​​Gulf Extrusions co. (LLC)                                     

Gulf Extrusions is a leading supplier of extruded aluminium profiles with powder coating, anodizing and fabrication as post-treatment. GEX has earned the reputation as one of the most innovative, productive and reliable companies in the Middle East as the largest extrusion plants in the region with its six presses and its highly skilled workforce. Gulf Extrusions is able to produce more than 60.000 tons of extruded profiles per annum supplied throughout the Middle East, Indian Sub-Continent, South East Asia, Australia, Africa, Europe and Canada.

The Challenge

Aluminium profiles are in high demand for building projects, cars, scaffolding and a huge variety of other purposes challenging Gulf Extrusions to answer up to 10.000 profile enquiries every month, selecting from more than 13.000 available profile shapes, a number increasing at a rapid rate, and even more combinations of surfaces, lengths and packaging options – a daunting and error prone task. In this market the selling prices are traditionally calculated and bargained by weight based on the fluctuating rates of aluminium on the London Metal Exchange, however surface areas and the complexity of the profile which carries much importance in the margins earned on a profile are typically not related to the weight. This in itself makes it difficult to manage the profitability of an order.

The Solution

Managing the complexity of the market, products and processes of GEX efficiently requires insight into the product itself, the cost of manufacturing and productivity of all the production processes as well as a tightly integrated system supporting the work all the way from enquiry to invoice.

To achieve this, a product model and full manufacturing cost analysis was conducted and all the metrics and calculations of processing time, utilities and material consumptions were laid out. The Oracle ‘Configure to Order’ process was implemented to present this in a simple form to the end users and dynamically produce costs, margins and production planning fundamentals (job orders with BOM and routing) for any shape and surface combination. 

​All existing profile shapes and raw materials were defined in the Product Information Management module and workflows assigned to manage the maintenance and creation of new profile definitions. GEX’s proprietary legacy production systems were kept in place and a tight integration was developed to exchange crucial production data.

The Result

The sales, finance and general manager now have transparency into the expected profitability of every profile offered to a customer and orders with low margins are caught immediately. The awareness of the impact profile complexity, order sizes and surface treatments has on the profile cost is moved forward to the quotation stage and the process from receiving an enquiry to sending invoices for each shipment is handled in a well integrated system keeping everybody informed on the current state. Furthermore a very good foundation has been laid for taking further steps towards better procurement information, actual cost capture, customer self-service leading to even better competitive advantages for GEX​​

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