Posted by Dawn Aldwinckle on April 20th, 2011
Established in 1987, Contamac has grown to become a world leader in the development of specialist polymers and a major supplier to the ophthalmic industry. Today, Contamac exports more than 90% of its output, providing high performance materials for the world’s top contact lens manufacturers and has an unrivalled reputation for innovation, superior quality and customer focus.
For many years Contamac used a combined production and financial accounting software solution which had come under increasing pressure as the company expanded. In response, the company adopted a new ERP system from Lakeview, which has provided the enterprise-wide integrated functionality, flexibility and scalability to support Contamac’s continued growth.
“As we have driven quality standards to a new level,” says Rob Lewis, operations director, Contamac, “the Lakeview solution’s superior control and reporting capability has enabled us to provide customers with a level of service which matches our product quality. And we have been able to achieve this with a significant reduction in administration costs.”
To maintain competitive edge in a highly specialised yet competitive industry, Contamac recognised the need to meet a number of challenging targets.
In becoming more Quality Assurance (QA)-centric, the need to enhance product traceability with strong evidential back-up had become paramount. At the same time, the drive to demonstrate quality throughout the ISO-compliant business was reflected in the adoption of CE marking. These and other initiatives all required a higher level of materials control which would meet the exacting production tolerances required.
In addition, the growth of the business had put increasing pressure on ensuring shipping dates for distribution around the globe were met. All this had to be achieved in an increasingly tough economic environment in which the need to control and drive down cost throughout the business was critical.
In seeking an enterprise solution, Contamac looked at a number of options and selected Lakeview as best-placed to provide the level of integration and flexibility they needed in a fast-changing environment.
Lakeview’s highly-competitive off-the-shelf ERP solution offered a fully-integrated manufacturing package with sophisticated accounting and stock control capability. This enabled Contamac to significantly improve control of its end-to-end production process, from receipt of raw materials through manufacturing to dispatch and billing.
This level of automation across the operation not only allowed the company to improve the quality and consistency of its output in meeting higher quality assurance standards but also to reduce the level of manual input, so cutting production and administration costs and error rates.
Implemented in 2004, the Lakeview system has provided the companywide operating platform required for Contamac to successfully grow its business and adapt to the company’s changing demands. The software’s intuitive functionality has also made it easy for staff across all departments to achieve maximum benefit from its advanced features.
As a result, Contamac has been able to manage growth at the same time reducing its administrative support requirement by 25 per cent. The company is achieving higher internal and external KPIs consistently and has demonstrably improved the ratio of on-time deliveries on much higher volumes.
One of the key strengths of the Lakeview system is its sophisticated and comprehensive reporting capability. In the area of quality control, for example, the time required to pull together the detailed six-monthly Quality Assurance report has been cut from more than three weeks to less than two days. Similarly, the administrative time required to report against regulatory requirements has been cut by 50 per cent.
Contamac has been delighted with the close relationship established with Lakeview, which has resulted in a number of valuable improvements to its software.
“As Lakeview writes its own software,” says Lewis, “we are able to feed into the broader development programme and suggest new functionality which will better meet our needs going forward. At the same time, we also benefit from other Lakeview customers contributing to the same process.”
Highlights : Customer Benefits and Results
- Integrated ERP system manages company-wide distribution, accounts, reporting and manufacturing
- Flexible, scalable solution supporting company growth
- Close involvement in Lakeview software development ensures relevant and valuable improvement in functionality
- Improvement in customer service and reduction in delivery complaints on higher volumes
- 25% cut in admin costs, dramatic reduction in time taken to create reports
Author: Angela Kennedy, Marketing, Lakeview