New ERP Software Provides Metals Specialist With Enhanced Billing Efficiency

Like many companies, Magic Steel Sale recently found itself slowed by inefficient, offline systems for invoicing, scheduling and product tracking. To overcome its hurdles, the company recently implemented an online ERP system designed specifically for metals businesses. takes a look at how the software is helping the company streamline its operations through more efficient process management.

Magic Steel Sale had a problem. Its transport planning unit used offline systems to view its shipping needs and its custom applications were impacted each time there was a software upgrade. Its systems, in essence, were making it more difficult to meet market demands.

To help overcome these and other issues, the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based products metals steel service center signed a deal with Invera to implement its Stratix ERP software. The implementation of the metals ERP software included sales, purchasing, receiving, inventory management, multi-step production, production scheduling, delivery and logistics planning, non-conformance reporting, invoicing and financials, according to the agreement announcement.

“The transport-planning functionality has been a huge improvement for Magic Steel. It has eliminated the offline systems we used to use to view what we needed to ship and placed this all online,” said Mike Welch, Magic Steel vice president of operations. “The shipping department can now view the orders to ship with Stratix, automatically grouping the orders by transport route. And many of our customers now receive their shipping documents and test certificates via E-Mail.”

Magic Steel also is benefiting from the software’s order-status desktop, which shows a comprehensive status of the customer order on a single page. Because the picking and slitting processing steps are being recorded in the warehouse, the sales department can see the item’s status as it goes through each process, regardless of whether it is scheduled, in process or complete, the companies said.

Stratix is enabling Magic Steel to remove more paper-based aspects from its production planning. From the software’s production-planning screen, multiple order items can be highlighted and grouped together to create a single slitting job. The planner can then specify the arbor layout as well as additional slitting specific functions such as run full or partial, slit and re-slit, and trim, according to the rollout announcement.

Magic Steel also implemented the Stratix toll-processing features for customer-owned metal products, including specialized features for invoicing and reporting. The customer can be billed at time of shipment or production, based on consumed or produced weight, or for any charges related to scrap and storage. The software’s online shipping-planning function provides a comprehensive, multi-layer inquiry that summarizes orders by customer, delivery route or delivery zone for better load consolidation.

The implementation included Stratix/CSX, which provides customer specified extensions for their metal service center software. This enables each customer to create customized data, processes, and documents to meet unique business requirements.

“CSX will allow us to implement custom applications as needed,” said Gordon Johnson, Magic Steel systems manager. “And because of how CSX has been implemented, new Stratix upgrades will have no impact on our custom application.”