"Part of the benefit of A+W Software is that when you (expand) to a new location, all of the master data set up for our business process are pre-built (...) The A+W software will guide any new potential operation forward rather than having to start from scratch. Software, at the end of the day, is the core to everything we are! It has been an enabler for all of our visions and dreams as well as what we want. It helped us accomplish it a lot faster than we anticipated."
“A+W Software is the brains of the company,” according to Liam Yang, R&D and Supply Chain Manager at Value Windows and Doors based in Duarte, California. With A+W software solutions acting as the “brains of the company,” Value Windows & Doors was able to navigate and thrive during the uncertainty and constant flux of 2020/2021, according to Liam. “Even during the pandemic we had the best year (2020) because of A+W software.”
To understand Value Windows & Doors’ journey, let’s step back to 2015 when senior management selected A+W Software to run both their window/door and flat glass production. Management wanted to “bring the most cost-effective customization to our clients. So, no matter what they want, we’ll be able to make it for them.” For example, no matter the color of the window or door frame or the shape/style of the hardware, Value management knew that with A+W Software they could “translate (the customer’s) wants and needs directly through the software to the equipment…and make their product,” according to Jason Ye, Vice President at Value Windows & Doors.
With this goal in mind, Jason, says, “choosing A+W Software was really a no brainer because the interaction and handshake between A+W Clarity (flat glass software) and A+W Cantor (window and door software) is extremely smooth. It is all very seamless.”
The integration of A+W Clarity and A+W Cantor allows Value Windows & Doors to enhance their positions as “one of the leading edge suppliers for windows and doors in the fast-paced Los Angeles market,” according to Jason. Bryan Wang, plant manager in Duarte, California, informs us that “without A+W Software, we would be wasting double or triple our materials. So, that helps us a lot in our material savings. This also saves us time.” Jason echoes this sentiment when he describes how the movement of glass “from cutting to assembly happens smoothly and effortlessly because A+W Clarity and A+W Cantor are so well integrated.” This integration allows the team at Value Windows & Doors to prepare for the future and meet any challenges, such as constant supply chain disruptions most companies are facing in 2021 and possibly beyond.
This integration of A+W’s software solutions (A+W Cantor and A+W Clarity) enables Value Windows & Doors to automate processes, including creating quotations, entering orders, and tracking order status through A+W iQuote, assemble and deliver the finished product, improve process throughput, control highly sophisticated, multi-stepped production processes, and much more.
Let’s take a look at the first step in the process, A+W iQuote. “In order entry and the sales department, we use A+W iQuote. Our dealers, fabricators, and contractors can (enter) their own orders through A+W iQuote. The order goes to the production facility directly. It is just as easy as shopping on Amazon,” according to Liam. By allowing the dealers, fabricators, and contractors to order online, the team at Value Windows & Doors is able to reduce the time from ordering to delivery/installation.
After the order is approved, glass is scheduled and cut at the Moreno Valley facility. As the Vice President of Technology and Automation, Shawn Wan, describes how A+W Clarity enables the cutting of 1000 pieces of glass a day. “Looking at all of the screens and information from A+W Production Terminal, the employee easily knows what to do next.” Jason reminds us how A+W software will tell (our workers) exactly where to put the piece of glass, which cart, which slot.” This clear communication of information allows “hundreds and hundreds of windows (to be) made every day” at our Duarte and Moreno Valley facilities, according to Liam. “It is impossible for us to manually calculate the cutting size and also to manually decide which piece goes first.” This is where flexible software from A+W comes into play allowing Value Window & Door team members to meet the needs of their customers.
Flexibility stretches throughout all facilities, according to Jason. ”By scanning a barcode, we know exactly where (a piece of glass, window, or door) is or where it has been. We also know how long it has been at a particular station.” Barcoding also allows us to “understand our inventory needs very well. We are able to take that forecast and communicate it with our suppliers ahead of time.” For example, as Liam points out, “if we have a shortage of a material, the system will raise a red flag.” At which point, the system will order extra materials, which ties back into an early statement by Bryan Wang. Each step in the system allows Value Windows & Doors to minimize waste, thus saving time and money.
The software can also help in other ways, such as future needs, according to Jason. “Let’s say five years down the road we need to look back at a particular IG. All of the data is so readily available for us to go back and trace (that information). That gives us many advantages as to how we maintain our quality.” By being able to trace and maintain high quality for their end customers, Value Windows & Doors has been able to “streamline our communication’s process with our suppliers. We understand our inventory needs very well and (are) able to take that forecast and communicate that with our suppliers ahead of time.” Jason states so clearly that these innovations are “really just the tip of the iceberg compared to what I’ve seen in Europe. The next step for us to is to utilize A+W Cantor to have an automatic buffering or storage system that will slot and index every window in our factory.” Liam reminds us that this “is what manufacturing should be in the future.”
Speaking of the future, Jason and his team have a lot of dreams about their company and its direction! “I see our company moving and expanding our geographic footprint. Part of the benefit of A+W Software is that when you (expand) to a new location, all of the master data set up for our business process are pre-built. So, there is no reason to reinvent the wheel. The A+W software will guide any new potential operation forward rather than having to start from scratch. Software, at the end of the day, is the core to everything we are! It has been an enabler for all of our visions and dreams as well as what we want. It helped us accomplish it a lot faster than we anticipated.”