Case Study: Applied Component Technology Ltd

After deciding to replace their Excel spreadsheets, ACT evaluated systems costing up to £80k. They were introduced to 123insight by Business Link and went live with the software in under 3 weeks without any support.

Case study on applied component technology using 123insight MRP
  • Implemented in just two weeks
  • No support calls during implementation
  • Recommended by local Business Link office
  • Chosen over systems costing £80k+
  • Improved traceability helped with TS16949
  •  Low monthly subscription

Applied Component Technology Ltd (ACT), formerly known as Cobra UK Automotive Ltd, based in Welshpool, Wales produces niche products to the automotive interior trim market. With customers including Volvo and Bentley they maintain high quality standards, complying to the TS16949 automotive quality accreditation, and have also won several local and national business achievement awards. Their production management consisted of a series of spreadsheets, which although linked proved problematic to maintain and were prone to human error. Said Nick English, Operations Director; “We looked at various MRP and ERP systems costing up to £80,000. Our aim was to select one that was best suited to a company with high growth plans. We were introduced to 123insight by our local Business Link office, who held an Evaluation Workshop in July 2006, whereby attendees could see whether 123insight would suit their business. We were very impressed with what it offered, but were also quite sceptical. The offer of only paying for the training if we took up the system seemed to be too good to be true - we were looking for the catch, but actually there isn’t one.”

With a factory move planned for early 2007, ACT made a decision to select 123insight in November, with two staff attending the training courses. Nick commented; “The training courses are very good at showing you how to apply the system in general. You are given a generic implementation plan which covers all of the major pitfalls. Although we still had to make it fit our business, as long as you follow the plan then 9 times out of 10 it’s going to work for you.”

The last day of training was on 13th December. ACT planned to implement the system over the Christmas break to minimise down time. Added Nick; “Although 123 Insight Ltd provided support facilities over the break we didn’t need to use them. We just followed the implementation plan and went live on 2nd January without a hitch.”

ACT went live across all departments simultaneously, with the exception of Quotes, which was a commercial decision taken by the company owing to the number quotes generated and methods used to generate them.

What was immediately noticeable was the visibility of works orders throughout the business, along with accuracy of stock amounts and values. “We could see the purchase orders that needed to be raised and could prioritise the work through the factory much better rather than relying on memory. As we manufacture to order we don’t hold much stock, so as long as lead-times are accurate and we purchase on time we can maintain a low stock amount. The traceability that 123insight provides also helps us to comply with our quality standards.”  The amount of paperwork being generated also reduced, as stock, purchases and works orders were all on the one system allowing for immediate reconciliation. General errors were also reduced, which Nick attributes to 123insight’s user interface; “Whereas before there were several Excel spreadsheets, all with the possibility of error, with 123insight there are not a lot of icons on the screen - you are limited to what you need to do on each individual screen.”

ACT plans to add more licenses in 2007 as the business expands. Nick finalised; “123insight gave us what we needed as a business. The day to day purchases can be handled by the Production department allowing our Purchasing Manager to concentrate on supplier development and purchasing strategy. With the business expected to double each year for the next two to three years the flexible licensing of 123insight plays a big part as we can bring in licenses as and when you need them. The beauty of it is that you don’t have a large up-front cost burden at the start of the implementation when you have the greatest risk of failure.”

The offer of only paying for the training if we took up the system seemed to be too good to be true - we were looking for the catch, but actually there isn’t one.

Nick English - Operations Director
Nick English - Operations Director

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