Case Study

NASA Purchases VISUAL Manufacturing, VISUAL Quality

After evaluating several high-end manufacturing software applications, a NASA division purchased Lilly Software Associates VISUAL Manufacturing ERP/APS application to help fabricate miscellaneous hardware for the Space Shuttle, Space Station and other NASA programs.

"This is not just a prestigious sale, but a challenge to our capabilities that I'm eager to accept," says Lilly Software Associates (LSA; Hampton, NH) CEO Dick Lilly. LSA is best known for VISUAL Manufacturing, a Windows-based Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Manufacturing Execution System (MES), and Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) software system for custom, assemble-to-order, make-to-order, make-to-stock and mixed mode manufacturers.

The challenge Lilly refers to is meeting the stringent quality requirements of NASA's space shuttle project. The NASA division in question is located at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL, and operates a large machine shop with several pieces of Computerized Numerical Control (CNC) equipment. The installation will accommodate 50 users of VISUAL Manufacturing. These specialty, engineer-to-order parts must meet stringent military specifications, as well as the quality requirements of ISO 9001 certification.

According to Dave Lonadier of VISUAL South, an LSA reseller, the VISUAL Quality suite ultimately clinched the deal. "[NASA] told us we had the most comprehensive quality system they'd seen,'' he says.

VISUAL Quality was created in cooperation with IQS Inc., a maker of integrated business management and quality management software. VISUAL Quality has the advantage of integration with the VISUAL Manufacturing suite. Integration eliminates redundant data entry while ensuring accuracy and consistency.

In February, LSA purchased a significant minority share in Cleveland-based IQS' holdings, and has assumed sales and marketing duties.