The Brewer Company: Improving Efficiency with The Lake Companies’ Solutions

The Brewer Company: Improving Efficiency with The Lake Companies’ Solutions

Wisconsin is home to The Brewer Company whose products are relied upon by countless medical professionals. The Brewer Company was founded in 1947 as a custom tube fabricator constructing components for the industrial and consumer market, and since then has evolved to furnish products for hospitals, clinics, physician’s offices, and dental practices. Some of these products include chrome-plated support stands, patient positioning pads and cushions, IV poles, hamper stands, over-bed tables, patient lifts, and patient exam tables. Their furnishing solutions are designed to enhance the patient and clinician experience, reduce stress, and improve comfort, safety, and efficiency.

The Brewer Company has enjoyed success in making safe, dependable, and comfortable equipment that is populating exam rooms everywhere. With a 70,000 square-foot sales and production center and a 40,000 square-foot distribution facility located in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, the company is achieving revenue north of $30 million with the efforts of over 100 employees.

The Lake Companies was fortunate to have The Brewer Company as a participant in the Better Your Best Contest held at SyteLineCon 2016 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The conference brought together SyteLine users and providers for 3 days of education, strategizing, and the exchange of information and new ideas. Attendees were invited to participate in the Better Your Best Contest to show how The Lake Companies’ Shop-Trak, Doc-Trak, Fact-Trak, OnTrak, and Beacon-Trak modules have helped them achieve success in their businesses.

Deb Mattson, IT Director at The Brewer Company, was kind enough to share her company’s results from using Shop-Trak and Doc-Trak in their organization. Mattson reported that even when the two modules were brought onboard in 1996, the results were immediately apparent.

For Shop-Trak, it allowed us to eliminate time cards and enter times electronically. It also helped us better control our inventory. For Doc-Trak, we were able to send Purchase Orders and Invoices directly to our vendors and customers, eliminating paper copies. Doc-Trak has also allowed us to archive documents and be more responsive to our customers while streamlining the process of researching Purchase Orders and Invoices.

Deb Mattson, IT Director
The Brewer Company

Before Signing On With The Lake Companies

Mattson said, “We were looking for better accuracy of labor and inventory. We wanted to streamline purchasing and invoicing processes while pushing towards a paperless environment.”

Prior to the introduction of Shop-Trak and Doc-Trak, Mattson said some of the problems and old ways of doing business involved:

  • Inaccurate labor capture and job costing
  • Inventory accuracy was questionable and manually manipulated
  • Inability to email Invoices, thereby lengthening the amount of time to receive payments
  • Purchase Orders were faxed and manually tracked as to whether or not the vendor acknowledged, which led to faxes being lost or not sent to the right person
  • Slow information flow internally between customer service and other departments
  • Engineering was unable to keep product drawings in an organized manner with items and routings

Improving Efficiency with Shop-Trak and Doc-Trak

Now, since implementing Shop-Trak and Doc-Trak, Mattson said:

  • Printing volume has been reduced dramatically
  • Engineering can easily access product drawings
  • Accounts Receivable has an easier time finding Invoices for customers
  • Improved customer satisfaction
  • Improved speed and efficiencies in the office and shop floor, thereby reducing costs

With Doc-Trak, The Brewer Company was able to:

  • Eliminate headcount in the customer service area
  • Reduce paper and postage expenses
  • Reduce lead time on raw materials by being able to email Purchase Orders

Future Plans

Mattson said as far as implementing other functionality, The Brewer Company “would like to implement Fact-Trak, dig into Kanban processes, and any other areas of Shop-Trak. We would also like to add mass scanning in various areas such as Accounts Payable and Logistics.”

What about upgrades to a new version of The Lake Companies’ products?

“We are currently upgrading to the latest version of SyteLine and all LakeCo products,” Mattson said. “The Lake Companies tools are innovative and help streamline business processes. They fill many of the voids that are in core SyteLine.”

Getting More Benefits for Your Company

If you would like to learn more about Shop-Trak and Doc-Trak and the rest of The Lake Companies’ modules that could help your business thrive and flourish, we invite you to contact us today. For years, The Lake Companies has been helping discrete manufacturers succeed and we will be happy to hear from you and explore the possibilities for you and your business.