One issue facing successful sub contract engineering companies is how to deal with the extra administration that goes hand in hand with an increase in orders and winning new customers. Cutting Edge Precision Engineering Ltd (CE Precision), a manufacturer of high quality precision engineered parts and assemblies, was facing exactly this situation having experienced a recent significant expansion of its business.
CE Precision's expanding client base, served from the company's Cambridgeshire headquarters, covers a range of markets from telecoms, special purpose machinery to gas and fluid control, medical equipment and automated welding machinery. Production of parts and assemblies in various quantities and materials is supported by a range of subcontract processes such as plating and painting, carried out by long established partner companies.
It became apparent that whilst the capacity of the company's impressive range of machines and equipment could deal with the challenge, its business administration spreadsheets were coming under considerable strain. Although they had worked for quite some time, there were many flaws. Not only were they very labour intensive to maintain, but the time taken to use and locate required information on any aspect of a customer's order was unacceptable. Stuart Dunklin, Managing Director, recalls: “The greatest problem was that order and customer documentation was not linked in any way, resulting in information being frequently replicated, wasting a great deal of time and causing frustration. It was also proving difficult to delegate tasks.” The solution was to invest in a PSL Datatrack production control system.
Stuart had been thinking for some time that the company needed a production control system that was user friendly and actually purpose designed for sub contract precision engineering. An industry colleague, who had been using PSL Datatrack for over 20 years, highly recommended the software. Having spent time assessing his own specific requirements, a demonstration with PSL Datatrack was arranged. After seeing the software in action, and with the knowledge that PSL Datatrack was a reputable and well-established company, Stuart decided to make the investment decision.
Remote installation of the PSL Datatrack software and implementation of the system was carried out in logical phases. One of the major issues was the fact that Stuart had a pivotal role in the day to day running of CE Precision, a tight knit, well organised company and taking time out for installation/training was out of the question for Stuart at a time when the company was exceptionally busy. To address this issue, PSL Datatrack carried out web based training in bite size chunks so Stuart could continue to carry out essential production management duties alongside the implementation. “This proved to be an invaluable solution,” says Stuart, “the changeover to the new system was very smooth and PSL Datatrack demonstrated its ability to roll out in modules extremely efficiently.”
CE Precision wanted the PSL Datatrack system for managing the company's generation of customer quotations, recording material purchases, managing stock control, providing traceability and generating high quality supplier/customer documentation that looked professional and reflected CE Precision as a supplier of the highest quality. “Installing the PSL Datatrack software was a move that I felt would help show customers our professionalism and assist us in moving forward as a business.” says Stuart.
Since its installation, PSL Datatrack has had a significant impact on day to day production management. Stuart recognises that the system has not only freed up his time, but has also made individual customer orders easier to process and information more readily available to everyone who needs it. “Most importantly our customers are thrilled to see us moving forward and feel more confident in our ability to provide concise, accurate and professional documentation and to keep track of exactly what’s happening with their orders - where, when and how.” says Stuart.
Stuart found it easy to train other CE Precision staff members, getting them involved in all aspects of the system relevant to their job roles, backed up by excellent telephone support and help from PSL Datatrack, including documentation tweaks.
“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, I think the investment couldn't have come sooner and really should have been made on day one.” concludes Stuart.