In 2017 Rodmatic Limited, the Reading based precision machining subcontract company, decided to invest in a new production control system that would give them much more effective management of their business. An existing system was being replaced and the new one needed to be up and running as quickly as possible with a smooth transition phase so that day-to-day business would not be compromised in any way. Already familiar with PSL Datatrack through both companies' membership of the British Turned Parts Manufacturers Association (BTMA), Rodmatic selected the company to supply their modular software package as the replacement. One year later, that decision has helped the business make all round improvements to its production processes and customer service.
Due to the expiry of the licence for the existing system and the fact that it was beginning to slow down and corrupt, Rodmatic needed a quick response from PSL Datatrack. In addition, the company also had to use a number of external databases alongside their old system in order to achieve the desired levels of control resulting in much more manual inputting of data. A more versatile and all-embracing system was therefore another requirement.
As a company, Rodmatic has always looked at new ways to improve the way it works and after reviewing its processes and listening to customer feedback, came to the conclusion that a new system would also benefit its business at every stage of the production process.
“We wanted a solution from a supplier that had a better understanding of the needs of our subcontract engineering business. As a BTMA Technical Member, we knew that PSL Datatrack had expertise, a good track record in our sector and there were also the advantages of the flexibility and customisation opportunities possible with their software,” says Martin Wilson, General Manager at Rodmatic.
From the date of the order confirmation, PSL Datatrack started to acquire a firm understanding of Rodmatic's production control requirements. “Once these were understood, PSL Datatrack were able us to give us the benefits of their considerable experience in the subcontract engineering sector and indeed recommend improvements to our existing processes that would benefit not only us but also our customers,” says Martin.
From investing in the system to going live took just three months. During this period, PSL Datatrack provided assistance for a parallel run of both systems to ensure a smooth transition. Concise targeted training for the Rodmatic team also took place during this phase so that each member understood how the changeover would work. Ongoing technical support was provided as new challenges arose as a result of the change in software. “The PSL Datatrack team were incredibly helpful during this whole period,” says Martin.
Some twelve months down the line, Rodmatic can now assess how the change to PSL Datatrack has assisted their successful specialist CNC and volume production machining business. The company provides components to a range of customers from many different market sectors using materials as diverse as steel, alloy steel, stainless steel, brass, aluminium, titanium, nylon and plastics. Achieving consistent quality in both production and service within Kanban and Just-In-Time customer requirements as well as vendor-managed contracts is essential for Rodmatic.
“PSL Datatrack's approach to running the business along a logical ‘Quote to Delivery’ way of thinking has been the most beneficial,” says Martin. It means that by using the software, Rodmatic can fully trace the progress of any order for any customer and has much tighter control over the whole production process. Within this, specific processes have been improved including Rodmatic's ‘Order to Pay’ system which has been streamlined via integration of PSL Datatrack with the company's existing Sage accounts package, enabling them to reduce the time spent on paperwork and administration.
The company also has much better visibility and traceability of its production performance thanks to PSL Datatrack's Works Order reporting functions. A number of different reports are now being generated, including production running lists, to meet management's specific requirements. From a documentation viewpoint, Rodmatic can easily have changes made to various templates quickly and efficiently. There is no longer the need to create the “bolt on” access reports previously required to get a full picture of business performance as PSL Datatrack production control software covers everything needed. Rodmatic customers have also felt the benefits of the new system through improved quotation times and the ability to meet their order requirements more quickly and effectively.
Martin concludes: “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.”