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How Energy Manufacturing Tackled Its Inventory Challenges with an Affordable, Easy-To-Use Supply Chain Solution

How Energy Manufacturing Tackled Its Inventory Challenges with an Affordable, Easy-To-Use Supply Chain Solution

ShelfAware helps a leading manufacturer of fluid power components and systems to easily customize, automate, and streamline their inventory supply chain operations with sophisticated but simple to employ RFID-based technology.

For years, Energy Manufacturing Company was wasting time and valuable resources trying to streamline its massive inventory of seals and O-rings used to manufacture cylinders for the fluid power industry.

“We had no way to tell how many we had, how many were coming in, if we were going to get them, and when we would get them,” says Cheryl, one of Energy’s veteran seal casters.

The company was forced to pay for expedited shipping for overnight orders, experienced delays in delivering for their customers, and spent countless hours searching for parts.

In 2016, it found the solution it needed when the Monticello, Iowa-based company partnered with supply chain solutions provider ShelfAware to simplify its inventory and material management with easy-to-use RFID technology.

“The app benefits me because I can go on the computer, and it tells me exactly where my parts are, how many parts I have, how many are bagged, and when more are coming in,” Cheryl says.

The Right Inventory Software for your Manufacturing Business

Energy Manufacturing partnered with ShelfAware and executed a consolidation of 10-to-12 different seal suppliers that they were managing. The RFID-based software now tracks about 600 SKUs with about 6,000 individual bags on their shelves and generates an average of about 20,000 tags per year—comprehensively automating the company’s supply chain.

Energy Manufacturing’s Plant Manager Jason Dunbar is responsible for all aspects of the company’s operations, which manufactures about 750 cylinders a day.

“Previously, we were constantly expediting seals to get in here daily to meet our shipments and to meet our product demand,” Dunbar says. “It was a daily battle in production. We would come in and discover that we were short on seals. The seals should have been in our inventory, but we were missing them. We struggled with maintaining the inventory.”

Since using ShelfAware, that pain of all those stressful activities have gone to the wayside. “Now, we get in one invoice a week, and we don’t have multiple purchase orders or emails to deal with,” Dunbar says. “We can actually service a customer who may be in the field with a seal keg that same day and have the products delivered by the next day.”

Inventory Management in Action

Paying for overnight shipments was just one of the expensive inconveniences of Energy’s operation. The purchasing manager typically spent a third of his day managing the inventory seals and O-rings.

“Those are parts that cost pennies, but that activity was consuming a lot of time and resources that we wanted to focus elsewhere,” Dunbar says. “With ShelfAware, now our purchasing agent spends maybe 15 minutes a day, at the most. All of those time-consuming activities are gone. It’s seamless. We don’t have to deal with purchase orders, emails, or invoices. It’s a seamless transaction that has been working for our plant.”

Advantages of RFID Inventory Management Solution from ShelfAware

ShelfAware automates reordering, shows the customer exactly what each product costs, and tracks the inventory that is on hand. The RFID technology frees manufacturers to make more products in less time.

“Before ShelfAware, we were constantly wondering if we had seals on hand,” says Kory, one of Energy’s assembly supervisors. “Every day we wondered if we would have the seals we needed to meet our shipments for each job. We had to search through all the bags and some were out of reach on high shelving. We would count on having the bags we needed, but if not, we had to just keep searching. It took hours. Before ShelfAware, there would be between 10-to-15 jobs that we couldn’t deliver because we were waiting on a simple O-ring.”

ShelfAware went live at Energy in January 2017 and consolidated its seal supply chain to a single seal supplier, Kansas City’s O-ring Sales & Service. Since deployment, immediate results were seen including:

  • Eliminated production delays due to missing seals or stock outs
  • Eliminated the need for manual purchase orders
  • Eliminated restrictive minimum order requirements
  • Created full supply chain visibility from the shelf to the vendor

With ShelfAware, your inventory becomes RFID intelligent, providing wireless traceability to your inventory.


Vision of Automated Manufacturing Inventory Management

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Too good to be true?  ShelfAware is redefining the vendor-managed inventory industry. For this reason, we’re happy to talk to you about how our intelligent inventory platform can benefit your business. Contact us today for more information.


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