Based in Chingford, Inro’s position as one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of turned parts has been accomplished with the help of some important strategic decisions made by owner Roger Innes. These have included major investment in the latest CNC turning technology, offering up to 10 axis machining capability, and continuing reliance on the PSL Datatrack business administration software to manage the company’s production procedures.
Investment in PSL Datatrack software commenced some ten years ago when Inro’s production was based around multi-spindle automatics. The company identified a need for software to manage the administration of parts programming and storage associated with its fast growing turned parts sub-contract engineering business. A major order covering the complete assembly of fishing gear meant that Inro needed to know in real time what parts and stocked quantities would be required to fulfil the order.
From that time onwards, Inro has made staged investments in the modular PSL Datatrack system, adding new modules as the company’s business has grown and evolved. Today, Inro’s emphasis is very much on added value, such as complex assemblies of fuel safety devices for the motor racing industry. There are also customers from more traditional industrial markets such as the rail industry as well as continued success in the fishing gear sector.
Inro now has 11 Star CNC machines and manufactures assemblies in quantities from 500 to 10000. With over 500 different types of assemblies being produced at any given time, the ability to control stock, manage materials, costings and ensure invoicing is totally accurate is absolutely essential.
With the recession, Inro had to look very carefully at the profitability of its business and PSL Datatrack enabled Roger Innes to extract exactly the information he required to make some important business decisions to ensure the continued success of the company. “The reliability of PSL Datatrack came into its own during the recent recession,” says Roger Innes. “Like all companies we needed to take a close look at all our costs and the historical information held in PSL Datatrack on, for example material prices, allowed us to make important decisions in terms of which material suppliers to use. It also ensured that our customer quotations always accurately reflected changes in material costs.”
To provide control over all these aspects of the business, Inro now uses a number of PSL Datatrack modules. These include gauge management, bill of materials, shop floor data collection, material and component stock control, quotations, invoicing and document storage. Key people within Inro have access to the PSL Datatrack system including goods-in where all the materials from the different suppliers of steel, aluminium, brass, stainless, titanium, inconel and other exotic materials are first registered and where traceability commences.
The machine setters on the shop floor use the works order module as well as the gauge calibration module. This is used to ensure that the vital measurement equipment used throughout the production process is always checked according to schedule and to confirm that gauges are valid for use. Inro has ISO 9001-2008 accreditation and the automatic traceability inherent within PSL Datatrack holds all the data required to make the ISO’s Auditor’s job very easy during his now brief visits.
In Inro’s management offices, the PSL Datatrack works order, quotation, purchasing and invoicing modules are all employed and cross-referenced to ensure all supplier and customer invoices are correct and have been prepared using the correct purchase and latest material prices.
Inro has built an extremely high reputation, not just for the quality of production but also its ability to manage the stock requirements of many of its customers.
Another feature of PSL Datatrack valued by Inro is the ability to store and retrieve documentation and assembly drawings. Each is given individual identification and issue numbers and scanned or saved from customer-supplied files before being stored within PSL Datatrack. Any drawing amendments are also stored and given a separate identification. These can be recalled at any time and automatically matched to quotations thereby eliminating the danger of wrong issue number manufacture and reducing the paperwork and administration associated with customer histories and repeat business.
Roger Innes concludes: “PSL Datatrack has served us well and we get very good support from PSL. As our business continues to grow and customer demands become more complex, we will look at other modules to ensure we provide our customers with the best possible service.”