Racing car engine designer and builder TRD reaped huge productivity gains, decreased time-to-market and enhanced security through their deployment of OpenPath System’s OPSenterprise that unified their data and business processes.

Introduction
Toyota Racing Development (TRD) U.S.A. designs and builds Toyota racing engines in addition to building and marketing performance aftermarket parts for many Toyota vehicles.

Business Challenges
TRD was using a SYSPRO Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software platform. For a variety of reasons, SYSPRO did not allow the data flexibility that TRD required. As a result of these inflexibilities TRD created seven stand-alone Microsoft Access databases to supplement the SYSPRO limitations. The result of the having the stand alone databases meant that considerable duplicate data entry was required. Decreased productivity and data inconsistencies encumbered TRD’s ability to effectively manage data. Application-level security was limited, as the Access databases and underlying data structures were available to all users on the network. Multi-user access to these database resulted in frequent data locking and sub-standard performance.

 

Changes to engine specifications were accomplished via Engineering Change Orders (ECO). An engineer would initiate an ECO and a planner would enter the necessary data into the ECO database. Once completed, the ECO was printed and hand-delivered to each of the required approvers. After approval, the changes specified in the ECO were then separately entered into the Bill of Materials (BOM) database and the SYSPRO ERP system.

Once the BOM data had been entered, TRD’s graphic designer would query the BOM database and manually copy/paste the required part numbers into HTML documents for use by the engine build department.

TRD also had an immediate need for real-time financial reporting tools. Since the existing MS Access BOM was not linked to the SYSPRO ERP system, there was no straightforward means to query financial data or run simulations.

The Solution
TRD decided that OPSenterprise would be the solution to unify their disconnected data and business processes. The OPSenterprise implementation provided TRD with a browser-based, single sign-on application suite to administer their processes. Merging the numerous MS Access databases into a single SQL Server database eliminated data redundancies and inaccuracies as well as improved performance and data security. Intuitive navigation and functionality coupled with email and dashboard alerts enabled TRD users to be productive immediately upon OPSenterprise launch.

User Benefits
OPSenterprise increased the productivity and efficiency for affected positions within TRD in the following manners:
• Design Engineers: streamlined ECO request procedure; dashboard updates of ECO status.
• Graphic Designers: no longer had to edit drawings when ECO’s were issued—OPSenterprise’s Schematic Generator was integrated with the BOM to provide real-time updates to engine build drawings.
• Planners: increased productivity by eliminating duplicate data entry and implementing electronic routing of ECO’s.
• Engine Builders: improved engine build time and accuracy by having access to up-to-the-minute engine drawings.
• Managers: enhanced reporting tools and dashboard reports allow Managers to better monitor and control their processes; hierarchical application security allows control over which users have access to applications/data.

Business Benefits
TRD has reported numerous benefits since the implementation of OPSenterprise. Improved data accuracy, cost savings in inventory and manpower, and a streamlined product release/revision procedure were direct business benefits. Due to the competitive nature of their business TRD has benefited greatly from OPSenterprise, as listed below:
• Elimination of redundant processes: Merged seven databases into one, eliminating the need for duplicate data entry.
• Decreased engine build time: Improved business process flow resulted in shorter time from design to racetrack.
• Electronic routing/approval: Eliminated the need to hand-carry ECO’s through the approval process.
• Enhanced security: Allowed for easy management of application and data-level access permissions.
• Integration with legacy ERP system: Using SYSPRO COM objects and custom ChannelDNA components allowed TRD to leverage their existing investment in SYSPRO.
• Increased system performance: MS SQL Server replaced MS Access resulting in substantial performance gains.

TRD continues to expand their OPSenterprise implementation. The modular nature of nature of OPSenterprise has allowed to TRD to recently add Supplier Performance, Non-Conformance Reports, and Supplier Quote Database to their application suite.