Case Study: BASE2 Provides KAPCO, Inc. with Just-in-Time EDI

Company Profile:

Kapco, Inc. is a metal fabricator located in Grafton, Wisconsin, with a satellite division in Osceola, Wisconsin. The company specializes in metal stamping, fabrications, weldments, and assemblies.

The Challenge:

Kapco's entire EDI and label printing systems were no longer able to meet the company's evolving needs. The old system was costing the company hours upon hours of production time to use and maintain and these hours went relatively unnoticed because the system was "working". During this time, the demands of the manufacturing industry were not being efficiently met.

Kapco used 2 computers in the shipping department: one for communications, one for EDI processing and label printing. Directing the process data flow between these two computers was a manual process. Needless to say, it took hours to print labels for the shipments because the label printing was not integrated with the EDI data flow: it was all performed manually. The shipping department went well out of their way to make the system work smoothly.

Kapco searched for a more efficient solution. The company was set up with Infor ERP Visual and an EDI system by a well-known third-party reseller. The solution necessitated that data be entered manually since it did not have smooth and comprehensive integration with label printing, scanning, and communications. In addition, the EDI system was not compatible with the pressing needs of the manufacturing industry. Kapco needed an integrated EDI system supported by an EDI provider that knew the demands of the industry.

The Solution:

With its manufacturing industry experience and proven solutions, BASE2 proved to be a perfect fit for Kapco.

Kapco implemented the BASE2 Just-in-Time solution and immediately began reaping the benefits of an integrated EDI system. The new system was installed primarily to automate the EDI information feed to the MRP system. After installing the first two trading partners, Kapco experienced an efficiency boost, saving nearly 1,600 work hours per year by coordinating EDI communications, bar code printing (84 percent), and MRP updating (16 percent). Most of these hours can be repurposed to more productive activities.

"We have received no DTRs since the new system was installed," notes Brian Mack, inventory control specialist for Kapco. "We took human error right out of the equation."

As a result of installing BASE2's integrated EDI system, Kapco has realized an annual savings of over $79,000, with the potential to save more as the next trading partners are added. The new integrated system works like this:

1. Receiving Data. Inbound EDI in the form of forecasts, releases, and purchase orders contain just about all of the information needed to complete the processes listed below. Kapco does not have to reenter any of this information. Even the EDI receiving process can be easily automated.

2. Transfer to MRP. Inbound forecasts and releases are automatically transferred to Kapco's manufacturing system. This is possible whether the MRP is a spreadsheet or a more sophisticated system such as Kapco currently runs.

3. Bar Code Labeling. The information Kapco needs for the barcode label is already contained in the inbound release from the simplest Part-Quantity-Serial, to labels with 2-D barcodes. No data re-entry is needed. Trading partner-specific label formats are populated from the inbound data. Labels are produced in the correct format and quantity for the shipment.

4. ASN Creation. With the exception of carrier codes and the trailer number, the BASE2 EDI system is able to create the outbound shipment advice by transferring the data from the inbound release.

5. Shipping Papers. Once the ASN is created, the shipping papers are generated from this same ASN data structure. Bills of lading, packing lists, and other trading partner-specific required reports are printed and reprinted as required.

6. Scanning the Shipment. From the barcode labels already printed, the shipment scan of the serial number only validates the correct parts and quantities for the shipment, and creates the pallet structure within the ASN.

7. Sending the ASN. Sending the ASN is done by the press of a "Send Now" button. Connection to the desired communication portal is completely automated and does not require human intervention.

8. Update the MRP. The step of generating and sending the ASN also updates the MRP for invoicing and inventory relief.

Kapco enjoys additional benefits from utilizing Base2's solution, including shipment accuracy and its resulting goodwill. The money that Kapco has saved from accurate shipments not requiring expedited shipping, the time saved not replying to trouble reports (DTR, PRR, etc.) - and explaining to managers and customers what actions have been taken to mitigate this situation in the future - and the results of improved supplier ratings are real and measurable.

For more information about BASE2's integrated EDI solution for manufacturers, please contact Russell White at 281-480-1121 ext. 764 or email

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