Arning Companies, Inc.
For more than 33 years, Arning has been among the top leaders in the nation for design, production, manufacturing, and installation of awnings, walkway covers, and canopy systems for the gas station and convenience store industries. Entering 2015, they had a goal of becoming the industry's dominant leader for canopy manufacturers by automating their processes from quoting, design, and engineering to the manufacturing floor. Arning’s main goal: to develop solutions to meet their customer’s ever-changing needs. To do so, Arning’s manufacturing needed to become leaner through both the decrease in overhead and increase in profits. To make this a reality, Arning partnered with D3 Technologies and implemented a tailored solution developed by D3’s automation team. Both partnership and software has led Arning to become a more innovative and efficient manufacturer through streamlining the process from concept ideas to a completed manufactured product.
Arning’s challenge was improving their order processing capabilities from quoting the job in sales, to outputting fabrication details to the shop in a custom manufacturing environment without affecting current production scheduling or manufacturing. For Arning, creating a versatile solution to match the growth of business and new product design had become a must.
With Arning’s goals and challenges identified, D3 was able to assist in designing a five-phased approach to address the key issues Arning faced. The following is the course of action D3 helped design for Arning:
Phase 1: Plan and Footing Configurator – This allows for Arning to have a custom user interface that automatically generates all the required approval drawings based off sold job data quickly and accurately.
Phase 2: Detailing – Phase two allows Arning to improve its interface so that it utilizes all job specific data allowing all fabrication and installation drawings to be generated. This process also converts and outputs the necessary machine program files Arning’s automated manufacturing process requires.
Phase 3: BOM, PDF and CNC Exports – This phase allows for Arning to create and output all the required documents for material ordering, work tickets, job processing, and fabrication including the automated revising, generation, and storage of these documents to the required existing software.
Phase 4: Canopy Sales Configurator – With this phase comes the expansion of Arning’s user interface to speed up the estimating and quoting process allowing the sales team to generate a higher volume of quotes. This grants Arning access to custom software that is compatible to all inventory and accounting programs already in place.
Phase 5: Canopy Engineering – This final phase allows for the implementation of existing structural engineering software into the interface for automatic calculation of structural framing members for quoting. This ensures the estimated material sizes and pricing match of the final design calculations provided by the structural engineer after the job is sold.
Arning’s partner, D3, believes that the better the solution is defined from the start, the more likely everyone is to be kept happy with expectations, projections, and deliverables. So in the beginning of this partnership, D3 started with the scoping process to assess Arning’s current state and to compare that to their desired state. From there, the two companies built a plan to solve the uncovered problems and allow Arning to get their desired return on investment. D3 has helped provide Arning with a game plan that outlined the order of events and what outcomes to expect. Now it is up to Arning for the execution of each phase.
Arning has just completed phase one and two. These phases have allowed Arning to already see drastic results. These results have helped breathe a strong sense of optimism into Arning’s game plan and has shown them they have the ability to grow at the rate they desire.
Highlights of Partnering with D3: