Case Study Detail
Language: English

LACKS ENTERPRISES INC.: Lacks Enterprises gains visibility with Infor Supplier Exchange

 Lacks Enterprises Inc.

About the company
Lacks Enterprises is a global manufacturer and leading supplier to the automotive, telecommunications, and consumer electronics markets. Based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, this privately owned firm is composed of three distinct business operations: Lacks Wheel Trim Systems, Inc., a full-service supplier of automotive wheel components and systems; Lacks Trim Systems, a recognized provider of complex, highly decorated components and systems for the exterior automotive trim market; and Plastic-Plate, Inc., advanced technology specialists in plastic molding and plating for the interior automotive, telecommunications, and consumer electronics markets.

Setting the strategy
Given the growing challenges facing manufacturers focused on markets such as automotive, Lacks recognizes that streamlining and enhancing operations as much as possible are critical. One area that represents opportunity for continual improvement is supplier relations. "From a purchasing perspective, the company was seeking a supplier communications tool that was reliable and advanced," says Mike Pokrywka, director of purchasing, Lacks Enterprises. Having relied on faxes and legacy systems with limited electronic data interchange (EDI) capabilities, Lacks found that its suppliers were often not receiving its releases. This absence of transparency was leading to costly inefficiencies and expanding lead times. Communicating spikes or rapid decreases in demand to suppliers was difficult, and reconciliation issues would emerge when suppliers did not ship accurately.

The company realized that existing systems were limiting its ability to reduce and optimize inventories. To address inventory challenges, the company would need to track deliveries on a weekly and daily basis. Shipping and receiving groups would need the ability to scan inventories based on preprinted labels. Such advancements, however, would require investment in a new supplier relationship management system—one that could take operational performance to new levels.


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