In 1899, John Miller I, a farmer in St
Nazianz area & the great grand father of
the current owner/president founded a
hardware and implement store
The Company has roots in farm equipment dealership & distribution.
1981 : Small manufacturing began Miller Pro forage boxes
1998 : Began production of self propelled (motorized) sprayers
2004 : AG BAG product line was acquired
We have one physical location, located in the small town of Saint Nazianz, WI
We currently employ about 285 people
HISTORY OF OUR ERP SYSTEMS
• 2001 – The decision was made to migrate from our current ERP system (EMS) to
• 2005 – upgraded to IFS 2004
• 2009 – June – went live on IFS 7.5 SP1
• 2010 – July – went live on 7.5 SP5
• 2013 – June – went live on 8.0 SP1
HISTORY OF OUR ERP SYSTEMS
• IFS Financials
• IFS Supply Chain
• IFS Engineering
• IFS Manufacturing
• IFS Sales & Marketing (CRM)
• IFS Demand Planning
• IFS Quality Management
• IFS Business Intelligence
Part of Miller’s lean initiatives are to improve efficiencies, reduce waste
and reduce over production of parts.
2011 – introduction of the iPad to our manufacturing floor
• The main area of use of the iPads was our assembly lines
• All of our process sheets and work instructions were placed into
SharePoint and made available on the iPads
• With the introduction of the iPads to our manufacturing area, the
opportunity presented itself to create some ”apps” that would
interact with IFS
AND NAYO TECHNOLOGIES
• In early 2012 Miller began a relationship with Nayo Technologies, an IFS
• With our Lean initiative to reduce waste (non-value added activities) and
reduce over production, we implemented KanBan in areas of our
manufacturing process where it made sense.
• Because of the use of iPads on the shop floor and the decision to start using
KanBan, we asked Nayo Technologies to help us develop the iKanBan app.
• iKanBan is really just the IFS KanBan replinishment screen on an iPad or iPod
• We had Weld Cells set up
• We were using MRP and Master Production Schedule to drive production
• We had lot sizes set up on parts
• In reality if we had a welded part that consisted of 20 different components,
MRP was driving our production based on the parameters we had set up.
• In some cases, each component part would have a lot size of 10 pieces
• In order to make one welded part, we would release 20 shop orders for 10
• This led to over production of the component parts and was an inefficient way
of supplying our weld cells
• Introduction of KanBan
• Introduction of ”carts”
• We had to re-structure our BOMs a bit by adding a ”grouping” level
• Now we create one shop order in our Fabrication department instead of 20
• We make only the parts necessary to stock the cart and make the welded part
• This has led to increased efficiencies in production and has cut out the over
production of parts
• With the addition of the iKanBan app, we have been able to
• Increase our efficiencies in our manufacturing area
• Decrease the amount of waste
• Decrease over production of parts
• It gives the workers more control of production, making the parts when we
need them, not just to keep busy
• We currently have about 40 static weld cells – cells that are set up year round.
• We have about half of them set up for replenishment via the iKanBan app.
• The goal is to get all of them set up to use KanBan and the iKanBan app for
• We are also now using the iKanBan app on some of our iPads on the assembly
line to replenish their bins.
• We are continually identifying areas that we can implement the use of KanBan
and the iKanBan app.
• With the success of the iKanBan app on our shop floor and continuing on our
Lean journey, we had a request from our Purchasing department to streamline
the process of ordering/replenishment of our MRO items (non-inventory
• iPurchReq app – again, we asked Nayo to help us develop a Purchase
Requistion app essentially replicating the purchase requistion form in IFS to
make it available on an iPad, iPod Touch or an iPhone to streamline the
process of ordering parts from the manufacturing floor.
• We have the iPurchReq app set up to default the ”Wanted Delivery Date” to
the current date plus the leadtime of the Purchased Part
• Once submitting the Purchase Requistion, it will automatically release the
purchase requisition in IFS and make it available for our purchasing
department to create a PO.
• We have cabinets on the shop floor housing our MRO type (non-inventory
purchased items) parts
• If an item was running low or was out of stock, the worker would fill out a sheet
and hand it in to the supervisor.
• The supervisor would then email the purchasing person a description of what
they need and they would manually enter a PO into the IFS system.
• A similar process was also used for ordering all of our raw steel.
• iPurchReq app
• Now each area has a person in charge of the ”MRO” cabinets.
• They will use their iPad or iPod to create a Purchase Requistion.
• We have cards in each cabinet with a Barcode of the part number, the minumum
cabinet quantity and the maximum cabinet quantity and the order multiples.
• We did create/set up a Non-Inventory part number for as many MRO items as
• The person simply scans the part number and enters the quantity they wish to order.
• Once they have created all of the requistions, they submit it and purchasing is
notified by an email via an IFS event that is triggered when a Req is released.
• We will be using this app to order
• Our ”raw” steel
• Our ”MRO” (non-inventory) items
• We plan on expanding into other areas as well
• The addition of this app is saving us a lot of time in the ordering process
• Once the requisition is ”submitted” via the app, it automatically releases the
requisition in IFS and and event kicks off to email the purchasing area that
requisition is ready for them to turn into an order.
• Another area where we had a lot of manual entry and wasted time was our
Quality department, specifically the NCR process.
• This had nothing to do with our employees in the quality department.
• When an issue would arise, they would go to the area, take pictures of the
parts if necessary and document (on a piece of paper) what the issue was.
• Next time they get a chance, they would transfer the pictures to their computer
and fill out and NCR form in an Access database.
• Because a lot of the fields were not tied in any way to our IFS system, it was a
lot of manual entry.
• Also, once a decision was made on the parts – return to the vendor for rework,
have the vendor come out and rework the parts, scrap them out and issue a
credit to the vendor, etc., we would lose site of it in the Microsoft Access
database because we had no workflow set up.
• In June of this year we completed our upgrade to IFS Applicaitons 8.0 SP1 and
with the upgrade purchased the new Quality Assurance module
• We are using iPads out on the shop floor and also in the Quality department,
however, since we do not use Citrix, the iPad was not an option.
• IFS offers a Quality Assurance app for creating NCRs on the Android platform,
but we are not using any Android devices in production area either
• Because IFS Applications 8.0 is ”touch” friendly, we decided to use a Microsoft
Surface Pro device as a solution to help streamline the creation of NCRs in our
• Currently, we do not have this fully implemented into production, but we are
working on getting everything set up so that we can start using it soon.
• The major benefit for our Quality department is much improved efficiencies in
the creation of the NCR
• There are also other benefits of using the IFS Quality Assurance module, but
since I don’t work in the Quality department, I will not get into the other
• Live demo of the Quality Assurance NCR assistant on the Microsoft Surface Pro