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Press release
For immediate release
9th November 2005

Subcontract metal cutter forges ahead with 123insight production management software

Swift Sheet Metal Ltd, based in Pinxton, Nottinghamshire was formed in January 2004 and offers subcontract manufacturing services covering milling, turning, laser and hand metal cutting. From the outset Managing Director Nicolas Smith anticipated a sharp rise in business for mid 2005 after the planned investment in a new laser cutting machine, and while quoting and production planning was initially done via Excel spreadsheets he decided to investigate suitable MRP systems. As a company comprising of four staff, the sales, quoting, planning and purchasing all fall on Nicolas’s shoulders.

Said Nicolas; “I’d had experience of MRP systems in the past, and knew that this was what we needed. I was already quite sold on one system when I came across 123insight on the Internet in December 2004. Reviewing the multimedia DVD-ROM was enough for me to make a decision - I did not even feel the need to attend one of their evaluation workshops. With 123insight I could see that I’d be up and running with a minimal cash outlay and add users to the system as I needed to. The other system was over £3500 for the software alone, excluding training, consultancy and maintenance.”

123insight was installed on 22nd December 2004, allowing Nicolas to get used to the system prior to formal training on 20th January. He added; “Having the system prior to the training allowed me to experiment and to get data into it. Even without any formal training it was easy enough to get around the system.”

Nicolas attended the three-day user course and one-day administration course at the end of January. The following week the system went live. Immediately Nicolas’s workload drastically decreased. “I generally work a 12-hour day, and I was saving at least two days a week. This was spread across the fact that quotes were much quicker to raise, they could be converted to sales orders very quickly and planning and purchase orders were produced automatically. We aim to get quotes out to customers within two working days, and we are now comfortably ahead of this target. The lead-time from receiving an order to it being on the shopfloor has also significantly improved. ”

Another aspect of the business which benefited was the accuracy of quotes. Previously Nicolas had used a spreadsheet which attributed a cost to the various stages for each job, however there was no way for him to allocate different hourly rates for different machining processes. With 123insight every stage of every machining process could be costed separately, ensuring that quotes were produced quickly and accurately without a lengthy cost-checking exercise.

Smaller companies need to rely on stable systems and processes, and need to ensure that the support is there when they need it. Since implementation Swift has only called on support five times, and only in the first two months since going live, with all enquiries being solved same or next day.

With more high-tech machinery planned for the future along with ISO quality accreditation, Swift also plan to increase their usage of 123insight. Nicolas finalised by saying; “Even with our increased capacity we are already getting busier. We are not yet using full stock control, and I also want to get more out of the reporting aspects of the system. We’ll be taking on more staff to handle 123insight and I’ll be able to train them in-house. Upgrading 123insight for more users will only be a minor monthly increase rather than spending another few thousand on a second license.”

Benefits summary

Digital photos are available from www.123insight.com/images/cs_swift_pics.zip (approx 5MB)