For Immediate Release
29th November 2017
Glamox Luxonic Lighting Ltd, based in Basingstoke, Hampshire, manufactures bespoke lighting solutions for commercial and retail facilities. The company relied on an ageing MRP system, which couldn't cope as the company's business rapidly changed. Said Jamie Pullen, Production Control Manager, "It just generated too much paperwork. It wasn't very good at telling you if there was a problem when you were closing down works orders."
Glamox Luxonic's long term aim was to focus on lean manufacturing, with Operation Director Alan Ayres citing the streamlining of processes as vital; "It was predominantly centred around the production/manufacturing side e.g. how we process works orders, how do we generate despatch notes etc. That was our prime motivator - to get better information and better software controlling that area."
They decided to replace their current MRP system, as upgrade costs were prohibitive. Said Alan; "Upgrades to systems such as our previous one are notoriously expensive. We talked to a consultant we were working with that had been involved with another company using 123insight. When he learnt that we were looking to replace our system he said 'I think this may be the system that you need to go forward'."
Staff attended an Evaluation Workshop in 2009, and it was clear that 123insight would be a good fit for their business. After a short delay due to pressures of business they booked to attend the No Obligation training in May 2010 on the understanding that if they subsequently decided that the system would not be suitable they could walk away with nothing to pay. Of the training Alan noted; "I think you actually learn a lot from the training which you can take back to your business. As long as you have good support, which 123 Insight gave us, then you can answer any queries."
They decided to move forward with 123insight the same month and set about cleansing and reshaping their data, with a target of September to go live.
As with all enterprise-level system data transfer was an initial concern to Glamox Luxonic, however they utilised 123insight's Data Import Toolkit, a software tool which allows users to import data such as stock details, BOMs, resources, routings, customers, suppliers etc. from Excel spreadsheets. Although the company was transferring thousands of records across they found the process straightforward. Jamie noted; "Although it was a lot of work it was very easy."
The company planned to go live over a weekend in September, just four months after attending training and with the switchover occurring over a weekend, which Jamie found painless; "On the Friday night we shut down the old system, Saturday we did the transfer and went live with 123insight, so first thing Monday all staff were on the new system, I found the process quick and easy - we'd replaced our entire system's data over a weekend - it was brilliant."
Immediately benefits started coming to light. Paperwork fell drastically. Said Jamie; "Suddenly there wasn't a piece of paperwork being produce for every bit of metal that we were making." Although stock has increased over the years, it has been at a significantly lower rate than turnover, with less outages and stock takes much quicker to perform.
Glamox Luxonic has seen a drastic change in its business over the last few years, with a sea change of products. Alan noted that it was 123insight's ability to allow them to react quickly that has benefited them most; "The lighting industry has gone through the biggest step change in the last few years - probably more than any other industry. It's gone from conventional lamps through to LED, and in just the last three years our product range is completely different. Not partially - completely. Having a system such as 123insight helps you move through that transition."
Many of Glamox Luxonic's products have a variety of configuration options available, so they decided to utilise 123insight SDK (Software Development Kit) to integrate with a custom-built 'configurator', ProQuo, developed by 123insight Partner Solweb. Based on Solweb's popular Web Portal application, ProQuo provides a web-based front-end that communicates with 123insight. It was modified to allow engineering staff to set rules for configuring each product. For example, the number of transformers required for a light of a given length would automatically be calculated. Raw data is taken from 123insight to immediately produce a quote. ProQuo also links to Luxonic's project management system, allowing for multiple quotes to exist inside a project. Once the quote is accepted it can then be pushed into 123insight as a sales order and parts are automatically created. Noted Alan; "That's the important thing. It's pulling the BOM data from 123insight so you can clearly see the costs."
The company uses Access Dimensions accounts, which also utilises a SQL database and has tight integration with 123insight. Common data such as outstanding balances is displayed seamlessly within 123insight, meaning that staff that require visibility of basic accounts information do not have to access it exclusively through Access Dimensions. Said Alan; "We use 123insight and all of the financial information that we need to see is there."
Glamox Luxonic have also implemented 123insight's CRM+ option, which allows them to store and mine a much deeper history of data on customers and suppliers.
Reporting has improved drastically. Luxonic have written many reports in-house and also used Solweb. Data can either be exported from key screens int Excel or pulled dynamically into applications such as Crystal Reports. Automatic generated reports can also be scheduled.
Good support is paramount for a company growing at such a rate. Jamie noted; "The Helpdesk is absolutely fantastic. You can phone up first thing in the morning and you're virtually guaranteed to get the question answered within a couple of hours. If a question takes longer they always keep us updated." Regular customer care visits have also been beneficial. Jamie added; "They come in, watches how we work and might suggest 'Have you done this, did you know you can do that' etc. It makes us more efficient." Commented Alan; "They get to know your business, which you can't do remotely. Also, you build a rapport with that person."
The company is continuing to enjoy an exceptional period of growth, with a 250% increase projected between 2014-2018, yet with only a marginal increase in administration staff. They are constantly looking at ways to take further advantage of 123insight. Alan concluded; "Our plans for expansion are quite obvious. We've put in 18,000 square feet of new manufacturing facility to match previous and projected growth. I think 123insight is a good investment. As you grow you start delving more into the system than you did on day one. There is no doubt in my mind that the 123insight subscription model has to be the single most cost-effective option available."