“We anticipate our stock turnover and job order synchronisation will greatly improve. The APS [advanced planning and scheduling] system can schedule down to the hour and minute on production planning, so the accuracy of the forward production plan will be excellent.” So says Chris Heath, IT manager for Ewart Chain, manufacturer of steel and plastic chains to the power transmission and conveyance industries. The company has just gone live with its new, £180,000 extended ERP (enterprise resource planning) system from mid-market vendor Frontstep (formerly Symix). And the implementation of Frontstep’s Syteline ERP system includes both APS and business intelligence software modules. Heath adds: “Frontstep really went that extra distance to ensure the product fit was right and … on schedule. The APS will give us the ability to proactively plan and tackle bottlenecks in the supply chain.” The business intelligence software will allow the firm’s sales and production staff to get accurate, up-to-the-minute order completion times, freeing up some of their time to focus on selling and making product. Syteline also integrates with Ewart’s export documentation system, GTA-Connect. In the past, the company had to enter orders onto their existing system (10-year old legacy system from Glovia), then re-key these into GTA-Connect, which was prone to errors and time consuming. Now, the firm will simply download order details in real time from Syteline so that delivery consignments can be packed more efficiently.