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Building materials manufacturer Owens Corning first adopted Provia ViaWare software for its warehouse and yard management in 2000. The company's use and satisfaction with ViaWare has grown ever since, according to Barry Burnham, the project manager at Owens Corning who nominated Provia.
The systems have now been installed at 24 company locations, including several in Europe. The software supports most of Owens Corning, including insulation, composites and exterior vinyl.
After the first system was installed, Owens Corning completed the installations at every subsequent location, with minimal outside involvement, and despite major operational differences across business units.
"Owens Corning believes that its ability to install the systems without Provia's assistance helps guarantee a lower total cost of ownership for their software investment," says Burnham.
"ViaWare's ability to handle diverse business units and be operated in multiple languages simultaneously across our company gives us better control and visibility company-wide to our processes and our product," says Burnham. "Being able to use a single, highly configurable, standard product solution throughout our company gives us not only the consistency, but also the flexibility we need."
A key attribute of Provia's ViaWare is its direct interfaces with the company's SAP enterprise resource planning system, which controls order management, accounting and production planning. Extending the WMS to include yard operations with the YMS has enabled control of trailers and loaded material beyond the walls of the warehouse, according to Burnham.
Owens Corning can have standardized processes and interfaces with its SAP ERP, while still having the flexibility to address site-specific issues through a variety of configuration options.
"The Provia YMS is a focal point driving Owens Corning's logistics process," says Burnham. "Everything at each Owens Corning distribution facility begins and ends with the YMS."
For example, every trailer coming into the distribution center is first checked in through the YMS. This action triggers activity throughout the WMS, including wave planning, trailer loading and cross-docking. The constant communication between the YMS and WMS continues as the YMS helps direct the right trucks to go to the right dock door for loading as the WMS prepares the orders. As trucks leave the facility, the YMS checks them out, automatically informing SAP, creating a very streamlined process.
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