What is production control software? Put simply, software for controlling your production.
PSL Datatrack production control software is designed specifically for subcontract precision engineering businesses with particular strength in managing turned parts and machined components. The whole process for a subcontractor typically starts with the initial quotation, but the next time the phone rings your production priorities and available capacity can change. However, the need to manage the whole business process of dealing with the sales order all the way through to the invoice will always exist. These stages encompass purchasing, shop floor documentation, traceability, scheduling and quality to name but a few areas and PSL Datatrack deals with all of these variables.
Taking the principals applied to precision engineering, PSL Datatrack’s wide customer base also encompasses companies in other manufacturing areas including PCBs, box build, fabrication, special purpose machines and product assembly.
What is production? This may seem like a simple question, but production means many different things to many different people and businesses. It can be simply defined as the making or manufacturing of components from raw materials but that covers everything from prototypes to mass production of components, to batch production and the assembly of components into a finished item.
What do we mean by control? Control is essential but needs to be within the rules and limits you deem are relevant to your business. You should never be in the situation where the ‘computer says no’. It is essential that a business has relevant procedures, rules and limits in place that give company management the control and information they need to make decisions that benefit the business.
Does a UK business need software designed and supported in the UK? The style of production and the manner in which business is conducted can vary between countries. Some factors may be legislative, others purely commercial, but it is important that such business critical systems are able to react and respond to these ever changing requirements. A system designed in and focussed on the UK will do just that.
One size definitely does not fit all! A larger business will need more refined processes and tighter control than a smaller business, which may be owner-managed and/or employ staff who wear many hats and have multiple responsibilities. The production control system used must reflect these varying requirements in order to be effective, provide the required return on investment (ROI) and, most importantly, be of benefit to the whole business.
Why are modular systems the right approach? Simplicity should benefit the user, not the developer. Many users will only ever need a percentage of a complete system. Customers should not pay for modules they have no intention of using, no matter the cost. With a modular system, the investment is scaled in a fair and practical manner.
Many businesses already have specialised software in place for certain areas of their business, be it time and attendance, CAD/CAM or HR. It is our fundamental belief that customers should be able to pick and choose the best software tools for their various requirements.
How is a system implemented? From our experience, no two implementations are the same. The experience and background that users already have coupled with the areas in the business the system is being implemented to control are major factors in putting together a plan. It is essential that the plan takes these factors into account.
For some businesses, whole days and classroom style training may be right whereas for others a web-based, bite-size chunk implementation may be the most effective as this approach will fit in alongside the day job of company operatives. Some PSL Datatrack users have gone live after as little as one day of training which is a testament to the logical approach, clear and well thought out screens together with our thorough understanding of the requirements of a precision engineering business.
What if you are replacing a system? It can sometimes be a great opportunity to start from scratch but in other situations it may be a major time saving exercise to have useful data imported to kick-start the implementation. PSL Datatrack has many years of experience and skills in this area to help customers get their system up and running as quickly as is practical.
Is it expensive? Cost is always a major consideration and can be hard to quantify. The cost to the business is not limited to just paying for the software or training but is also down to the time taken to become familiar with the software and the speed with which users are able to navigate around the system. It is vital to ensure that whatever software you choose is suited to your business and not just your budget.
Information is power. This is underlined in the many case studies featuring companies running PSL Datatrack. It becomes an essential tool not just for managing their businesses but for strengthening and growing those businesses. Many of these case studies are available from our website at www.psldatatrack.com/news.