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Future Design Future-Proofed With Production Control Software

There comes a time when all subcontract precision engineering companies have to take a good look at their business administration procedures. That may be when the existing manual methods simply become too time consuming and labour intensive or it may be when existing software is no longer fit for purpose. These issues can be recognised at different times in a company's life cycle – typically when taking on new customers, more business from existing ones or acquiring a new company. In the case of Future Design & Engineering Ltd, the need arose when the company had to update its existing ISO 9001:2015 accreditation.

Managing Director Simon Humphrey knew that PSL Datatrack production control software had already been widely used by other subcontract engineering companies either with or seeking ISO accreditation and that it was tailored specifically to the sector's requirements. This included the functionality and manufacturing traceability to keep track of a job from initial enquiry through to final invoice as well as providing auditors with all the information needed quickly and professionally.

The Bedfordshire based company specialises in CNC milling and turning as well as 3D printing. It provides its engineering solutions, including a complete one-stop shop service, to various industries that require high quality engineering solutions and reliability in terms of both product quality and customer service.

With lots of different product lines and batch quantities to be manufactured, the company's existing production control software package was no longer up to the task and upgrading it would not provide the necessary functionality. Other systems available were considered complex with too many unusable features for Future Design’s specific needs. As it turned out, they needed to implement PSL Datatrack earlier than originally planned when their old system stopped working.

PSL Datatrack production control software is widely used by subcontract engineering companiesThe main challenge was to get PSL Datatrack installed and functioning quickly in time for the reaccreditation process as there could be no overlap between using the two systems. Once the decision had been made to invest in PSL Datatrack, it was on the basis that the necessary support would be provided to achieve this goal. Future Design, like so many subcontractors, has a team whose primary aim is to get products manufactured to the highest standards and out of the door as quickly as possible. Time can be tight for the essential associated administration tasks and getting staff trained in using the new software system as quickly as possible was vital.

From PSL Datatrack's viewpoint, training new users quickly through both onsite training and remotely is a regular and frequently called upon service. “Our clients need to be able to carry on their day to day business with minimal disruption and so our training is carefully tailored to meet individual circumstances,” says Geoff Gartland, Managing Director.

Future Design’s main contact for using the system and receiving the initial training was Administration & Office Manager Kate Waller. Having already managed the use of the company's original system, Kate's role and experience was key to the process. It was, however, a challenge having to master the controls of PSL Datatrack in such a short period of time. She says: “The training I received was first class, using a combination of onsite face-to-face instruction and remote web-based sessions with screen sharing. The support was excellent and nothing was too much trouble for PSL Datatrack who provided me with all the guidance I needed throughout the implementation of the system.”

Modules covering key areas of production and administration were acquired, including Quotations which has dramatically reduced the time involved in generating customer quotes to minutes, whether for new, repeat or infrequent customers.

Alongside Quotations, Future Design has benefitted from other PSL Datatrack modules designed to manage sales/purchase order processing, Shop Floor Data Collection, post production job costing and control of supplier invoices. With all this information at their fingertips, the company can be much more confident when quoting customers in terms of cost and scheduling of deliveries. Critical quality control aspects of the production process, including non-conformance and gauge calibration, are also managed in the system.

The company has also been able to capitalise on features available in PSL Datatrack that were not present in their old system.

One of the interesting aspects of Future Design's use of PSL Datatrack software is the fact that the software is installed and run on a Cloud-based server whilst maintaining full security over the data. This offers the company significant advantages, such as being able to interrogate and find out information about customers, orders, work in progress and much more from any location remotely rather than just from a fixed office PC. For a small company this approach is very flexible and PSL Datatrack was easily integrated into Future Design's Cloud-based approach.

Future Design subsequently benefitted from the modularity of PSL Datatrack and invested in the Assemblies module to manage the production of multi-item products. Most recently, the Sequential Scheduler module has been added to control and manage the company's workload and flow on the shop floor.

Future Design is now reaping the full benefit of transferring to PSL Datatrack. “The availability of information at management and shop floor level enables us to make decisions quickly to improve the production process and offer the best possible service to our customers in terms of product quality and meeting their delivery requirements,” says Simon Humphrey.

The company operates on the basis of continual improvement and the ability to see the status of live production in real time and provide instructions directly to the shop floor may be addressed through the acquisition of Status Boards in the future. Simon concludes: “By routing everything through PSL Datatrack, we are able to run our business in the most efficient way and there is potential for taking on more business without spending too much extra time on administration.”

Click here to find out more about Future Design & Engineering Ltd.

Future Design Future-Proofed With Production Control Software.pdf

  • Can Be Moulded To Suit Whatever Business Need Arises

    The PSL Datatrack system is easy to understand and versatile"PSL Datatrack has developed their system in line with the way we have developed our business. The system is easy to understand, versatile and, with the help of the team at PSL, can be moulded to suit whatever business need arises. We would definitely recommend it."

    Steve Smith, Brown & Holmes (Tamworth) Ltd

  • Keeping Control of Production is Vital

    PSL Datatrack ensures that no invoices are overlooked"We knew simply recording and storing customer and production information on the company iPad would not be sufficient. We were already missing some jobs or sometimes not invoicing correctly. So, bearing in mind all the likely combinations of orders for different components, quantities and materials that an increased customer base was likely to bring, things had to change."

    Adam Green, G23 Engineering Limited

     
  • Reaping The Rewards Of Our Investment

    PSL Datatrack's knowledge of the industry and technical support cannot be faulted"Whilst we may have had some initial concerns about moving to a different software provider, these have been completely unfounded. PSL Datatrack's knowledge of the industry and technical support cannot be faulted. The transition from our old system was as smooth as it could have been and we are now reaping the rewards of our investment."

    Martin Wilson, Rodmatic Limited

  • One Of The Best Investments We Ever Made

    Linear added to the original modules as their business requirements changed"It is one of the best investments we ever made. We have added to the original modules as our business requirements changed plus we get all the upgrades and great support from PSL Datatrack."

    Andy Allan, Linear Precision Engineers Ltd

  • So Easy To Use

    I&G can call PSL Datatrack for immediate technical support"If any new staff member using the PSL Datatrack system needs help, or we need any other technical support, we can ring and get it straight away. That being said, with the system being so easy to use, it’s not often needed."

    Michael Evans, I&G Engineering Ltd

  • Achieved ISO Accreditation Very Quickly

    Investment in PSL Datatrack meant the business was already being run already to ISO standards"We of course needed ISO 9001 accreditation due to the nature of the motorsport business and with the PSL Datatrack system in place we achieved it very quickly. By having the system prior to achieving the accreditation my customers knew that our business was already being run already to ISO standards but having that official certification is very important."

    Dan Green, Northants Precision Ltd

  • Integrated The Whole Manufacturing Process

    PSL Datatrack cuts time and integrates the whole manufacturing process from quotation to invoice"We contacted PSL Datatrack for a demonstration and it was astonishing that each part of the system matched what we were already doing – but carried out in a way that cut time and integrated the whole manufacturing process, right through from the initial quotation to delivery and invoicing."

    Mark Howlett, TK Fabrications

  • The invoicing module is a particularly great help

    Davturn can now run a customer order from the initial works order through to the final invoice seamlessly"Alongside a good quality product, we have always tried to offer a professional service. With PSL Datatrack it became possible to streamline our quotation system and run a customer order from the initial works order through to the final invoice, making us more efficient. It has reduced our administration times considerably and the invoicing module is a particularly great help."

    Mark Birley, Davturn Limited

  • Helping Us To Further Enhance Our Customer Relations

    PSL Datatrack enables faster production decision making"PSL Datatrack has enabled us to run our production and administration a lot more efficiently enabling faster production decision making, thus helping us to further enhance our customer relations."

    Claire O’Brien, Quantum Precision LLP

  • Day to day support is excellent

    Running PSL Datatrack results in improved utilisation of machine tools"The combination of system flexibility and the day to day support we receive from PSL is excellent, helping us to maximise our investments – not just in PSL Datatrack, but also in the performance of our machine tools and production systems."

    Declan Loughney, Killala Precision Components Ltd

     
  • One of the Best Investments

    Datatrack provides effective, efficient control of all planning and production functions"We chose Datatrack as the software system to manage and bring together our production and administration systems. It's one of the best investments we have ever made."

    John Clark, Chartway

     
  • Entire Business at our Fingertips

    Datatrack is designed for managing both small and medium manufacturing businesses"When we bought PSL Datatrack, we got a system that we could use quickly, does everything we ask of it and more and now we have our entire business at our fingertips."

    Jason Nicholson, Unicut Precision Ltd

     
  • Precise, Accurate And Professional Documentation

    PSL Datatrack provides precise, accurate and professional documentation"PSL Datatrack production control software provides us with precise, accurate and professional documentation and allows us to keep track of our production and exactly what’s happening at any time. Looking back, the investment couldn't have come sooner and really should have been made on day one."

    Stuart Dunklin, Cutting Edge Precision Engineering Ltd

  • Will Help Us To Build Even Better Customer Relationships

    PSL Datatrack software can grow with Newtech"We are aiming to expand the business and will invest in new machining technology. But just as importantly, we know that the PSL Datatrack software can grow with us whether that means getting more of our staff to use it or whether it means investing step by step in more modules. It has been great for us so far and will help us to build even better customer relationships."

    Alan Riley, Newtech High Speed Turning Ltd

  • Price breaks easily managed

    The quotations module is flexible and time saving"We often get price break requests on the same part and before PSL Datatrack, these used to sit idle awaiting the effort required to work them out. The module has saved us a lot of time, and I’m confident we are winning more work because we are simply quoting more."

    Yian Stavrou, Sub-CNC Precision Ltd

     
  • Control & Traceability is Second to None

    Traceability from quotation to invoice"We liked the way PSL Datatrack could be tailored to our specific needs from the beginning and also gave us the option to expand into different modules as and when we wished.  The way the system flows and the control and traceability we have over our work is now second to none."

    Lewis Lockwood, RDL Technologies Ltd

     
  • Very Knowledgeable And Professional Service

    PSL Datatrack helps its customers achieve or maintain ISO and other accreditation"We decided on using PSL Datatrack production control software after looking at many systems. The deciding factor was its user-friendly interface and ability to work alongside our ISO 9001 quality system. The team are very knowledgeable and provide a professional service."

    Tim Moss, M & M Turned Parts Limited

  • In A Position To Win More Engineering Subcontract Work

    Hydrafeed are confident that PSL Datatrack will allow them to succeed"We wouldn't go back now to our old time-consuming administration processes. We are in a position to win more engineering subcontract work and continue to expand our robotic and barfeed operations, confident that PSL Datatrack will allow us to succeed."

    Martyn Page, Hydrafeed Limited

  • The Support Has Been First Class

    PSL Datatrack has risen to new manufacturing challenges"PSL Datatrack has grown with us. Over the years the requirements to manage our business as efficiently as possible have changed. Our customers have given us new manufacturing challenges and the PSL Datatrack team has always risen to them by customising our system and recommending new modules to meet our needs. The support has been first class."

    Rob Kendall, Automatic Industrial Machines Ltd

  • Absolute peace of mind

    Production control for manufacturers maintaining or seeking ISO accreditation"Our PSL Datatrack system ensures our deliveries match our promises and the traceability of materials and documentation gives our customers absolute peace of mind."

    Ken Turner, Turner Precision Engineering (Aus) Pty Ltd

     
  • Take On Modules When You Are Ready

    PSL Datatrack modules integrate seamlessly with others when they are ready to be added"With PSL Datatrack, you don't have to invest in functionality you do not need immediately all at once. You know that each of their modules will seamlessly integrate with all the others and so you can take them on when you are ready."

    Howard Sheldon, Sheldon Precision Engineering Ltd

  • In a few clicks

    Fast, flexible search screens for rapid response to customer queries"PSL Datatrack delivers accurate information quickly. I can have a customer on the phone and in a few clicks, can solve his problem or mine."

    Roger Innes, INRO LLP

     
  • Smooth and rapid progress of orders

    PSL maintains close contact with its customers, who can request system enhancements through an active wish list"I see us working with PSL Datatrack for many years to come. We have worked together for a long time and the way PSL Datatrack is set up ensures smooth and rapid progress of orders going through both our businesses. PSL Datatrack always supplies excellent service and back-up."

    Sarah Pennock, Daro Products Limited

     
  • The Software Grows With Us

    Modules can be added whenever needed and are compatible with existing modules"One of the attractions of PSL Datatrack has been the fact that you can add additional modules whenever you need them and know that they will be compatible with those that you already have. The software grows with us and helps us to take the business forward."

    Russell Thackray, Bernard Holmes Precision Ltd

  • Control vital admin functions

    Datatrack ensures that all this work is profitable and that businesses can easily recall details when repeat orders are received"Maintaining control of non-productive but vital admin functions is paramount. We could not maintain control without Datatrack."

    Pete Wells, Applied Drilling Systems Ltd

     
  • Status Boards are Key

    Dynamic status boards can be customised by PSL Datatrack to suit exact requirements"Key to success within the sub-contract industry is making components to the correct quality at the right time and a competitive price. PSL Datatrack has been, and continues to be, key in helping Qualiturn successfully manage these challenges."

    Nick Groom, Qualiturn Products Ltd

     
  • Improve The Production Process

    Information is available at management and shop floor level"The availability of information at management and shop floor level enables us to make decisions quickly to improve the production process and offer the best possible service to our customers in terms of product quality and meeting their delivery requirements."

    Simon Humphrey, Future Design & Engineering Ltd

  • Impossible without PSL Datatrack

    PSL Datatrack provides the ability to create quotations faster than the competition"The administration behind the manufacturing of a wide variety of engineered plastics parts in many different batch sizes for many different customers would have been impossible without PSL Datatrack."

    Jonathan Newis, Plastic Turned Parts

     
  • Very Customer Focussed Supplier

    DP Engineering has close control of its business thanks to PSL Datatrack"PSL Datatrack is a very customer focussed supplier. They help us to look at our own operation and improve what we do for our customers. We have close control and management of what is now a much larger business than in 2005. We wouldn’t be where we are without PSL Datatrack's expertise and support. They understand what we are trying to achieve and help us to get there."

    Phillip Anthony, DP Engineering

  • Would recommend it to other SMEs

    Efficient Production Control adds value by minimising the burden of administration and therefore reducing overheads"We are happy with PSL Datatrack and would recommend it to other SMEs. The initial hard work has paid off and we are now a tighter more efficient unit. PSL Datatrack have been absolute rocks in terms of the support they have given us."

    Paul McCann, Bluebell Opticom Ltd

     
  • How did we manage before?

    Ease of invoicing and transfer of data to accounts software"We can now retrieve any information at the push of a button. To be honest, it is difficult to see how we managed before we had Datatrack."

    Phil Smith, Wealdpark Ltd

     
  • Benefits are immeasurable

    PSL Datatrack aids high quality precision engineering"We have put our faith in the professionalism of PSL Datatrack and it is really paying off. I don't have to run or write the software anymore and can focus my time on the important management of our processes. Now we have the PSL Datatrack system, the benefits are immeasurable."

    Martin Presley, Williams & Oakey Engineering Co Ltd

     
  • Efficient multi-currency invoicing

    Multi-currency provides automatic calculations to/from foreign currencies"PSL Datatrack enabled us to implement changes to our invoicing methods efficiently - as when we introduced multi-currency invoicing including the US$ and the €uro."

    Barry Kirkpatrick, Demand Technology International Ltd

     
  • PSL Datatrack Controls Everything From Enquiry Through To Invoice

    PSL Datatrack supports ANR's wide range of requirements, from simple single-material components through to 1000-line BOMs"With our wide range of requirements, from simple single-material components with in-depth processes through to 1000-line bills of materials, PSL Datatrack controls everything from enquiry through to invoice."

    Nick Wilson, ANR Manufacturing Ltd

  • Stream-lined Delivery

    Complete component stocks controlled together with material traceability"The facility to have accurate data, a complete component stock list, and a stream-lined delivery process was very appealing."

    George Dingley, Sub-CNC Precision Ltd

  • It's great to see our ideas actually taken on board

    "PSL Datatrack work non-immediate solutions into future versions of the softwareThe service from PSL is excellent. On the rare occasions there isn’t an immediate solution available from PSL Datatrack, it will be worked into the next update of the software. This forms part of their customer Wish List initiative which is very handy. It’s great to see our ideas actually taken on board and implemented."

    Stuart Wade, Empire Manufacturing Limited

  • Essential To Maintaining ISO 9001:2015

    PSL Datatrack gives Mach-Tech complete production control"PSL Datatrack gives us complete control over the way our production process is managed. It gives our customers full traceability and is essential to maintaining our own ISO 9001:2015 accreditation. We will continue to look to develop the functionality of the software going forward as it remains a crucial element of our business."

    Simon Fisher, Machining Technology (Mach-Tech) Ltd

  • Focus On What We Do Best

    When the time is right, Bedford CNC can invest in additional complementary modules"We are engineers, not administrators, and we can now focus on what we do best – manufacturing high quality components and looking for new business opportunities. When the time is right we can look to invest in additional complementary modules to streamline our business even further."

    Andy Soos, Bedford CNC Ltd

  • Excellent training and flexibility

    PSL Datatrack allows consistently on-time deliveries and greater customer satisfaction"PSL Datatrack has provided excellent training and the flexibility to address ND Precision Products’ specific requirements. Great reaction times to queries and ongoing support have resulted in a well nurtured relationship forming between our two companies."

    Nick Squire, ND Precision Products

     
  • The System Is Very Flexible With Its Modularity

    PSL Datatrack tailored production control software specifically for Jota's requirements"The focus of PSL Datatrack as a company is right on the precision engineering sector and the needs of companies like Jota Advanced Engineering. The system is very flexible with its modularity but most important for us was that PSL Datatrack could tailor the software specifically for our requirements."

    Ryan Goodger, Jota Advanced Engineering Limited

  • Integral part of our operations

    Traceability of products throughout the production process is guaranteed"Datatrack is an integral part of our operations at Technoset Ltd. It supports our business in many facets and is particularly strong with traceability which is very important to Technoset and their customers."

    Kevan Kane, Technoset Ltd

     
  • Couldn’t Live Without PSL Datatrack

    PSL Datatrack has made important company transitions seamless for Maylan"We couldn't live without PSL Datatrack. It has made important company transitions seamless and supported our move into new markets with a greater variety of profitable work."

    Stephen Weiss, Maylan Limited

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