Formed in 1995 as a joint venture between Monsanto/Solutia and Akzo Nobel, Flexsys manufactures chemicals for use in rubber products, paints, coatings and adhesives. The company was looking for a single enterprise-wide solution to standardize plant maintenance, manage internal capital projects and improve business processes across its 20-plus worldwide locations.
Flexsys created a winning global formula by enhancing its MFG/PRO system with MLS, an enterprise asset management (EAM) tool from Atlanta-based FBO Systems.
MLS is a plant maintenance management system that integrates directly into MFG/PRO, providing a steady flow of financial and procurement information and management tools. Flexsys uses MLS to track and manage maintenance, engineering and personal safety protection inventory; employee labor utilization; purchasing activity; maintenance work order scheduling; and internal plant and facility capital projects.
"MFG/PRO and MLS work in the same environment, so you're using the same skill sets," notes Carl Skidmore, MLS project manager for Flexsys. "And you're able to share information between the two systems without re-entering data."
The use of MLS in combination with MFG/PRO has streamlined and supported Flexsys' operational workflow management initiatives. The result of these initiatives has been a 25 percent reduction in maintenance costs at the Nitro, W. Va., location.
Instead of a facility buying from one vendor and another site getting its supplies elsewhere, procurement is now coordinated, resulting in better pricing and simplified tasks. Issuing purchase orders (POs) by hand is out. With MLS, POs are automatically generated and electronically faxed, e-mailed or printed in the supplier's preferred format.
The MLS system captures personnel time and feeds these data into the company's time and attendance system for payroll. MLS also schedules preventive and predictive maintenance work orders, tracks failure analysis and mean-time-between-failure of equipment and electronically alerts production and maintenance personnel of problems and service requests.
"If I had to sum up what made the Flexsys project successful, I would say it was the right combination of resources," says Steve Pitsos, director of professional services for FBO Systems, "[including] internal Flexsys experts and external FBO systems consultants [and] the right level of support from internal leadership and information technology resources. Most importantly, the company had the right attitude toward change, recognizing their desire to do more to remain competitive."