First Components of Brierley Hill in the West Midlands invested in PSL Datatrack production management and business administration software to ensure effective management of two businesses within its group. They supply both components and assemblies to a wide range of industries including aerospace, automotive, medical, electrical, white goods and general engineering.
Under single management, the specialist engineering services and capabilities of First Components Limited and Savigny Oddie include CNC turning, CNC milling, presswork, wire cutting & forming, wire erosion, tool making and design. Services are backed by ISO 9001/2000 and QS9000 accreditations. A system was needed that would be able to manage both businesses but with the economic benefits and simplicity of investment in a single system.
As with many businesses of this type, the administration of all tasks ranging from the initial quotation through to the final invoice are non-productive and need to be dealt with in the most efficient method possible - and in this case across two operating companies. Fundamental parts of the business administration that need to be managed include the production of sales orders, production planning, purchasing, bill of materials, stock control, scheduling, quality control, tooling, data collection and job costing, all whilst managing the generation of relevant documentation and answering customer queries.
First Components were keen to ensure that implementing a new system, such as PSL Datatrack, would not detract from the primary aims of ensuring all customers should receive the highest levels of service and that administrative matters would not stifle the development of new business. To achieve this aim the new system needed to be simple to use, yet powerful enough to deal with the complexity of their businesses.
First Components investigated possible software packages to assist them and also heard first hand about the capabilities of PSL Datatrack through Chartway Industrial Services, an existing Datatrack customer. Chartway made them aware of the advantages that Datatrack had brought to their own business.
"We contacted PSL Datatrack and were convinced that they could supply us with a 'matched' package that would meet the specific need of our business too," says Carl Wakelam, Managing Director of First Components.
First Components required a production management software package that would help to manage the administration surrounding all aspects of their businesses. "With two businesses, all these areas demanded high levels of management and manual paperwork. We needed a flexible system that would automate much of the administration across both businesses, allowing us to focus more closely on our technical expertise and customer service." continues Carl.
First Components initially purchased seven Datatrack user licences and since the initial installation has now rolled out the system to a total of twelve concurrent users across the two companies. Implementation of any new system into a business of this size can be a daunting task. The skills and experience of PSL together with the configuration and customisation available within Datatrack helped enormously whilst minimising the time and effort involved.
As a purpose designed, simple to use modular software application, Datatrack has assisted First Components/Savigny Oddie to control all the key aspects of the manufacture of single and batch production items. Carl advised, “All of the Datatrack modules acquired to date have had a very positive effect on the business.”
Datatrack Status Boards and Charts will be implemented on the shop floor at a future date to provide instant real time updates and deliver production instructions to the shop floor. The charts will alert operatives to any targets not being met.
“Overall, PSL Datatrack has more than fulfilled our expectations, providing exactly the kind of administration control we were looking for. We also receive excellent back up and advice on how to maximise the potential of the system from PSL Datatrack”, concludes Carl.