Michael Chill, HBM’s VP of Information Technology, will be posting a blog on a periodic basis to highlight the enterprise-wide initiatives the firm is currently undertaking.
A key component of our philosophy regarding technology is how key solutions in one business can migrate, adapt and become a solution for another. We encourage strategies and solutions to build on each other, offering a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.
With disparate and independently managed businesses in our portfolio, approaching the use of technology in this manner ensures that we are helping each entity maximize the opportunities that it affords, while delivering quickly and efficiently.
In a manner of course, we always ensure our companies’ technology platform is stable, secure and flexible. We help manage and take those worries away from our businesses, allowing them to have a purity of focus on their customers, employees and overall business strategy. The business leaders do not have to worry if their email systems are running, if their files can be accessed, or even the greater concerns surrounding cybersecurity threats. This level of service is viewed as a real benefit to the management teams of our businesses.
Over and above that, however, we also provide a consultative approach that enables our businesses to ascertain processes to improve customer service and fulfillment, and/or increase overall manufacturing efficiencies.
An important project we have ongoing currently is with our portfolio company Delavau, a producer of premium food, pharmaceutical and nutritional technologies (such as calcium and enzyme additives). They are highly regulated by the FDA and have stringent production schedules that require the equipment to be cleaned after a specified period of run-time, or if the product changes during that timeframe. To enable the equipment to continuously run will maximize efficiencies, reducing costs while also increasing on-time delivery for our customers.
An effective schedule is key for a successful process manufacturing organization. Having hundreds of customer orders and thousands of manufacturing orders to produce in a very complex regulatory constrained manufacturing environment, is always a big challenge. Historically, the production scheduling did not have an automated way to communicate or interact with information on customer orders and overall demand.
The Delavau Smart Schedule (DSS) is a customized IT solution that will allow Delavau to automate the processing of inbound customer orders more efficiently and schedule production batches to minimize forced production interruptions.
Ali Selvi, VP of IT at Delavau, was the original architect of the solution. With a project of this magnitude, we were able to provide him the resources and attention he needed to cross this over the finish line in a relatively short ten-month timeframe. “DSS is already having a huge impact in our businesses productivity. Allowing the users to see both the data (sequenced manufacturing orders) as well graphics format (machine load vs. capacity) allows them to efficiently schedule and minimize downtime. This keeps the equipment running and orders shipping,” said Ali.
This was a sizable investment in that we hired a full-time developer to help build this custom solution. However, the financial decisions were easily justified given the ability for significant improvements in the production capacity of the business, reducing costs and enhancing customer service. Ali added, “We intend to take DSS further by developing functionality to schedule manpower, minimize inventories (cashflow), as well as other business metrics, while continuing to fine tune it in the coming months.”
The benefits don’t stop there, however.
We are already identifying opportunities to leverage the software within our other manufacturing businesses. Ali, as well as the new developer, is already beginning to assist with similar types of custom development. There are a myriad of applications for this within the other portfolio businesses; a great example and demonstration of how we see the true benefit of our enterprise-wide focus for sharing of resources, intelligence and ideas.
Michael’s contact information is as follows:
Vice President of Information Technology