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Discover how this fastener and catch manufacturing business achieved greater growth and efficiency with the Sanderson Unity ERP system.

Unity ERP Case Study – Howard S. Cooke


As Howard S. Cooke’s fastener and catch manufacturing business grew, management realised they needed to improve the collection of real-time manufacturing data to provide a better view of shop floor activity and maintain on-time order delivery.

Howard Cooke, Managing Director, explained: “Our shop floor data was originally collected and calculated manually, which was slow and subject to human error. We needed to manage information to get a clear view of what was happening so we could calculate cost and capacity accurately.”


“Improving our internal efficiency has enabled us to supply orders on time.”


The business brief:

After researching potential solutions from Sanderson as well as its competitors, Howard S. Cooke management chose to extend the Factory Automation capabilities of its current Unity ERP system with the new Shop Floor Data Collection module.

Our strategy:

Improved job costing and planning with Factory Automation

Shop Floor Data Collection simplified the collection of complex job data and payroll processes, by enabling the company to access information in real time and gain a more realistic view of shop floor activity.

Assembly staff sign in at the start of each shift using a bar code card that is swiped directly into the Unity ERP system. The system then records the number of jobs completed, time taken to complete the job and the number of parts used in the assembly.

Data is entered on touch screens with a simple user interface that does not require employees to have keyboard skills. The information is then stored in Unity ERP and updated to the WIP file in real-time.

Faster order processing with Unity Warehouse Automation

The success and cost savings of the Factory Automation project saw Howard S. Cooke undertake an even bigger transformation using the latest Sanderson Warehouse Automation solution.

The company replaced its ceiling-high warehouse racking and heavy tins with new automated storage carousels that bring the desired inventory down to floor level for picking. With Unity ERP integrated to the physical storage equipment, picking notes are entered into Unity ERP which tells the carousels which product to bring down.

The Unity ERP system also tracks inventory used, prints courier notes for delivery, places orders for replacement inventory and instantly delivers invoices to the customer.

The results:

Instant visibility of Work In Progress

By using Shop Floor Data Collection, managers can now see at the press of a button when a job is started, how many operators are on a job, the various parts used, the time taken to complete each task and task progress. This Factory Automation solution reduces paperwork and eliminates manual errors from data collection, making labour costing more accurate.

Ensures on-time delivery by quickly identifying bottlenecks

A significant benefit is that management can quickly identify bottlenecks and rectify the situation to ensure on time job deliveries. The system also tracks task completion time so wages are accurately calculated and the company can match pay to performance.

Enabling business expansion without relocating

In the warehouse, meanwhile, Unity’s integration with the carousels has led to significant improvements in order processing and picking efficiency. The gains provided by this Warehouse Automation have enabled the company to expand the business in the existing premises without having to add staff.

In addition, management now has more robust data which is available for easy, instant analysis from within the Unity ERP system.

Achieving greater growth and efficiency with the Sanderson Unity ERP system

“Improving our internal efficiency,” said Howard Cooke, “has enabled us to supply orders on time. We’ve also improved our customer service. Our ability to manage operations has improved dramatically.”

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