Manufacturing Software For Greenfield Engineering Ltd

After implementing 123insight manufacturing software, Greenfield Engineering in Holsworthy, Devon saw a reduction in stock of £100,000 (25%). The system was selected over others costing £100,000+ and it was easy to import legacy data. The company also reduced their customer lead times by a third.

Greenfield Engineering Sheet Metal MRP case study

Manufacturing software for stock management

  • Reduced stock by 25% (£100,000)
  • Easy legacy data import
  • Scalable licencing
  • Selected over systems costing £100,000+
  • Lead times reduced by a third
  • Recommended by existing user
  • Low monthly subscription

Greenfield Engineering Ltd, based in Holsworthy, Devon provides precision sheet metal subcontract services covering a wide variety of industries. Founded in 1989 and split over two sites, the company had previously relied on a business system that covered sheet metal estimating through to invoicing and linked to their Sage accounts system, but found that as they grew, more restrictions with the system became apparent. Gaps in the system’s capabilities meant that localised spreadsheets and databases sprung up across different departments, making data mining and reporting difficult. Operations Director Gary Burnard commented; “As the business grew we felt that we were outgrowing the system. It didn’t cover a lot of areas that we needed such as a link between production operations and accounting information - none of that information was readily available, so we decided to look for another system.”

The 'no-sell' evaluation process

The company attended a local business software seminar and met an existing 123insight user, who recommended that they consider the system. Gary attended a 123insight Evaluation Workshop along with the Financial Director, and found the approach very refreshing. “It wasn’t a hard sell - not pushy at all. It was very much ‘come and have a look, see if it does what you need and ask any questions’. Initially it felt a bit hands-off but in the end I appreciated the fact that they had total faith in their product and they trusted us as a user to decide whether it was right for us.”

With any manufacturing software the initial cost is always a major consideration. Gary reviewed other systems costing over £100,000 for the initial software and implementation, with annual maintenance costing 15-20%. He noted that other service charges also seemed high. 123insight is provided as a complete system through a low monthly subscription, with no binding contracts or minimum period. After the Evaluation Workshop Gary decided to attend the no-obligation training, understanding that if he decided that the system was not suitable he could walk away with nothing to pay. Staff from Production and Accounts attended the training along with Gary, and the feedback he received was extremely positive; “The staff that went on the training all came back enthused about using the system. We also found the training manuals very good. They have many good examples and are a great point of reference to use later on after the training. We subsequently did a lot of in-house training using these documents.”

The123insight business model has allowed us to invest in other areas - it was £100k out of our budget that we were able to use elsewhere.

Gary Burnard - Operations Director
Gary Burnard - Operations Director

Implementation and data migration

The company selected 123insight and started implementation in summer 2012. Said Gary; “The implementation took about three months from start to finish. We had a huge amount of legacy data, which in the end was actually very easy to deal with. I was able to extract it, manipulate it and get it into 123insight. Setting up of the system itself was really straightforward, so most of the three month period was taken up with preparing the data.”

Going live

Since going live in September 2012 a number of benefits have come to light, the most significant of which was a 25% reduction in stockholding. This not only equated in real terms to around £100,000 but also saved a considerable amount of space. Internal lead times dropped from an average of three weeks to two with less requirement for temporary staff or overtime. Errors were reduced as data integrity was forced at entry and the need to replicate data throughout a part or order’s life was removed. Gary noted; “You can be very specific about what information people fill in, so the information is very accurate from the beginning and follows through rather than Accounts saying that you've missed off a nominal code, etc. as these things have to be selected at the beginning.”

Quality, and integrated accounts

The company employs quality, health and safety and environmental systems, and relevant documents can be easily associated with parts or production stages. For example, when a particular powder paint is used on a product process management or quality inspection documents can be attached and displayed to the relevant staff. The Advanced Accounts Interface (AAI) is also used to pass information between 123insight and Sage 50 accounts. Said Gary; “The AAI has worked very well. We decided during the implementation of 123insight that we had enough on our plate going live with one business system but long term we may look at the integrated accounts solution, and we’re already considering CRM. The fact that we can attach quality documents to products within 123insight, the CRM and integrated accounts options for the future were all reasons why we chose 123insight.”

Ongoing support

Gary found the scalability of licencing and product support to be further ongoing benefits; “We’ve regularly scaled the number of licences in use up and down. After implementation we saw big improvements in areas such as invoicing so could re-balance the licences across various departments. Support has been prompt and always leads to a resolution, which gives us a lot of confidence moving forward.”

The company is currently evaluating 123insight’s CRM and may also consider the integrated accounts in the future. Gary finalised; “We are always looking to grow our business and 123insight is a key factor in allowing us to do this. Their business model and scalable licencing fits perfectly for us and has allowed us to invest in other areas - from the start it was £100k of our budget that we were able to use elsewhere.”

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