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Rockies Steel — Steel Tubing Manufacturers

Contact: Stonewall Jackson, President
Applications: Customized Manufacturing System with Production Planning and Production Control
Sales Order Processing & Sales Analysis
Inventory Control (from Raw Materials to Finished Goods)
A/R, A/P, G/L, Payroll
Requirements: Rockies Steel manufactures steel tubing, both circular and rectangular, of various steel types and gauges and sizes. They purchase large coils and slit them to width (via a contractor on-site who rents both the space and the slitting equipment from Rockies Steel), and then put the slit coils through one of two roll formers to produce continuous steel tubing which is then cut to length and assembled in bundles for shipping.

The key to the organization's success is maximal use of the equipment and the ability to respond quickly to requests for product despite significant setup times and downtimes that are difficult to reduce. It is therefore crucial to have accurate projections of sales by product type for each customer. It is also important to be able to process similar jobs together. Therefore sales forecasting and production scheduling are the crucial applications.

Other requirements include the processing of customer orders, the purchasing and control of raw materials inventory, production control, job costing, A/R, A/P, G/L, and Payroll.
Solution: A very comprehensive system has been developed for Rockies Steel. It integrates production forecasting, the production line, all accounting functions and management reporting. Separate inventory records are maintained for master coils, slit coils, and bundles of tubes. Master coils are created as part of the purchasing process, slit coils are created as a result of the processing of slit orders, and bundles of tubes result from the processing of rolling orders. Scheduling has been improved a great deal; realistic targets are being set and met with the help of the discipline that the system encourages. All of the accounting functions have been automated through the accounts receivable, accounts payable, and general ledger subsystems; payroll is still to be implemented.

Recent developments have focussed on the production line itself. Real-time data entry will be performed by the plant staff. They will monitor the rolling process and enter downtime information. The cutoff specifications (e.g. 250 at 40', 300 at 24', etc.) will come directly from the computer, and the computer will monitor the cutoff, collecting information re: the number of good pieces and the number of rejects, etc. This gives a much more detailed account of the plant's operation.
Result: It is anticipated that the computer system will become a vital cog in the organization. The Production Backlog is more closely controlled, and Production Scheduling is much improved. All accounting functions are being processed more accurately than before, and in a fraction of the time. Management is extremely pleased with the results.
Last Updated: March 24, 2017