For Immediate Release
24th August 2009
AGW sees benefits from combined MRP/CRM integration
AGW Electronics, based in Staveley, Derbyshire manufacture electronic wound components and assemblies. Their previous UNIX based MRP system was difficult to get reporting information from, and was also no longer being developed or supported. In 2006 the company set about evaluating the market. Nigel Godwin, Director said; "I had come across 123insight in 2002. Although I attended an Evaluation Workshop and was impressed with the system and business proposition at the time, our current system was still functional and being supported. In 2006 the vendor withdrew support, offering us their Windows solution but also stating that this may not see much development, so we looked at other systems costing up to £100k, plus £10-15k for annual maintenance."
In April 2006 Nigel attended an Evaluation Workshop in Rotherham and subsequently sent staff members to three other workshops. "I was able to send key members to additional workshops, and they were able to have a very good idea of how the system worked as they could ask specific questions relating to their business. I could then have clear discussions with staff that had a good understanding of the system rather than having just read a brochure or watched some kind of demo."
In September 2006 AGW registered to use the software and sent several staff on the user, implementation and administration training courses. Of the training Nigel commented; "The staff that attended the training enjoyed it and were able to come back and train people in their departments. We also took the supplied electronic manuals and edited them down to our needs."
AGW spent the next three months providing in-house training and transferring data. The company went live across all departments in January 2007. Said Nigel; "The go-live date was set for a Monday. We'd do all of the preparation beforehand and did two or three test data transfers to make sure that everything was OK. Based on previous ERP systems experience I allocated two days after go live to deal with problems, but in the end I had two free days." Once live, the company noticed a drastic reduction on the reliance of paper. Previously sales orders, works orders, purchase orders and invoices were all produced on expensive custom designed triplicate paper. Now everything is either emailed or printed on standard A4 paper with a customised template. Reporting has massively improved, as custom reports can easily be generated in-house rather than requiring additional consultancy. Nigel noted; "You're treated as an adult rather that it being 'frowned upon' that you might be using the system in a different way." The company runs DataFile accounting software, which has also been integrated to communicate seamlessly to 123insight.
One issue that needed to be addressed was the need to support alternative Bill of Materials. Nigel explained; "We have a lot of situations where two parts can be used for the same application, such as red or gold coloured wire, but on some occasions it has to be just one. Our previous system had a way to do this, but it was inelegant and required the user to have a fair amount of product information to be able to understand it, and it was not easy to use. We discussed this requirement with 123 Insight Ltd, who developed a much more elegant solution - it allows more than one alternative, makes it very obvious where they are and allows a lot more flexibility when you are processing works orders to be able to change those alternatives."
The company is in the process of implementing the 123insight CRM option, which they were also instrumental in helping to build the specification. Nigel concluded; "I was very excited when 123 Insight Ltd told me they were looking at CRM. I'd shied away from CRM in the past as I'd heard reports that CRM can run the company rather than the company running the CRM. When they explained that it would be opened up to be more than just customer relations to also cover customers, suppliers and internal staff I thought it was great. We are also looking to use 123insight for a distribution arm of the business rather than buy a system specifically for this, as the last thing I want to do is run two systems. When dealing with 123 Insight Ltd you feel, quite rightly, that you are dealing with a company that cares and has the ability to refer things to the development team rather than being a 'take it or leave it' situation. This is one of the reasons we like 123insight as it mirrors our own company philosophy."