Metal Moulding Modernizes with MasterTools ERP
Since 1987, Madison, Tennessee-based Metal Moulding Corporation has supplied custom parts and accessories to the marine industry. From hinges to cabinets to seatbacks, if it belongs on a boat, Metal Moulding has probably made it. Its reputation for quality products and stellar service allowed Metal Moulding to weather a number of economic downturns, and recent growth has further transformed the company from a small fabrication shop with 30 employees to a substantial operation that requires about 150 employees to run.
All that growth also required a better way to keep up with costs and track jobs and inventory. The company was making do with a cobbled- together system involving a variety of spreadsheets. It worked well, but there were limitations
“We would never know how much material was out on the floor or how much cost it represented,” says David Smallwood, vice president and general manager. “In that respect, we could definitely feel the growing pains.”
Not only was business booming, but the company diversified and expanded its product lines. While the marine industry still makes up the lion’s share of Metal Moulding’s business, it also builds table legs for music studios, various parts for solar panels, fireplace screen barriers and battery charger systems.
“There are 200,000 plus parts going through this shop on any given day,” Smallwood says. “We came to the realization that we needed a more sophisticated system to help us keep up with all of that.”
And so, a search for a new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system led him to Online Computing.
“We talked to five different companies, and Online Computing stood out from the crowd right away,” he recalls.
“Ted (Murphy) and his team are so knowledgeable. Their MasterTools system is so simple to use and yet it does so much for our business.”
Smallwood opted for a complete solution that encompasses the entire production cycle. The system was implemented in phases, starting in 2015. Purchasing went live first, followed by payables, order entry, production control, shipping and invoicing. Inventory was the biggest undertaking, considering those 200,000 parts circulating on the production floor every day.
“I won’t lie, there was a lot of setup involved with inventory,” he says. “But I’ve got to give credit to Online Computing. They were a big help. They bulk loaded so much information and helped us find someone who could help with data cleanup.”
As each new component came on for the company, Metal Moulding employees could just jump right in.
“One of the things I love about MasterTools is that all levels of the system work the same,”
Smallwood says. “If you learn how to do one portion of the system, the next just comes natural. It’s all very easy to pick up and learn.”
Smallwood also appreciates Online Computing’s customer support and rapid response. “The system’s great, but if there’s ever a problem, a question or a request for a new feature, they’re on top of it.”
In terms of requested features, Smallwood estimates that Online Computing has been able to deliver about 98% of them. One of the most recent relates to the new tariffs on Chinese imports, which has impacted the company.
The transformation MasterTools has made on Metal Moulding is like night and day,
according to Smallwood. “The old days felt a little more like a guessing game,” he says. “How many dollars are in progress? How much is in finished goods? We know all of that now with certainty.”
That kind of visibility doesn’t just help with daily operations, but when it comes time to sell, too. Last year, Metal Moulding Corporation was acquired by publicly held Patrick Industries for $20 million. The company will continue to operate under its existing brand name, and there’s no signs of slowing for Smallwood and his team. With increased demand for boat parts, the company is looking to add 15-30 employees in the next year.