Software Races To Meet Company Management Needs

Case Study From: Production Machining, ,

Posted on: 8/14/2007

Historically, Joe Gibbs Racing relied on Microsoft Word and Excel to schedule, track and price the race engines and other parts the company manufactures and assembles for its teams. However, as the business grew, managing these processes with the two applications became increasingly inefficient and time consuming.

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JobBoss Quality Toolkit

The JobBoss Quality Toolkit helps Joe Gibbs Racing track and control quality activities and information. The new system makes corrections quicker and easier, ensuring they are implemented on time, according to the company.

Joe Gibbs Racing (Huntersville, North Carolina) was formed in July 1991 by Joe Gibbs, head coach of the Washington Redskins, and his business partner Don Meredith. The two met in April 1991 with Rick Hendrick of Hendrick Motorsports and seven-time Winston Cup Champion, Richard Petty, to discuss forming a NASCAR team. Shortly after their meeting, they found their first sponsor, Interstate Batteries. Under Joe Gibbs’ ownership, Joe Gibbs Racing has won three Cup series titles and 45 Cup races, including the 1993 Daytona 500 with Dale Jarrett, the 2000 Brickyard 400 with Bobby Labonte and the 2005 Brickyard 400 with Tony Stewart.

Interstate Batteries has been the primary sponsor for the No. 18 car since the team’s first race in 1992, and the relationship is one of the longest running team sponsorships in the Nextel Cup Series. Home Depot became a primary sponsor in 1999 when the team expanded to a two-car effort with Tony Stewart, and in 2005, Joe Gibbs Racing expanded to three cars with the No. 11 FedEx Chevrolet.

Historically, Joe Gibbs Racing relied on Microsoft Word and Excel to schedule, track and price the race engines and other parts the company manufactures and assembles for its teams. However, as the business grew, managing these processes with the two applications became increasingly inefficient and time consuming. With everything handled manually, the company wasn’t able to accurately track the cost or labor going into each part, which limited visibility into the shop’s performance and profitability.

The introduction of a new engine leasing business, planned for the beginning of the 2006 racing season, was another major impetus to the company’s decision to begin a search for shop management software. By putting a system in place to better manage the scheduling, tracking and pricing of jobs, the company would be able to transform its job shop into a profit center and help ensure the success of the new initiative.

Because Joe Gibbs Racing was already running another software program for finance and accounting, the company immediately ruled out any product that couldn’t integrate with that system. Based on positive feedback from an existing customer, the company evaluated and selected Exact JobBoss, because it offered seamless integration with the accounting program, and its comprehensive functionality would help the company control all activities in its shop.

Since implementing JobBoss, the company has improved its ability to manage job histories and track the progress of jobs throughout the shop. Employees use a bar code scanner for time keeping and can designate time and materials to specific jobs with the system, enabling the company to more accurately determine the true cost of the engines and other parts it manufactures.

In addition, the JobBoss Quality Toolkit helps Joe Gibbs Racing track and control quality activities and information. By simplifying the creation and maintenance of quality activities and documentation, the new system makes corrections quicker and easier, ensuring they are corrected on time, says the company.

JobBoss has also been integral to the shop’s Kanban initiative and ability to manage inventory, including stock from vendors as well as parts manufactured on site, on a more just-in-time basis. Previously, the company’s inventory control was highly inefficient, according to Mark Bringle, CNC/quality control manager at Joe Gibbs Racing.

“With no system in place, we would frequently run out of parts. Moreover, because many of these parts were needed to service Joe Gibbs Racing cars between races, we would be forced to overnight the shipments to ensure that the jobs got done in time. This drove up our costs significantly.”

Now, when part levels in the stock room reach a pre-defined threshold, the new software automatically triggers the necessary action to ensure that the supply is replenished before there is an interruption in production. The system has been beneficial for Joe Gibbs Racing’s parts manager, who places and manages parts orders for six internal departments, including engineering, shocks, fabricating, engine, setup and parts. Considering that there are more than 100 active orders at any given time, JobBoss’s material planning functionality has been crucial to the company’s efforts to get a much better handle on its inventory and avoid material shortages.

Another area where Joe Gibbs Racing has experienced significant improvements is reporting and information analysis. Prior to the JobBoss implementation, the prior software was collecting data, but Joe Gibbs Racing was unable to effectively leverage this information for reporting purposes. Now, the company uses JobBoss in tandem with Crystal Reports to generate a variety of reports that provide employees with the insight necessary to make better, well-informed decisions.

With an integrated system in place to manage its operations, the shop has eliminated isolated silos of information, increasing visibility throughout the organization.

“With JobBoss, our shop is running more efficiently than ever before,” Mr. Bringle says. “As Joe Gibbs Racing grows and our business needs evolve, we are confident that the software will continue to deliver the results and performance necessary for us to
succeed.”

 

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