Every day, more than 800 personnel across three shifts representing four different unions produce ready-to-eat-oatmeal and grits as well as Aunt Jemima syrup. The mill also makes grains to supply sister Quaker Oats plants. The plant also makes Aunt Jemima mixes, Rice-A-Roni and other pasta products. The capacity of the seven towering Grain Elevators is nearly 10,000,000 bushels. This is one of the outstanding sights in Cedar Rapids which is known as “The Cereal Capitol of the World.”
Manually maintaining the production and facility equipment for a plant of this magnitude was a formidable challenge. Because of continued company growth, Quaker realized it would be nearly impossible and cost‐prohibitive to continue a manual maintenance and materials management process. To automate these functions a team comprised mainly of information systems (IS) personnel selected CHAMPS software as the solution for their needs.
Initially, Quaker implemented CHAMPS material management solutions, including Inventory and Purchasing. In the early 1990’s, the company expanded their use of the system by implementing the maintenance management functionality of CHAMPS. This included all work order and equipment management functionality.
Critical plant production equipment including compressors, ovens, conveyors, elevators, blowers and motors are fully maintained within CHAMPS. Over the years, Quaker has realized dramatic changes and improvements to the way they manage maintenance. Specifically, the area of planning and scheduling has become much more effective by using CHAMPS versus the previous manual process.
Not only have benefits been realized in maintenance, but in materials management savings. The CHAMPS system has become a critical tool for management of more than 20,000 stock keeping units (SKUs). Each Quaker SKU is set up with a min/max level to control spares inventory levels. CHAMPS automatically creates a purchase request for these SKUs when the reorder levels are reached. The purchase requests for contracts, repair parts, services, etc. are all created in CHAMPS and transferred to purchase orders within the system which automatically transmits them to vendors. This enables Quaker storeroom personnel to fully manage costs and usage of spares required for maintenance jobs, eliminating the problems related to stock‐outs and excessive inventory items.
CHAMPS is fully integrated with Quaker’s cost and financial systems and has proven to be reliable and functionally rich solution for Quaker.