Founded in 1961, Precoat Metals is the largest coil coater in the United States. They are dedicated to delivering high-quality coil-coated products and services for their diverse customer base. With over 50 years of hands-on experience, Precoat remains the industry leader in operational efficiencies, product innovation, and performance on behalf of their customers.
Historically, each of Precoat’s eight plants locally managed the collection of data, analysis, charting, and presentation preparation necessary to monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) for their processing lines. This methodology had inherent shortcomings, as key managers were required to use their valuable time to create their metric sets. With the preparation techniques that were originally employed, standardization was lacking in the final products, making accurate assessments of plant-to-plant performance difficult. Additionally, time constraints limited the number of metrics that could be created and effectively used in the business. In October of 2011, Precoat acquired an industry competitor with an active iDashboards deployment, introducing the idea of a potential automated solution to their business.
From an informational standpoint, the process of merging the two businesses was sizable and took much of the next 12 months to fully complete. During that time, it was determined that Precoat would shift to a robust business intelligence solution to help standardize their KPIs, while improving the quality of their metrics in both scale and richness. With the addition of a BI solution, Precoat could save resources by transitioning key personnel from data mining and chart creation to more pressing matters related to order fulfillment, process/product quality, and overall customer satisfaction.
iDashboards helped Precoat move from manual data mining and paper reports to a system that allows us to identify best practices from facility to facility and accurately compare performance by plant. Getting this information in real time allows stakeholders to identify negative trends before they have a major effect on the bottom line.
Precoat had a benefit of viewing iDashboards in use during the integration period and assessing its suitability for the combined business. Precoat desired a scalable system that allowed for future growth and incorporated easy-to-use tools for both dashboard creation and deployment. After observing iDashboards’ ease-of-use, powerful features, and superior functionality, Precoat selected iDashboards as their permanent BI solution.
Since implementing iDashboards, Precoat has developed dozens of dashboards to support their entire organization, including the quality, manufacturing, marketing, sales, and finance departments. By transforming Precoat’s IBM i data into dynamic dashboards, management and executives are able to easily interact with real-time data and make better informed decisions by drilling down on metrics of concern.
By utilizing iDashboards, Precoat has been able to standardize their metrics for every plant, helping them to quickly discover problem areas and reveal any underlying issues. The dashboards have enabled Precoat to identify best practices and have resulted in better time utilization for their plant managers. They have saved approximately 16 hours each month per plant by automating data collection and the dashboard chart building process. With these savings, Precoat has reallocated resources to focus on improving operating efficiencies throughout the organization.