Original Date: 06/02/1997
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Material Cost Reduction
Previously, Sharretts had no computerized system for budgeting or effectively monitoring material purchases. In 1997, the company implemented an aggressive Budget Tracking and Purchasing system using Microsoft Office 97 (Access, Word, Excel, PowerPoint) software package. The system allows Sharretts to project costs six weeks in advance; implement corrections before a financial crisis develops; and operate with a more positive cash flow by assigning budgets to specific areas. In addition, budget planning eliminates crisis management and enables the company to spend more time costing out materials for the best price. Purchase approvals now require at least three sources for review prior to approval. Sharretts selects sources from the Thomas Register and other comparable references, and will soon begin using the Internet to identify potential sources.
The computerized system generates a Flash Report which tracks a broad range of data on a weekly basis. In addition to standard accounting information (e.g., sales, orders, payroll, accounts receivable, disbursements), the report tracks key indicators such as chemistry usage and purchases; waste treatment costs and data; maintenance and repair part costs; quality status including scrap and rework; and utilization data for each production line. Since the software permits the books to be closed out every week, management keeps abreast of changes and can react appropriately.
Through its Budget Tracking and Purchasing system, Sharretts has improved its control capabilities for budgeting and purchasing, and can easily implement planning improvements for the plant’s operations. These efficiencies, combined with more effective production monitoring, have produced significant improvements such as the overall productivity of Sharretts’ zinc-plating processes which have increased by more than 33%.
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