics.

Unlike a typical ERP, clients can directly create the job and define the requirements in COUNTERPART from its initial design phase even before part numbers exist. Be it a single piece of equipment or a machine that houses thousands of parts, the ERP takes up the request and allocates it to an engineer to identify the request and segment it into pieces called order categories. Engineers only need to identify the components once in their CAD program, which are followed throughout the procurement process until delivery. As a result, the platform mitigates the fear of missing a component, duplicating orders, and ordering the wrong part due to typos.

COUNTERPART also tracks designing from beginning to end, giving unparalleled visibility to the procurement team regarding components that engineers would like to have in house. It helps them make an educated purchasing decision based on the due date, streamlining purchasing long lead time components beforehand, and effectively managing partial BOMs. COUNTERPART even facilitates revision control.

If there is a change to the existing design, the platform allows engineers to easily communicate how to handle current demands and inventory of the affected components. Every demand for the component can be individually defined as needing to be updated, or not. The resulting demands, whether components are no longer required, additional components are needed, or if you just need to update existing components, are all clearly communicated to procurement. Not only are these minute details handled, but departmental level tasks/statuses are easily monitored as well.
“We are mapping all the properties of components from CAD, the manufacturer information, basically any information that the engineer deems to be prudent,” says Genzink.

As COUNTERPART ties into the SOLIDWORKS file management system, manufacturing personnel can use a free CAD viewer to open a CAD model. Here, they can spin and explore it and see exactly where the components go when assembling the machine. Taking it a step further, the ERP even helps funnel the information about process states like hardening, polishing, and painting to the individuals who need to know. COUNTERPART also supports both complete outsourcing, or just outsourcing a portion of the process, for both parts and assemblies. This allows clients to dynamically control manufacturing based on priority and deadlines.


Our COUNTERPART ERP uses SOLIDWORKS design information as the driver throughout the entire process, providing greater engineering productivity and significantly improved visibility

For example, Genzink recollects an instance where one of their clients struggled with inefficiency in their manufacturing process. Prior to installing COUNTERPART, this client used to pay fifty percent of the payroll for overtime. Engineers had to handle other tasks like manually exporting BOMs instead of their designated work. In addition, purchasing teams constantly had to work with the engineers to clarify component requirements. But once they implemented COUNTERPART, engineers were able to focus on their work, and it also helped in streamlining purchasing, all of which collectively contributed to increased manufacturing efficiency.

This instance exemplifies the immense value proposition of COUNTERPART. The company attributes the success of its ERP to their innovative leaders and committed team members. Tying back to its founding principle, Smooth Logics is steadfast in helping custom manufacturers benefit from a holistic ERP solution that streamlines their entire process.

Company
COUNTERPART

Headquarters
Holland, MI

Management
Joel Genzink, Head of Sales

Description
The company offers a bi-directional ERP named COUNTERPART, which has been specifically designed to cater to the needs of custom manufacturers.

COUNTERPART