How PSG Dover United IT and the Business to Automate their Entire Part Sourcing Process
When a corporate policy change led to greater complexity in its parts sourcing process, the team at PSG Dover’s Grand Rapids facility needed a better way to stay organized and compliant. The company was using spreadsheets and emails to keep up with its new, complex dual-sourced process which led to inconsistencies and other issues.
PSG Dover found that Quickbase could help them automate these processes to speed up the parts approval process and make it more accurate. After building their first application, PSG Dover wanted to continue to expand. But first they needed IT to sign off due to security standards. Once approved, the team quickly built a solution to automate the entire process, without the need for professional developers. The results are a faster and more efficient process, greater accuracy and detail, and easier collaboration between teams.
- Delayed or unavailable sourced parts impacting overall production which could negatively affect customers
- The dual-sourcing program was unmanageable with standard spreadsheets and emails
- Quickbase applications built to streamline all aspects of the dual-sourcing program
- The applications met rigorous government security standards which allowed further application development
- Applications are flexible to adjust as needed
- The part approval process was standardized for more consistent results
- The dual-sourcing program was streamlined to help approve hundreds more parts without increasing the number of workers
- Applications helped PSG accommodate more users and layers of functionality
Delays in Product Sourcing
With roots that reach back 115 years, PSG Grand Rapids is a leading designer and manufacturer of pumps, compressors, and accessories for the transfer of liquid and gas products for commercial and military/marine markets. About half of the company’s product offerings are produced on-site through its cutting-edge foundry and machining center, while the remaining parts are sourced through various vendors.
If a sourced part becomes delayed or unavailable, it has the potential to impact PSG’s production. To avoid this scenario, the company has executed a “dual-sourcing” program to provide multiple paths for critical components. Within a year, the initiative expanded from 20 to 30 dual-sourced parts to several hundred—all from different suppliers—and each component had to go through the production part approval processes. Managing this complex, multiple step effort proved difficult with basic office software.
“The ability to keep pace just wasn’t happening with spreadsheets and email, and we started seeing inconsistencies,” said Derek Hutchinson, quality engineer for PSG. “That’s when a colleague introduced us to Quickbase to help us speed up the process and make it more accurate by automating it.”
Quickbase gave PSG the ability to create an online application to meet its exact needs without coding. The first iteration was a simple one, covering just the basics like tracking the approval process and monitoring pricing variances. Eager to take it further, Hutchinson and his team knew they would need to secure full approval from Corporate IT to fully roll out Quickbase inside the company.
“We sell some government-controlled products, so we needed certain security protocols in place,” said Hutchinson. “Once that was addressed, we quickly moved forward with our plans.”
Within a short period of time, the PSG team had built out the application to accommodate many more users and layers of functionality. Enhancements included more automated tasks, the ability to manage the number of active submissions and shipment dates, and the import of new data sources, such as those from the company’s global internal ERP system.
One of the most important benefits Quickbase has brought to PSG’s dual-sourcing program is process standardization. The team now has consistency and quality assurance in the way part approvals, rejections, testing, and validation happen across all the teams involved.
The other big advantage is collaboration. Quickbase’s automated alerts and notifications have made it easy for a growing number of users to work together and with suppliers. Deeper visibility into the parts approval process, along with helpful tools like a Quickbase issue log for tracking and resolving open items, help facilitate more timely authorizations. In addition, high level project reviews now give project managers the ability to view the approval status of dozens of parts associated with a specific project.
“With Quickbase we’re certifying more parts faster, with the same number of people, and nothing falls through the cracks,” said Hutchinson. “Quickbase plays an important role in helping us manufacture quality pumps delivered on time.”