Circa Uses SYSPRO to Help Manage and Control Growth

"We will look to continue to use SYSPRO as an integral and critical element of our business process, while steadily optimizing the features that are offered to ensure that Circa maintains its proven track record of growth and success."
- Matthew Dawe, Materials Manager, Circa Enterprises

  • The Company

Circa Enterprises Inc. manufactures surge protection devices and related components for the telecommunications industry. These products are designed to protect equipment from potential lightning and power crosses which can affect equipment performance, reduce reliability, lower productivity and decrease profitability. Through its subsidiary, Circa Metals, Circa also provides custom metal fabrication services to a wide range of sectors such as consumer products and pharmaceutical/ biotechnology. Circa recently received ISO 9001:2000 certification, an indication of its dedication to the highest standards of quality.

Established in 1985, Circa remains a consistently profitable company with a substantial North American presence. The company's head office and manufacturing facility is based in Calgary, Alberta. There is also a sales and distribution facility in Tampa, Florida, and a metal fabrication operation in Markham, Ontario. Over 90% of Circa Calgary's manufacturing is make-to-stock with some units built up as special orders, and all of the products are discrete. Circa Metals' manufacturing is 50% make to order and 50% engineer to order.

  • The Challenge

One of Circa's primary goals was to maintain a system that provided accurate data in all areas of the organization, particularly Purchasing, Inventory, Production, Sales, and Accounting. In 2001, Circa licensed SYSPRO's Materials Requirements Planning (MRP) module to improve its production planning and control. Since first implementing SYSPRO, the company has realized substantial success in its field, partly as a result of using SYSPRO to manage its integrated supply chain and to help manage and control growth.

Matthew Dawe, Circa's Materials Manager, comments: "In recent years, we have looked to SYSPRO to provide the means for more complex elements of manufacturing planning and control such as MRP. With the initial focus on maintaining accurate data in SYSPRO, we were able to build up a picture of exactly where the organization stood from an operational perspective, which then enabled us to begin to make informed decisions about improvements for key manufacturing indicators.

"Once the MRP module began to function, we were able to much more effectively plan all important elements of our supply chain, and since 2001, Circa's Canadian inventory has been lowered by 65%. As a result of this lowering of inventory, Circa's Canadian inventory turns have more than doubled over a similar period. With reductions in on-hand inventory, cash has been released back into the organization."

  • The Solution

All Circa locations use SYSPRO as their ERP backbone.

Circa originally licensed SYSPRO in 1996 with the basic suite of modules. When the choice of ERP solution was initially made, the company's requirements were simply to provide a solid database for the organization's day-to-day transactions, to be appropriate for the size of the company at the time, and also to have the ability to expand and improve as necessary.

Despite the economic downturn in most industries, Circa has expanded substantially over the past five years. In July 2001, the Calgary operation moved into a new 30,000 square foot production facility, and in the summer of 2002, Circa acquired AOK Custom Metals as a whollyowned subsidiary. The company's US division also recently moved into a new facility in Tampa. As Circa continued to grow, so did SYSPRO's ability to progress with the company to deliver a superior ERP solution.

Circa is currently using SYSPRO 6.0 SQL with 20 users.

  • Result

SYSPRO has helped Circa become more competitive in the marketplace by providing solid management of its integrated supply chain. Dawe states, "Circa has been able to take a week out of our standard end product lead time, and our plan is to improve further in this area. Lead time reduction allows for fewer finished goods inventories, and provides customers with faster access to end products. By maintaining reliable data at all levels, promise date accuracy, whether it is off the shelf or into the future, is accurate, and customers are able to rely on Circa as a supplier."

SYSPRO has also enabled Circa's employees to be more efficient by accurately maintaining first line data such as inventory on-hand records, sales orders, batch quantities, and master production schedule data. Employees can rely on the suggested information generated by SYSPRO's MRP module.

"The MRP module has saved us a tremendous amount of time over the last two-and-a-half years. It is difficult to think back to the preMRP era when personnel would spend a large proportion of their day simply working out which sub-assemblies needed to be loaded or moved, and which purchase orders should be generated," Dawe explains.

"At present, calculation of required subassemblies and purchase orders is all automated through MRP. In addition, Circa has initiated agreements with some suppliers to take MRP suggested data as forecasts, and to firm up purchase orders closer to the due date, thereby minimizing administration of POs, and greatly reducing the receipt of inventory that is not required until a later date. We plan to continue to leverage the system in this way with further suppliers as part of our continuous improvement program."

As the company continues to grow, Circa is positive SYSPRO will grow with and meet the future growth of the company.

"With the acquisition of Circa Metals in 2002 and the subsequent implementation of the system in May 2003, we are looking to SYSPRO to harness similar benefits in our metal fabrication operation that we have been able to realize with our main production facility in Calgary. This provides different challenges with more emphasis on engineer-to-order manufacturing, and also inventory requirements that are quite different too. We will look to continue to use SYSPRO as an integral and critical element of our business process, while steadily optimizing the features that are offered to ensure that Circa maintains its proven track record of growth and success,"
- Matthew Dawe, Materials Manager, Circa Enterprises

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