Team Member Spotlight: May 2021

Inside Raven

Congratulations to Zach Andersen, Master Scheduler, on winning our May team member spotlight!

Zach has been recognized by senior leadership for his work on a new demand planning tool, enabling Raven Applied Technology to provide ship dates to our customers and make decisions more efficiently.

With scheduling challenges stemming from both high demand for our products and pandemic-related supply challenges, the Raven Applied Technology team needed to be able to make quick and informed decisions. The existing software solution, AS400, made all of this even more challenging — the database holds all the information but makes it difficult to pull it into useful reports. “It was frustrating for most to know that we had all the info we needed to make decisions, but we couldn’t gather it all in one place,” Zach noted. As a result, the purchasing, sales, and scheduling teams found themselves filing request after request with the IT department — whose services also were in high demand.

Noticing the frequent information requests, Zach looked to find a more productive solution. With help from our accounting/finance team, Zach found ways to divide information from AS400 and present it to purchasing, sales, or manufacturing, based on their needs. He took what IT had previously done and added his experience, continuously learning what information was needed to produce and drive results.

The AS400 functionality didn’t allow for ship dates or capacity plans to be pulled in an efficient and targeted manner. By building the capacity planning framework by hand using Excel power query, Zach has equipped the division with a consistent source of information to assist with critical purchasing and scheduling decisions. It has also given the ATD team further insight into what they need as they transition to Atlas, Raven's investment to replace its existing enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform.

Zach has done an amazing job of teaching himself all things Excel power query and then implementing that knowledge over and over again to streamline data gathering for ATD production — and beyond! Way to go Zach!”

— Susan Palmer, Cost Accountant

What most impresses me about Zach is his dedication to continually improving ATD’s ability to efficiently service customers. His expertise in building Excel queries and preparing datasets is very useful for uncovering opportunities for ATD to improve. Thanks for all your hard work Zach!”

— Steve Veurink, Product Manager

Thank you, Zach, for your dedication to continuous improvement and innovation, helping Raven Applied Technology efficiently make decisions and plan for the future!