When Bernard Holmes Precision of Sleaford, Lincolnshire, decided to acquire ISO 9001, this leading sub-contract precision engineering company was keen to implement a production management system that would make the path to accreditation as smooth as possible. This was achieved, with zero non-compliance, within six months of investing in PSL Datatrack business administration software.
Bernard Holmes’ Assistant Manager, Russell Thackray, says, “I would definitely recommend PSL Datatrack to any other company like ours looking for ISO 9001 accreditation. It made our presentation to the auditors highly professional and we were able to confirm everything they needed to know about our company information and procedures with just two or three clicks of the mouse.” The decision to gain ISO 9001 accreditation was based on the desire to attract more work from larger organisations, especially in the fields of renewable energy that overwhelmingly insist their suppliers have such accreditation.
“We also wanted to step up our administration and quality procedures in general as part of our policy of continuous improvement,” says Russell, “historically the company’s records had been paper based so finding customer information was never easy. Growing the business without increasing the number of administrative staff meant it was vital to remove the burden of manual administration in order to give time to developing the business and capitalising on an upturn in the economy.”
Bernard Holmes is a company that has always kept its eye on current trends and industry news; in particular they noted how the PSL Datatrack name featured time and time again in the media as being the type of production management system ideal for their size/type of business. “We noted that some very well known names in the sub-contract engineering business were already putting their faith in PSL Datatrack,” says Russell.
Bernard Holmes spent time investigating the market, speaking to suppliers of other manufacturing systems, as well as PSL. It was concluded that PSL Datatrack would best meet their needs. “PSL Datatrack was the only system – and the only company – that gave us the confidence that we would get the system up and running quickly. We have other responsibilities in the business so a system that could almost look after itself very quickly was just what we wanted,” says Russell. The system was swift to implement through quality induction training backed up by the availability of additional training and technical support as required.
PSL Datatrack is a modular system enabling customers to start with a system sized to suit their immediate requirements with the ability to extend it as and when required. Bernard Holmes invested in a core system, Quotation to Invoice, to manage Sales and Purchase Order Processing. These core modules provide process control and traceability on every works order, helping to fulfil customers’ demands more quickly, improving delivery schedules and increasing machine utilisation.
In the last few months, Shop Floor Data Collection and Job Costing modules have been added, enabling the company to track customers’ components through the entire production process and the time taken to manufacture them. This has led to identification and resolution of jobs that were not achieving their expected margin, resulting in a direct return on investment many times over.
Extra users have already been added to the system to give other key staff access. “The modularity of PSL Datatrack has been very useful and we can continue to expand the system into other parts of the business whenever we want to. The longer we have PSL Datatrack, the more we realise how much it can help a business like ours,” says Russell who hopes to make further investments, including the Time and Attendance module, over the coming months.
In conclusion, Russell Thackray says: “We bought PSL Datatrack in anticipation of starting the process of becoming ISO 9001 registered to help us get better organised. Within six months of having PSL Datatrack installed we had approval, the auditor was impressed with how quickly and easily everything flowed from one module to another."