SolVIS Automation, developer of automated workstations and machine vision solutions, creates complex, unique systems for higher throughput and higher quality in manufacturing plants. SolVIS has designed machines for medical manufacturers, cat furniture makers, aerospace, automated cotton inspection machines, and other bespoke needs, each requiring hundreds of parts combined in unique ways. While SolVIS excels at solving big automation problems, the “little problem” of buying, organizing, and managing parts inventory was holding back company growth.
Buying and managing parts and inventory the old fashioned way (Excel spreadsheet), was fairly easy for SolVIS in the early days. When developing just one big project at a time, it was possible to use multiple spreadsheets to keep track. But this approach couldn’t keep up with the firm’s growing success.
When we started having multiple projects and multiple Bills of Materials (BOMs) it was instantly obvious Excel was no longer going to work. We couldn’t handle all the parts to meet our development schedule without a better tool.
It’s not just all the parts… it’s all the OEMs… AND all related Distributors…
SolVIS has found working with Aligni has not only saved them money, it has also allowed them to scale. The Aligni tool is purpose-built for for efficiently buying many OEM parts from many different distributors. Aligni’s competitive bidding feature makes it all possible.
Cloud-based Software as a Service with Monthly Subscription
Easy to use; easy to access, collaborative; always current.
Inventory and Builds
Multiple warehouse locations; easily determine material requirements; schedule builds for material planning; accurately record finished goods costs.
Quotes and Purchase Orders
Email RFQs directly from Aligni; quickly create and issue POs; quote and purchase info at fingertips.
Hierarchical Bill of Materials (BOM); Custom part attributes; part alternate management; intelligent value search; approved vendor list.
Engineering Change Requests (ECR); Engineering Change Orders (ECO); efficient linking to part revisions; simple approval workflow.
With finance, sales, and other solutions via robust API.
30 day free trial
Efficiently growing the business – saving time and money buying parts
SolVIS buys many parts – some individually, many in large quantities. Adam explains the process using the Aligni tool:
“When I buy 100 parts from 20 different OEMs, I need to buy from their distributors to get the best pricing. Each distributor can only handle a fraction of my BOM – one might have 20% of the parts, another might have 80%, no one will have ALL of them at the best price. For the best margins, I need to buy from some mix and Aligni helps me do this.
“For example, we recently imported a 300 item BOM. Using the Aligni tool, I was able to generate custom RFQs, tailored to each of 40 distributors (each with a different line card), based on my BOM.
“The ability to generate a custom RFQs, based on my BOM and tailored to each distributor, makes it possible to get competitive bids and save big money.”
In the first month Aligni saved me $50,000, 15% of the overall parts cost.
Solution: Aligni at SolVIS — Purpose-Built by Hardware Developers for Hardware Developers
Aligni was built by hardware developers to specifically fulfill the needs of parts and inventory management – both PLM and MRP – in hardware labs and production.
The Aligni tool design philosophy is spot on. It clearly reflects a deep understanding of PLM and MRP needs of R&D engineers. It is just perfect.
As with many small and medium sized businesses, SolVIS has been adopting Aligni features over time – some PLM capabilities and some MRP capabilities – and intends to add the rest as time goes by. On the PLM side, they use Aligni’s part management, part alternates, approved vendor list, and BOM capabilities. Additionally, they plan to begin using the engineering change management functionality soon.
For their material requirements planning, SolVIS uses the build management features and multiple warehouse functionality. They also use Aligni’s ActiveQuote for supplier RFQs and issue purchase orders via Aligni.
As a business owner, I didn’t have time to competitively bid things. With Aligni it is easy to see the surprising price differences from each distributor. Aligni is paying off in higher margins and profits.
About SolVIS Automation
SolVIS designs and builds intelligent work centers, automation solutions, and smart fixturing that increase production throughput. When operations needs to reduce labor and increase quality, SolVIS makes it happen. At their world-class 15,000 square foot facility in Tennessee, a team of seasoned machine vision, industrial, software, electrical, mechanical, and manufacturing engineers find joy every day solving manufacturing problems.