For Immediate Release
5th January 2015
Contrec Manufacturing (UK) Ltd, based in Halifax, West Yorkshire, manufactures a wide range of flow measurement equipment. After being established distributors for products manufactured in Australia for over 20 years, a series of acquisitions of their supplier together with manufacturing being moved to India left them with poor quality and delivery issues. Said Pam Casson, Managing Director; "Our supplier was moving in a different direction and was happy to sell the process instrument division. We bought the manufacturing rights and stock with a view to creating our own manufacturing business in the UK."
Once the new company was created, they quickly identified that they would require an MRP system to control it, so Contrec set about evaluating systems. Said Pam; "We looked at about four systems, with one costing around £60,000. We found 123insight online and attended a local Evaluation Workshop in Leeds in September 2011. As soon as we saw the system we stopped looking at anything else. We liked the fact that we did not have to put up a big financial amount up front and be locked in."
The decision was made to select 123insight in October 2011, with three staff attending the six days of no-obligation training on the understanding that if they decided that the system did not prove suitable they could walk away with nothing to pay. Training was completed between October 2011 and January 2012. Of the training Pam said; "The training was very thorough. Everyone understood it well, and we felt very capable to implement the system ourselves afterwards."
During the selection and training period in 2011 Contrec had already started to manufacture products, so relied on Excel spreadsheets and paper-based systems as a short term stopgap, however the painful experience only served to strengthen Pam's resolve to implement 123insight quickly; "During this time we had to dedicate staff to manage works orders and instruct staff on what to do. Data was fragmented and it was difficult to find what components needed to be on a specific order."
The stock and inventory data provided by the previous manufacturer proved erroneous, so a period of data cleansing/entry was performed during January-March 2012. With a backlog of orders inherited and working off temporary manual spreadsheets, work was not being processed as quickly as they would have liked, however the company went live with 123insight across all departments in April 2012 after which they quickly regained control over stock, bills of materials and work in progress. Pam noted; "123insight immediately freed up the Production Manager, as all staff could immediately track orders, bills of materials or any information they needed."
To further streamline the electronic flow of information between 123insight and Contrec's Sage 50 accounts system the Sage AAI (Advanced Accounts Interface) was also implemented.
As with many electronics manufacturers, Contrec holds a large inventory of small components, and each of their core products can have 10-20 variations. Pam felt that a combination of factors helped to bring this under control; "123insight's BOM management definitely helped. Picking lists are immediately accessible, and it's very easy to book stock in and out. We also now build and stock sub assemblies for products to help reduce lead times on faster moving items, and 123insight immediately warns us when we are getting low." Errors in general were reduced as information is input once, with barcode scanners eradicating the possibility for data entry error.
123insight's Advanced Serial Tracking is helping Contrec with various quality accreditations. Said Pam; "We make a number of instruments that are safety-critical and have to comply to international standards, so traceability back through the supply chain is paramount. It's so easy to be able to enter a serial number and locate everything relating to it e.g. what unit it was built into, as all sub-assembly serial numbers are tied to a complete instrument's serial number, along with who ordered it. To trace that manually would be quite a task. We've actually been complimented by our quality auditor regarding the speed that information can be retrieved and the clarity that 123insight delivers. It's also made compiling our quality manual much easier, being able to refer to 123insight in the manual for procedures."
Contrec plan to not only revamp their existing products but also bring new ranges to market. Pam concluded; "We could not have made the transition from distribution to a brand new manufacturing business without 123insight. The subscription model is much better than paying a massive cost up front. We really do feel that we get value for money from it every month."