REVIEWER: Ken McIntosh, MES administrator at Onyx EMS.

BACKGROUND: Founded in 1989 in Watertown, South Dakota, Onyx EMS is a high mix electronic contract manufacturer specializing in low-to-medium volume PCB assemblies and high-level assembly for products for medical, communications and industrial applications.

PLATFORM: Oracle E-Business Suite 11.03

PROBLEM SOLVED: With the company’s work focused most recently on the medical field, Onyx EMS found itself in the enviable position of experiencing several years of double digit growth and decided it was time to conduct an intensive assessment of its business intelligence reporting structure and to make some changes to prepare for the future. At that time, Onyx EMS’s five-person IT department was using Oracle Report Developer and a desktop report mining tool (Monarch) to extract data from Oracle E-Business Suite 11.03 into Microsoft Excel in order to develop a high level set of end-user reports. However, this tedious method fell short when it came to integrating Oracle data with the company’s non-Oracle database systems. It was a demanding task to make changes or additions to the existing reports, and the process was extremely time-consuming, with at least one employee dedicated full-time to assembling reports for the next day’s meetings.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Onyx EMS purchased NoetixViews for Oracle E-Business Suite including modules for Oracle Human Resources, Manufacturing, Financials, Purchasing and Order Entry, plus the Noetix Platform and Noetix Dashboard solutions. Within a week of implementation, Onyx EMS had Noetix up and running, and the IT team was busy developing ideas for new reports. In 2011, Onyx EMS hired a new CEO, Mike McCammack, who immediately implemented several strategic objectives for the company including cutting defects to customers in half and increasing sales and streamlining their new product introduction process. Onyx EMS’s IT team was able to leverage NoetixViews to build reports that mapped to these objectives and then build out Noetix Dashboards to monitor a range of related items. Today, those dashboards are located on every employee’s desktop internet homepage.

STRENGTHS: Onyx EMS’s 260 employees access Noetix to obtain the information needed to do their jobs. IT has created more than 500 different reports, 100 of which are used daily or weekly by employees. Approximately 2,600 reports are run on a monthly basis. Noetix has allowed Onyx EMS to be a more efficient organization. The employees who used to spend hours a day pulling reports have been able to take on many new projects because they can now access information instantly without help from IT. With Noetix, Onyx EMS employees are able to access information in a matter of seconds. It allows them to include data from different databases and combine it into the views without having to look in multiple places. End users are able to see data the company has been collecting for years finally come to life.

WEAKNESSES: The only issue Onyx EMS’s IT department has run across is occasionally not being able to join tables across modules. The team recently took a class from Noetix and learned how to do some customizations to make those joins work.

SELECTION CRITERIA: The IT team met with Noetix to learn more about the wide range of prebuilt report templates that were part of the solution offered and realized they could now have easy access to a whole new world of data to use for reporting.

DELIVERABLES: Onyx EMS uses Noetix to manage the actions the company takes on a continuous basis. Onyx EMS’s software and report developer, Barbara Smith, created a multilayered dashboard with gauges that show detailed production stats used to manage many of Onyx EMS’s more complex assemblies. Onyx EMS has also used Noetix to enact a method for measuring the number of man hours required for many of the diverse tasks within the company. This dashboard pulls from five different data sources. Onyx EMS conducted a survey asking users how much time they think that using Noetix reports have saved them, and the results total more than the time of one full-time employee. 

VENDOR SUPPORT: Noetix is always very responsive to any request from Onyx EMS. 

DOCUMENTATION:Noetix provides a complete assortment of product documentation. At Onyx we regularly utilize the full range of reference materials provided by Noetix. When required, the first location our end users reference is the Help File Catalog. We have also published a link to the Help File on every users desktop to ensure even easier access. This file assists users in navigating and utilizing the software without administrative help. Our administrators reference the Online Knowledge Base and a few detailed system documents for maintenance.