Partner Spotlight Q&A: Complete Fabrication Management with STRUMIS
The value of your 3D steel model expands exponentially when paired with other software systems in the fabrication process. That’s why SDS2 continues to build partnerships with the industry’s top players around the globe, including fabrication management leader STRUMIS LTD.
STRUMIS is a global leader in fabrication management information software, with over 30 years in business and customers in 50 countries.
They are a long-time partner of SDS2, and we continue to enhance our integration with increased data compatibility and agility.
To highlight our partnership, we spoke with STRUMIS representatives Chris Eaton, product manager, and Robert Holder, business development manager, about their solutions and services and how they are uniquely suited to handle the needs of the world’s largest fabrication companies.
What sets STRUMIS apart from other fabrication management software?
EATON: What sets us apart is the length of time we’ve been in business and the experience we have globally—everyone on our team has worked in the steel industry. We’re from fabricators, for fabricators.
Our development process is another difference. Over the last ten years, the majority of our development decisions have come from direct customer feedback. As a private company, we’re much more responsive to development requests. We review requests every two months, and we’re very upfront and open about our decisions. We want our customers to move us forward at the same time we’re helping them with their overall business success.
HOLDER: STRUMIS is a powerful system, with many capabilities that set us apart from a software perspective. We’re the most complete fabrication software available, but what’s important is going to change from fabricator to fabricator. That’s why with every potential customer we talk to, we have a structured discovery process to to identify their critical business issues and where we can provide value. We then work together to develop a custom implementation plan that address all of their needs.
EATON: Exactly. It’s a consultancy, rather than a sales process.
Your customers include some of the largest fabricators from around the globe. How do you support the needs of these large and complex operations?
EATON: STRUMIS offers options for smaller fabricators all the way to the largest fabricators in the world. For larger fabricators that have several different facilities and large amounts of data, we offer unique capabilities providing exceptional value.
From the outset, we identify the requirements of those larger fabricators and what they intend to achieve. Because our system is so customizable, we go through that with them from start to finish, and a lot of times we can help them identify areas for improvement.
At a North American fabricator who recently went live, for example, we asked: can machines take nested files where they previously weren’t utilizing that functionality? Can they integrate their third-party nesting software with STRUMIS where they didn’t previously have that capability? That process and our system is so tight that we were able to identify a historic process failure involving incorrect KISS files that had been going on for years.
Can you share some examples of specific software features that set STRUMIS apart when it comes to managing production?
EATON: Plate girders are a good example. In most detailing packages, they’re not detailed as three plates, even though that is going to be the outcome. But we identify all the plate thicknesses, grades, widths, and depths. We fit them into plates and allow the fabricator to make the carcass for the plate girder and put it back into their inventory as something they can nest to.
Our upcoming release also includes WT nesting, which is very complex, from a software development perspective. You'll be able to import T’s, cut them from I’s, and then put the I drop back in the stock or scrap.
HOLDER: Our advanced multi-facility and multi-contract nesting capabilities offer significant value as well. Imagine you’ve got some sheets of plate in varying thicknesses. You can nest multiple jobs onto them at once if you want and group it by the contract, sequence, or lot. You have the option to partially nest a plate and nest into the remnant while maintaining traceability. You can event nest into theoretical remnants from stock that has been ordered but not received. We provide a barcode tracking system to identify remnants and consume them by simply scanning with your phone or a barcode scanner. You can get absolute material efficiency, and the software will look at all of the cost implications and allocations.
What about the rest of project workflow?
EATON: We really manage fabrication end to end, from estimating to erection. From project management, to purchasing, to fabrication, STRUMIS addresses every part of the business.
When it comes to bidding, a unique offering STRUMIS has is a built-in CRM system for fabricators, where you can see how many jobs you’ve won and lost based on sales area, project type, customer, and who the engineer was on a specific project. You can follow trends the same way you would in a CRM and decide if you actually want to do the estimate or decline it, or modify the rates.
On the other end of the process, we have shipping, and STRUMIS offers a lot of capabilities for managing and tracking shipping and deliveries. You can create packages, containers, and palettes, and then ship to different location types. You can have internal, subcontract, and job site deliveries, plus you can automatically route to places like galvanizers.
In between, from purchasing to offloading at the site, there’s full traceability. We provide a fully included barcoding module that comes with STRUMIS at no additional cost. You can link MTRs directly to the inventory and switch inventory at the click of a button. We also support automatic workstation feedback, QA procedures, and employee timings.
How does steel detailing software like SDS2 integrate into that process?
EATON: Currently, you can import a connected or stick model into estimating if it’s available. From there, you have the option to import ABM material and then the bill of material.
With the SDS2 integration, you import the model file, fabrication drawings, and NC data all in a single .BSWX file. You can then pass back statuses to SDS2, where users can color-code their model for easy visualization.
Fabricators who have SDS2 installed locally can actually link to their STRUMIS database and get live updates from STRUMIS to SDS2. There are no limits—if the data’s in STRUMIS, you can query it to a part or assembly in SDS2.
We’re fortunate to have an integration and close working relationship with SDS2.
The good relationship we have with SDS2 reinforces that we’re working together to achieve the same goals that will directly benefit SDS2 users and fabricators.
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