Furniture manufacturer Boone is the specialist in space-saving, functional and modular furniture, built around the folding bed. The company offers solutions for the ever-shrinking living spaces and the ageing population.
The company is led by Jan Van Hecke. With a very clear and progressive vision, he has succeeded in transforming the company from a general furniture company into a niche player. In the meantime, Boone International has become a world player in the field of innovative folding beds. Furthermore, the company also focuses on the furnishing of hospitals and retirement homes. In this world too, Jan Van Hecke is a pioneer when it comes to innovation. He coordinates PRoF-Projects, a European Consortium of users, educational and knowledge institutions, manufacturers and professional organisations in the healthcare sector that are continually working on innovation.
The West-Flanders manager comes from the ICT world, which ensured that Boone was computerised at a very early stage. “The system we were working with was good, but after some time it was no longer supported. Which meant we were soon working with an outdated system,” testifies Jan Van Hecke. “We then engaged another party, but it was ultimately unable to realise what we wanted. It thus became high time to find a good IT partner. We offer a range of models with different versions and options. This means that we produce a large variety, which requires flexible and efficient production planning. Moreover, production is partly in series and partly assembly-to-order. The components of the furniture are produced in series and the furniture is finally assembled to order. In order to harmonise these processes in the best possible way and to work as efficiently as possible, we were looking for a good production ERP application,” says Jan Van Hecke.
Boone and Initeam
“After a thorough screening of possible solutions, we chose Initeam. Their experience and the positive responses from customers in the sector played a major role in our decision,” Jan Van Hecke adds. “What’s more, they offer software that fits perfectly with our way of working. No workarounds, which meant we could move forward immediately on an upward trajectory.”
Smart and lean: the result of the collaboration
In the first phase, all the administrative software was replaced. In the second phase, the production planning and follow-up were aligned with Boone’s operations. Patricia Vandelanotte, Initeam’s manager, explains. “The production planning takes into account all article variants, sizes, colours, customised finishes, etc. and streamlines the production of semi-finished products in series with the assembly of the different finished products. By using configuration tables, it is not necessary to define the full BOMs (Bill of Material) for all the different variants. These tables lay the link to the correct version and the correct dimensions for raw materials. This saves a great deal of time on master data definition and maintenance.
“One of the next items on the IT calendar is the optimisation of our after-sales service. We want to be able to follow up on the returns and repairs perfectly. Because this offers an absolute added value for our customers and for ourselves. We evaluate our actions in a timely manner and see if there are things we can do better,” Jan Van Hecke concludes.
Some examples where Boone wins in time and efficiency:
- By generating production orders from sales and stock management, they optimise production and minimise inventory.
- By using configuration tables, it is not necessary to define the full BOMs for all the different variants.
- Automatic order proposals to suppliers ensure that there are no stock shortages and also mean that purchases can be grouped in order to obtain better conditions.
- With the right information, they are able to plan resources and machines optimally, which immediately increases their efficiency.
- Simple and fast transactions ensure that both purchase and sales prices are easy to adjust and recalculate.
- By using scanners during the assembly and shipment, the stock is updated correctly.
Patricia Vandelanotte of Initeam says: “An ERP solution tuned to your business can offer many competitive advantages and, above all, allows you to work more efficiently, giving you more time to create added value for your customers. Together with our customers, we identify the bottlenecks in their processes and try to overcome them with the right software solution. Because we produce our software in-house, we and therefore our customers too do not have to adapt to a standard ERP package, but we strive to achieve the best solution with no workarounds.”
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