For Immediate Release
22nd November 2006
Elemental Microanalysis Ltd, based in Okehampton, Devon, has experienced startling business improvements since installing 123insight production management software.
Elemental Microanalysis Ltd manufactures and supplies several thousand products for elemental analysing equipment. Their production management and stock control hinged around an Access 95 database, the developer of which was no longer with the company. Said Paul Stevens, Operations Director; "There was a lot of duplication of data between Access and Opera II, our accounts system as they did not talk to each other. Stock was in Opera but bills of materials and job sheets/works orders were in Access. Booking in was performed on both systems. As a result purchasing and production control was a full-time job, plus information was not readily available and was prone to errors. We had to do something as we had no clear upgrade path to a current version of Access to develop the in-house system further - we were limping along."
In 2005, on recommendation from a sister company Elemental arranged to attend a 123insight training course, bypassing the usual method of attending an Evaluation Workshop. Paul shared the implementation workload with Ian Smith, Managing Director, along with other key staff. Paul added; Although some information was transferable from Access and Opera, such as company details, part and BOM information had to be transferred manually, however the ability in 123insight to copy structures of similar types saved us a lot of time. We went live across all departments, with the intention of running the systems in parallel for a month, however it was quickly apparent that this was not necessary so we abandoned our old system after two weeks." 123insight was also integrated with Opera II, using the accounts interface provided by authorised 123insight partner Applied Business Solutions, which provides a method to import sales and purchase invoice details, translating and validating data between the systems to ensure data integrity.
Immediately after implementation the company noticed a stark improvement. Stock control improved immensely, with a reduction in stock errors of around 10-15%. Ken Parnell, Production Controller, added; "Processing an order used to be a massive job. I'd get an allocation sheet, work out what needed to be made, create job sheets and then put the same data into our accounts system as a separate job. Now the sales department just raise a sales order and MRP generates everything automatically. Previously my whole job was this - I could spend a morning on one large sales order. People were also reliant on me manually checking stock levels, which was a real problem when I was on holiday! 75% of my job-sheet related time has been saved, giving me more time to spend on purchasing to analyse trends and buy more strategically. I also send most documents by email now, rather than printing them out and faxing them, which again saves paper and time, and provides a better tracking mechanism."
The sales department also benefited from the new system, with staff being able to immediately check if all components for a product were available using the trial kit' facility. Paul commented; "Ian now often prepares quotes from home using VPN access, where previously he would have needed to rely on office staff to locate information from the two previous systems to allow him to build a quote. Producing quotes in general is much quicker, especially for one-offs - previously we had no traceability for specials, so if an order were repeated we had to manually trace the old paper trail to find manufacturing processes, components etc. Now we can produce a quote for a special around 40% quicker."
During busy periods every production line is subject to bottlenecks, however with 123insight there were fewer, and those that did occur were more quickly identified. Said Paul; "You can instantly see what is happening, so any problems come to the surface really quickly. We have become much leaner now, holding more of the right parts in stock, so stock outages are much rarer. "
Paul concluded; "I knew that 123insight was going to save us time, but I underestimated the amount it actually saved. It's difficult to put into words what it's done, except to say that it has literally taken the pressure off. The rental is a huge plus as we did not have to lay out a huge sum to implement 123insight and we don't have to pay to get it upgraded as 'maintenance' is included. If we had continued to develop our old system it would have cost a lot of money, and even then we may not have got what we wanted. We aim to implement an e-commerce solution in the future, with customers being able to place and track orders online. 123insight will be the basis for providing information to that system."