Formed as a precision engineering company to manufacture multi-spindle drilling heads for the woodworking industry, Applied Drilling Systems (ADS) of Clevedon is now firmly established as the UK market leader in this field. The company is now also successfully expanding its business into the area of precision engineering sub-contract services. A constant factor in the evolvement of the business has been its reliance on the PSL Datatrack production and business administration software to control the company’s operational procedures on both sides of the business, from initial customer enquiry to final delivery. PSL Datatrack has effectively replaced the vast amount of manual data input of various forms of documentation, which would otherwise tie up ADS management in non-productive administration tasks.
ADS designs and manufactures customised drilling heads for manufacturers of kitchens, furniture and many other industries. These are fitted to leading makes of large through feed drilling machines, as well as smaller models, with each drill head designed on the company’s in-house CAD facilities.
Before investment in PSL Datatrack software, quotations would have been raised using an electronic typewriter and with 100s of quotations going through in any given month, this was an extremely time consuming process. Learning from the experiences of sister company AIM, who already had implemented a PSL Datatrack system to support its aerospace sub-contract engineering business, Pete Wells, Manager of ADS could see how it could benefit his business too. “The issues were the same: we needed to speed up and carefully control all aspects of the paperwork associated with running the ADS business and PSL Datatrack was the proven answer.”
Apart from raising quotations, many other areas of paperwork and administration needed to be addressed. These included raising order acknowledgements, delivery notes, proforma and final invoices as well as purchasing procedures covering orders on suppliers for components such as bearings and seals, goods received and materials stocks. Control and administration of these areas has been successfully achieved through investment in PSL Datatrack quotation, purchasing and sales modules.
More recently the company also invested in the shop floor data collection module, which records production time and cost data. Comparisons can then be made between quotations and actual cost so that adjustments can be made to future orders to ensure profit margins are maintained.
ADS produces a wide range of multi-spindle drilling head assemblies with differing degrees of complexity and specifications to suit the demands of the many different UK and overseas furniture manufacturing companies. Careful control of costs and customer administration are therefore essential. PSL Datatrack can be programmed, for example, so that specific customers can be set to receive pro-forma invoices and the system gives an alert before the drilling head is despatched to confirm whether payment has been received.
The sub-contract engineering business has seen ADS’s involvement with customers from many different sectors including aerospace, nuclear engineering, food packaging and solar panels with typical batches sizes of 1 - 500. The administration requirements of each job are equally as important as they are for drilling head manufacture. PSL Datatrack is used for costing all assemblies including materials, machining and labour costs as well as any sub-contract costs. With this information, ADS can ensure that all this work is profitable and can also easily recall all details when repeat orders are received.
“Our business continues to evolve and during this time maintaining control of non-productive but vital admin functions is paramount. We could not maintain control without PSL Datatrack,” confirms Pete Wells.