Victrex backs customer commitments with SSI’s Optimiza decision support system

A world leader in high performance materials, Victrex is to deploy an Optimiza decision support system from SSI to help deliver ambitious product supply commitments as it expands its global business. The Optimiza Demand Planning and Inventory Optimisation decision support system will optimise stock, analyse manufacturing requirements and forecast future demand for Victrex business across three world regions. 

Lancashire based Victrex grew profits by an impressive 26% in the six months to March 2005, mainly on the back of worldwide sales of its VICTREX® PEEK high performance thermoplastic premium product. Potential uses for the polymer material have burgeoned in industrial, aerospace, automotive, electronics, food and medical sectors, because of its exceptional resistance to chemicals, wear, electricity and temperature change.

Crucial to business success for Victrex has been its proven commitment to availability and supply of the products manufactured in its Lancashire plant. The group must ensure production capacity will always exceed customer demand, and customers will get security of supply.

“Our customers are buying premium products, and they expect us to meet their demand from stock within a few days, rather than buying and storing more than they need,“ says Victrex IT Manager, John Cafferty. “When we produced only a few product lines and had lower capacity, we were able to achieve that aim without too much detailed analysis. Now we are manufacturing 20 product lines and have doubled capacity, so we need much more control over the variables and pinch points in the supply chain.”

“We are also planning more products and new product gradings in future. We are expanding our operations in Asia Pacific right now, so we have to factor in new business requirements to make sure we optimise our stock levels and manufacturing planning if we are to keep our customers happy,” says John Cafferty.

After discussing detailed requirements, SSI proposed Optimiza Demand Planning and Inventory Optimisation decision support system. A proof-of-concept study convinced the management team, and in June 2005 the group ordered the system, including SSI implementation consultancy, technical and application training and support services.

“We were very impressed by SSI from the start of the process,” says John Cafferty. “They actually listened to what we needed rather than what we thought we wanted. They then changed their proposition entirely – and they were right. Their case was very strong – both to our users and senior management. The users could understand Optimiza right away. It’s very intuitive and simple to use.”

“We particularly liked the ‘out of the box’ analysis of Optimiza and how it handles forecasting. It’s also important that with the kind of growth we’re experiencing it’s scalable to meet our future demands,” says John Cafferty.

By the end of 2005, Victrex will have an analysis tool to drive its customer focus and help plan manufacturing, distribution and marketing. Optimiza will gather a range of Victrex data from the plant, the three global regions and from the group’s ERP system. It will take sales and supply history and consolidate it with sales, distributor and customer forecasts, and production capability information. Optimiza will be able to model expected future demand and manufacturing requirements. Victrex can ask ‘what if?’ questions to get recommendations about manufacturing and stockholding levels, and the system can be run when ever required.

SSI Managing Director, Trevor Lewis believes that Victrex’s vision will show other manufacturers that Optimiza has potential as an inventory modelling system. “Optimiza is widely used in distribution industries, but less so in manufacturing. It would suit any manufacturing company selling from stock and able to choose when to manufacture. Victrex management had great vision to see this potential,” says Trevor Lewis.


About SSI

SSI specialises in the implementation and lifecycle support of web-optimised manufacturing and supply chain solutions, particularly where processes are highly regulated and lead times are short.

SSI offers end-to-end supply chain solutions and decision support systems including Optimiza, advanced planning and production optimizatio, data collection systems and business intelligence solutions. SSI is the developer of the class-leading TROPOS™ ERP solution, selected by many companies in the pharmaceuticals, food and drink, chemicals, and mill based manufacturing sectors.

To complement its application solutions, SSI provides all the services required for lifecycle support with a single point of responsibility: project management, application implementation support, hosted application services, hosted web collaboration, remote managed services, bespoke systems development, systems integration, web development and technical consultancy.

Since 1982, SSI has been providing competitive advantage to a client base operating in the mid market, including small companies and subsidiaries of multinationals and large independent companies: Allergy Therapeutics, Scottish Blood Transfusion Services, Pfizer, Shell, Adams Pork Products, Brintons Carpets, British Nuclear Fuels, G&J Greenall, Rangemaster, Inter Link Foods, Saxbys, Sundora, Tullis Russell, Turtle Wax and CWV (formerly Vymura). Recent wins include Glisten Confectionery, Uniq, Almac Sciences and Hamworthy Combustion.

SSI is part of the AIM-quoted Chelford Group (CHR).

Neville Merritt, Sales and Marketing Director, 01256 685296.

About Victrex

Victrex plc is the original manufacturer of VICTREX PEEK polymer and is headquartered in the UK. It has a joint venture with Mitsui Chemicals, Victrex-MC, Inc, in Japan. VICTREX PEEK polymer is a high performance thermoplastic that offers the ultimate combination of properties to help customers reach new levels of cost savings, performance and differentiation.

 In the past year, Victrex has launched a number of new products, including: VICTREX High Flow PEEK to enable customers to produce thin wall, intricate parts; VICTREX Ultra-High Purity PEEK to meet the increasing demands of the semiconductor industry; and VICTREX PEEK-based coatings which offer superior performance over existing coating systems. Victrex is also working on even higher temperature polymers, film grades, further advanced compounds, and innovative processing technology.

VICTREX is a Registered Trademark.

PEEK is a registered trademark of Victrex plc in Japan.

Helen Swarbrick, 01253 897700

TROPOS is a registered trademark of Strategic Systems International Ltd. SSI believes that information in the publication is accurate as of its publication date; such information is subject to change without notice. SSI is not responsible for any inadvertent errors

Copyright © 2005 Strategic Systems International Ltd.