Case Study Detail
Language: English

AIS: AIS streamlines processes with Infor SyteLine

  Aerospace and Defense

About the company
Advanced Input Systems (AIS) is a leading designer and manufacturer of application specific input devices for original equipment manufacturers in several industries, including medical, electronics, and defense. Operating within the Interface Technologies Group of Esterline Corporation (NYSE/ESL, www.esterline. com), a leading specialty manufacturer serving aerospace/defense markets, AIS provides endtoend solutions with a complex product range and low cost of ownership to more than 300 companies worldwide. AIS supports a diverse range of projects including financial market trading terminals, medical imaging systems, land-based military vehicles, and secure encrypted communications. The company is headquartered in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, in the Pacific Northwest of the US. 350 employees work in a world-class, ISO 9001:2000-certified, 85,000-square foot manufacturing center.

Setting the strategy
AIS needed to upgrade its enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution, replacing a 17-year-old system that had been highly customized with a new-generation ERP solution that would help it meet current and long-term business needs. Its legacy system was presenting numerous challenges for AIS. "One of the big drivers for getting a new ERP solution was the risk we faced because our platform was nearly 20 years old and no longer supported," explains Al Yost, president, Advanced Input Systems. "In addition, our business had changed over the years, and this meant we needed a system with advanced capabilities that would be easy to use and maintain." The new solution would need to support an extremely complex manufacturing environment, where there are more than 1,000 jobs in process at any time and where as much as 25% of the company's product line must be replaced each year. "We ship about 2,000 highly customized products each year, maybe a couple hundred each week that are different," Yost says. "Since each part has only one customer, there aren't standard products that we're shipping to multiple customers. Our value to customers is in our ability to be responsive and to be an extension of their business, whether it's in the design phase or in production," Yost says, adding that the efficiency of AIS's highly trained manufacturing employees is essential for the company to be successful. Production employees must set up a new product to be produced as many as 10 times a day. The new solution, therefore, would have to feature a modern graphical user interface (GUI) that would entice employees to use it. In addition, it would have to be a stable platform using industry-standard technology that would be supported by a vendor committed to continually improving the solution as AIS business requirements changed.


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