Home: Press Room: Bitbox EMS case study
For Immediate Release
7th April 2009
Bitbox sees 90% purchasing time reductions from 123insight implementation
Bitbox Ltd, based in Basingstoke, Hampshire provides electronics software design and manufacturing services (EMS). The company's staff of ten relied on an in-house developed Access database system, however Director Quentin Lister knew that the system had reached its limits; "It was pretty clunky but it did the job at the time, although it did not understand the concept of stock, it could find the cheapest path to build a product. I eventually realised that it would take too long to write the system to cover everything, so I looked at an off-the-shelf package to do what we needed. The catalyst came when we received a large order of 500 units, each of which had three complex components, with deliveries scheduled over three months. I had to create an Excel spreadsheet linked to my database to order all the parts, which took the best part of two weeks. I thought to myself 'I am never, ever doing that again - it's such a waste of time'. As it was becoming more apparent we would get more orders like this, I knew we had to do something."
Despite having researched MRP systems in both his current and previous positions Quentin was unable to find anything cost effective; "I couldn't find anything at a sensible price. Every system was over £50k, and then they wanted to come in to 'tailor' the system to your needs. It seemed that you had to pay an awful lot of money. I was recommended to visit an Evaluation Workshop by a 123insight Associate, and I found the approach very convenient. You could ask real people real questions, unlike an online demo. It was an easy decision to make."
Bitbox signed to receive the software in March 2007 and sent two staff on the user, administration and implementation planning training courses. They then set about transferring the data, which Quentin cites was not a problem due to his knowledge of Access. "Implementation was fairly straightforward. Once I'd migrated the data it was actually pretty swift to get the system to do what we wanted - getting the first sales order on there and generating the relevant works and purchase orders was a fairly easy process."
The company went live across sales, stock control, purchasing and generating works orders. Immediately the company saw significant benefits. The time taken to raise purchase orders dropped drastically. Jobs that previously had taken two weeks to raise as POs were now completed in under half a day. "Now I can load an order, raise the relevant bills of materials, run MRP, check what we need to buy and order the easy stuff, and then concentrate on any problem components. The whole process is probably 90% more efficient than before." Stock control was far more accurate than before; "We always used to have surprises; finding items we never knew we had in stock. Now, if the system says we have 55 of an item, we know where they are in the building. Based on previous experience I thought that the first stock take we did with 123insight after go-live would be a disaster but we found the stock figures to be accurate. It's also very rare for us to run short of items during kitting."
Support has also been excellent, with Bitbox requiring less than one call per month to the support desk, most of which have been basic 'how do I' questions. "There is always someone at the end of the phone, and most questions are answered immediately."
Bitbox recently relocated to larger premises, and despite tough trading conditions Quentin is confident that Bitbox is well placed to go forward through the recession. He concluded; "I can safely say that with 123insight we are getting enough benefit to work with the same number of staff but make more products. We spend £220 per month and I am saving that easily in ordering time alone. It works - I don't need to change it for anything else, as it does exactly what I want. It does much more than we actually use it for - we just haven't rolled it out yet. I've mentioned 123insight to numerous colleagues, one of which I know has taken on the system. You just know they will benefit from it - it's just a case of getting them to see the Evaluation Workshop."
- From training to go-live in seven weeks
- Purchasing reduced from two weeks to half a day
- Stock control far more accurate than before
- Stock kitting shortages virtually eradicated
- Recommended by a 123insight Associate
- Evaluation Workshop was better than web demos
- Easy migration of data from existing Access D/B
- Less than one call per month to tech support
- Initial training costs of £2980
- Low monthly rental of £220