Polaris Windows and Doors was a growing success in the late 1990s. The company had significantly grown its sales, customer base and product lines since it began making aluminum storm doors and windows in 1979 in Youngstown, Ohio.
But by 1999, order entry errors were common and costly. Plant floor equipment was not connected or integrated. Staff configured doors in spreadsheets. The company needed a better way to run.
“We had a legacy system for order entry, shipping and accounting,” said Dave Cicozi, who has been at Polaris for 38 years and is now systems coordinator. “We had a stale, outdated window manufacturing software solution.”
A Leap of Faith
To solve the issues, Polaris did something nearly everyone advises against: it became the first customer for an unknown new fenestration ERP system. In this case, FeneTech‘s FeneVision.
“With FeneVision, we first began with BOM setup, and with new technology, we were able to tie together our cutting and welding equipment,” Cicozi continued. “What I liked most was that we were able to integrate it into the middle of our current system.”
FeneVision has been essential for Polaris during the last 20 years as the company continued to add new lines and customers and grow.
“We wouldn’t have been able to handle our increased production without FeneVision,” Cicozi said. “The ascent of the software has kept pace with the advancements in our industry. It’s just been phenomenal.”
Flexibility is key
Information Systems Manager Jamie Mallery said, “The software is so flexible with the availability of validation conditions, visibility expressions and production groups. The system is easy to use and easy to manage.”
“Once we configure FeneVision, it’s a seamless process from order entry through shipping and delivery,” Mallery continued. “My FeneVision experience is FeneVision is fenestration manufacturing solved. It’s so customizable and flexible. It’s a complete solution.”
Cicozi added, “Even with that flexibility, we can maintain consistency with, for example, those built-in validation rules and grouped production.”
A True Partnership
In Cicozi opinion, the ongoing partnership with FeneTech has been invaluable.
“From the beginning, FeneTech has listened to our needs and acted upon them,” Cicozi said. “FeneTech staff discusses with us what we need, then comes up with ways to not only meet our needs but make whatever it is make it more efficient.”
“They do a phenomenal job supporting us.” This includes continually improving FeneVision.
Cicozi said FeneVision gives Polaris the tools they need to conquer production complexity. “And if something’s not there? A couple of emails or phone calls, and we work through it.”
“FeneVision is the total package,” Software Project Coordinator Eric Davignon said. “From the front end at quote and order entry to the back end with production and then on to shipping—FeneVision does it all.”
Mallery added, “We’ve never worked with a company that’s as interested in our problems as we are.”
And those previously too-frequent order entry errors? Cicozi said, “Today with FeneVision it’s unheard of. FeneVision allows us to order in any configuration, and we know that when we place an order, it’s placed correctly.”