Custom Protect Ear - Business Consulting Project

Project Details

Project Client: Custom Protect Ear
Project Description: Customer Order Introduction Process
Students: Ryan Tomm, Jay Jung
Term: Spring 2014
BCIT Program: Business Operations Management
Custom Protect Ear is North America’s largest custom earplug manufacturer, selling to more than 4,500 companies around the world. As part of being competitive, they must fill customer orders in the shortest time possible. But before they can produce the earplugs, they must get the customer order into the database. Therefore, the purpose of the project was to identify ways to reduce the time to introduce the order to the shop floor.

To begin, the process was mapped, and the requirements for the remaining processes were gathered. It became apparent there was not much they can do to the current process without looking at other parts of the business. Adding a pre-screening role at the beginning of the process is the easiest way for them to catch discrepancies early enough for the sales reps to respond before order entry. This will expedite order entry because more orders will be “problem free” at that stage and improve order accuracy. It will also save time by preventing the possibility of contacting a sales rep twice if two errors are found at separate times as there is a significant lead time to get a response.

To further improve the process, new technology should be used by the sales reps. An import feature needs to be added to the next ERP system to make it possible to automatically update it with new customer orders. By using tablets or PC computers as a way to replace the paper order forms, the data entry time will be almost fully eliminated. This means that for large sized orders, the entire process should save up to 50% of the time it takes right now.

The application of new technology at the sales rep level isn’t as easy as one may think. That’s because the environments they have to work in are very remote and sometimes very dirty. In these cases it is recommended that instead of using computers as the front end with the sales reps, the employer will submit their employee names, birthday, and employee number to Custom Protect Ear.

Custom Protect Ear must continue to pursue ways to successfully apply the technology at the sales rep level, and combine it with a new import feature in their ERP system. The time savings upon successful implementation will help them to become much more responsive to future customer orders.