Customer Reviews

Zequent’s customers range from manufacturers of high-volume, quick turn-around industrial supplies to major capital equipment, consumer products from garden hoses to socks and high tech from crystal growing furances to fiber optics cable. Their comments demonstrate how successful Order Management implementations have been relative to improved personnel efficiencies, delivery performance, reduced WIP, shortened lead times and increased throughput.

“The biggest benefit is the reduction of critical shortages on the assembly line. Order Management is being used as a means to allow JIT to work at its finest.”

Supervisor of Master Scheduling – gasoline pumps

“Order Management has enabled purchasing to spend their time working with vendors and making arrangements on getting the parts when we need them, not spending their time trying to determine what parts we really need.  These proactive actions have helped eliminate surprises in an environment of almost constant change. Order Management has given us the tools to turn our plans into sales dollars.”

Manager of Manufacturing – light poles

“We no longer have daily crisis meetings to determine priorities; Order Managerment allows our planners to plan!”

Materials Manager – welding equipment

“Order Management gives us the agility and speed we need when making our manufacturing decisions by providing the visibility to see immediate customer needs.’”

Vice-president of Manufacturing – abrasive products

“MRPII works fine for individual item control but does not summarize the needs of the project - which is how our customers view their orders.  By utilizing Order Management, we are able to have visibility of the entire project in a summary format that is easy to understand and identifies any and all potential shortcomings that could possibly delay shipment.”

Materials Manager – mining equipment

"Order Management is a quick and easy solution to give Planning, Scheduling, Purchasing and Shipping the tools they need to work efficiently.   We no longer have daily meetings with Shipping to determine their shortages as Order  Management provides that visibility.  We schedule orders quickly and research time to determine material availability has been greatly reduced."

Materials Manager - hosiery

"When first introduced to Order Management, you could not prove to me that there was a better system out there than what we already had. 

"Boy what a big wake up call! 

"Being in a very option intensive business and the economy in a very flat or negative state, Order Management is the BEST tool to quickly respond to a customer’s needs TODAY.   When Millions of dollars are at stake each month, we have to be better prepared to meet the task at hand with fewer people.  Order Management is really doing this for us!  What normally took us hours or days to identify several indented bill of material shortages now only takes a few moments with the Order Management program.   What this really means is that, we do not have to wait for MRP to run each week to plan and reschedule orders.   This can be done today, right now!  What I’m really saying is that, we can advise Purchasing and Scheduling TODAY without waiting for TOMRROW.   We are now able to ship DOLLARS this month and satisfy our CUSTOMERS.   Without Order Management in some cases, the Customer would have to wait until next month and potential revenue dollars lost for the month."

"By focusing on the right things at the right time, production expedites and interruptions are far fewer, production flow is much smoother and productivity is significantly improved.”

“Payback is the name of the game, and Order Management paid for itself within six months through a substantial improvement in on-time shipments and efficiency improvements in our Planning and Scheduling areas.”

Planning Manager – construction equipment

“Licensing Order Management is the best systems decision we’ve made in the past 10+ years.  Within 60 days of Order Management’s implementation we had eliminated all component shortages at final assembly.  Eliminating final assembly shortage was the primary factor in improving our on time shipment performance by 20+ points in the same 60 day time frame.  Another advantage we received was freed up final assembly floor space because customers’ machines were not sitting, waiting on delayed critical components.  Freeing up the floor space increased our production capacity, allowing us to ship more machines per month.  More shipments means higher revenues.  What more can you ask of a software product?”

Plant Manager – Machine Tools

“Moving to a lean, demand-driven manufacturing model is imperative for us in order to support our growth plans.  Order Management is playing an important part in our overall strategy to make that happen.  For example we now schedule final assembly based on the production output of a critical sub-assembly.  This one change has improved our overall throughput by 8%.

Plant Manager – Blower Manufacturer

“Now with Order Management I can easily and quickly determine what can be shipped.  I spend my time working on shipments instead of spending time diving into my data to derive the information I need!”

Shipping Manager – lawn sprinklers

“With no major changes other than our new found ability to identify items which are potential causes for delay, we made immediate and measurable improvement in customer service.  The Order Management software has also helped improve morale of our production and customer service employees.  Immediate material requirements are now clear for our production planners and the stress of trying to discern priorities is greatly reduced.  With Order Management we are now able to quickly identify all items which are causing or will soon cause a delay in production.  With this information our time is spent resolving or preventing the delay.  I would recommend the software to any organization as an essential element of their MRP system.  Any company that wants to run an efficient and productive manufacturing operation that is committed to responsive, high quality customer service needs the capabilities that Order Management provides.”

Materials Manager – numerical control punch presses

“With Order Management the director of manufacturing and the plant managers can easily coordinate truck and production schedules and determine potential delays (via conference calls).  (Plant) visits to discuss order-related problems are now a thing of the past.  Today plant visits are to resolve specific production process issues.  If you like completing customer orders on time you’re going to love Order Management.”

President – upholstered furniture

‘There really is a ‘hole’ in MRPII systems regarding hidden problems that can potentially delay an order and blindside a scheduler and those in production, resulting in a less than delighted customer!”

Director of Information Systems - mirrors

“As Customer Service Manager in charge of replacement parts sales for a manufacturing facility, the Order Management program has enabled me to ‘get the whole picture’ when it comes to parts orders and backorders.  We have been able to dramatically reduce backorders as a result of having Order Management.  I can follow-up easily and efficiently with purchasing.  Our customer satisfaction has increased because of our quicker response time; before we’d have to get back to the customer, now we answer the customer’s question while they are on the phone”

Customer Service Manager - dishwashers

"I emphasize to management that producing to a good solid plan in a relatively stable environment should be a walk in the park.  The B2B exchanges offer some help from dock door to dock door, that's part of their value, but largely it's really in the control of carriers and distribution centers.  That leaves the supply chain as the variable where we can outperform our competition.  After it leaves our dock we don't have much control so managing the business from the dock door, back through the plant from an execution standpoint is the key.  That's where I see the benefit of Order Management .  If we can stand out from the execution side, especially when 'stuff happens' then we become the vendor of choice.  The value of excellent execution becomes more and more important."

Chief Information Officer - hosiery

"Knowing the right things to pay attention to at the right time, information provided by Order Management , resulted in a $800,000 reduction in WIP, an on time shipping improvement of 40 percentage points and lead time to be reduced from 3-4 weeks to 1-2 weeks on the most important products, all in 44 days.  Guessing at what and how much of the work being processed is for real customer orders versus planned orders is eliminated.  This is especially important when capacity is short during the heavy portion of the annual business cycle.”

Plant Manager - poultry equipment

“Due to the enhanced visibility that Order Management has provided us in understanding our customer's order requirements, we've been able to improve our plant through-put time by 20% in the last year.  We have also integrated Order Management into our inventory reduction process, where we have reduced our on-hand inventory by 25% while keeping on-time shipments in the 96-100% range."

President,  hosiery

“I told the senior staff to me the real issue here is better communication.  Better internal and external communication will help us become lean.  Building only what is needed will unburden the factory and thereby improve cycle time and eventually reduce inventory.  This isn’t to say we cannot also look towards improving setup times or more efficient build processes, but by focusing on what is needed we can avoid what is NOT needed and avoid all the waste and inefficiencies associated with that.  I believe Order Management can help us with that.”

MIS Manager - socks

“The immediate benefit realized from Order Management was the ability to set production’s daily priorities to match the shipment schedule.  Prior to Order Management we spent many man-hours every day trying to determine which shop orders were required to meet that day’s shipment schedule.  Today Order Management sets the schedule automatically, eliminating the manual effort entirely.  We also saw a rapid reduction in WIP brought about because we either didn’t start work orders we didn’t need or completed those we did.  We’ve also heard from vendors who tell us seeing our critical materials needs up to 10 days in advance via standard Order Management reports has been a big help to them.”

Inventory Manager – building materials

“Order Management gives us a level of visibility far beyond anything we had before, and the ability to schedule multiple concurrent operation threads for a given end-item work order has helped us really streamline our production flow without giving up that visibility.

“In that regard Order Management has proven far easier to use and support than the APS package we attempted to implement prior to Order Management.

"One benefit we hadn’t counted on was the efficiency boost given our planning and scheduling personnel.  Their ability to determine requirements in seconds is the primary reason for the improved efficiency.  We also no longer release manufacturing orders to determine parts availability.  Net result is our production supervisors now work normal hours – no more 13 hour days.”

Operations Controller – plastic forming operations

"Order Management provides me better information, faster than our standard ERP system and the hundreds of custom queries we've built as work-arounds to address ERP’s shortcomings.  More often than not the information I'm looking for is supported by a standard Order Management report.”

Planner/Buyer – Air Filter Manufacturer

“I hope you have the patent on this application.  Order Management is the solution to the problem I have always had with MRP/ERP systems: how to “see” potential shortfalls to parts against the plan.  Later versions of MRP and APS systems have simulation and ‘what if’ capabilities however they still do not provide the day to day visibility into ‘potential delays’. Current ‘brute force’ solutions, such as VMI or SMI, attempt to overcome the limitations of MRP (and even Kanban) in today’s fast paced, high velocity, rapid response time environment to customers, normally resulting in mixed levels of success.  Order Management, on the other hand, is an elegant solution to the problem – bringing potential shortfalls in supply clearly into view to allow the organization to proactively mitigate potential delays.”

Senior Director of Supply Chain Management – Network Infrastructure Manufacturer

"Truly the easiest software implementation I’ve ever experienced.  Loading the software took less than an hour and when we were done loading our data was showing up in reports and on screens - no data mapping or interface programming was required. 

The benefits were immediate.  For example, prior to Order Management production manually created a weekly status report for each machine due to ship in the next 45 days.  Since our bills of material are so wide and deep it took 1 person 3 days to complete this report.  Unfortunately the report was out of date when it was completed, primarily because the order backlog had changed, component parts that were available became unavailable and new spare part requirements had occurred during the report’s creation.  The day after the Order Management installation the report was automated.  This is only one example of the tuning done by Zequent personnel. It took about ten days to complete all the fine-tuning. When the tuning was done Order Management fit like the proverbial glove.

"Other benefits included our customer service performance improving by a double digit factor.  The laborious effort spent setting daily priorities was eliminated and we could tell customers (and finance) exactly when each machine tool would ship weeks before the ship date.  Also our spare parts lead time was reduced by 35%; very important because spare parts represent 40% of our business.

"Contrary to other packages we had looked at no changes to our business practices were necessary.  However because of the support provided by Order Management we made several.

"The load on IT was nearly zero – less than 10 hours in the first month.  Other than our system admin person providing user accounts for the Zequent consultants, adding Order Management to the job scheduler and to the users’ menu system there were no tasks for IT".

For me personally the decision to install Order Management was career making.

 IT Director – machine tools

"If anyone had suggested the benefits of a formal, automated order management process were going to be this extensive I’d have thought they were trying to con me. 

"The most telling result was the sales lead time reduction.  In the first 30 days we reduced the average sales lead time by 25%; very important since we’re primarily a make to order operation in a marketplace that assumes the suppliers are all make to stock.

"We also saw substantial clerical time reductions.  For example within six months we eliminated the daily production meeting and its required prep time of about an hour per attendee.  Our initial thought was the meetings would be shorter but then we saw Order Management was telling me, production, shipping, materials and customer service everything about every order so there was no need to meet to exchange information, just to discuss how the problems would be resolved.  Then I realized I didn't need to know how issues would be resolved, only those that would not be resolved - meetings were not required for that. 

"And then we reduced the purchasing procedural steps by 97% which resulted in the buyer’s clerical time being reduced to less than an hour per week.  Our buyers now spend most of their time following up with vendors to ensure component materials will be received as required.

"But the benefit I appreciate most is the near elimination of the need for me to be involved in part level decisions.  I'm now free to oversee the business processes and  work with our field personnel as we strive to grow the business."

Plant Manager – Air Filters

"As I look forward to my retirement I found myself thinking about the nearly 2 decades Order Management has been in-place here and how quickly it became critical  to our success. Thought I'd share some of those thoughts.

"We originally looked into Order Management because with the implementation of our then new ERP system we lost visibility into customer order status at the component part level.  The link that had been there in our home grown manufacturing system was lost with the new ERP system.

"This loss of visibility resulted in a fairly substantial reduction in our customer service rating with out largest customer - a major US retailer.  Only our prior stellar performance bought us the time to fix the problem.

"And fix the problem we did.

"With Order Management installed our on-time performance corporate-wide returned to its former lofty numbers and then climbed beyond those service levels. Thanks to Order Management we've been consistly shipping 99% on-time for the past nearly 20 years.  Our marketing campaigns highlight this performance.

"There was an added bonus not anticipated by any of the Order Management users: we got our lives back!  No more in at 6a, out at 7p or coming in on Saturday.  Tasks that use to take hours were suddenly taking only seconds.  In my case, as master scheduler, I could review the entire order backlog and identify those orders we'd have problems meeting shipment dates in seconds.  This resulted in my 9a Demand Review meeting being reduced to a 5 to 8 minute conference call. One production manager told his people there would be no reason to bring coffee to his daily production meeting - they weren't going to be there long enough to get comfortable."

Master Scheduler (ret.) - commerial casegoods