In early 2017, Newtech High Speed Turning Ltd (Newtech) decided to move to better premises at their base in Kirkby, Liverpool. It seemed the right time for the company owners to finally invest in PSL Datatrack production control software. “It had been on the cards for a while,” says Director Alan Riley, “and with the relocation we knew it was the right time to make the investment. I wish we had made it years ago!”
Alan had been aware, through an industry colleague in a similar subcontract engineering business, of how PSL Datatrack software could transform and improve business administration of a small company. “He gave me a demonstration of PSL Datatrack and I could see immediately how it could improve greatly upon our existing set up which was based on an unsatisfactory combination of accounting software and spreadsheets.”
Newtech had been using that set-up for about 15 years and its drawbacks were clear – too much re-entering of customer information, too many double entries and mistakes, too much time spent on re-quotes. “These were all issues that I guess any small subcontract precision engineering business can face and at some stage they have to be addressed. Our move was the perfect time for us so we could start afresh. We wanted to ensure that our customers could see for themselves how we were trying to live up to our motto of applying professionalism, giving high customer service standards and having a continuous investment strategy to deliver products to them that we are proud of,” comments Alan.
With everything else going on with the move to the new premises – with a vastly superior layout and offering potential for planned new machine tool investments – Alan was a little concerned about the time the installation of PSL Datatrack might require. “I need not have worried,” he says. “The installation was very smooth and handled remotely by PSL Datatrack who simply took over control of my computer and led me through the installation. The training was the same and the learning curve was not at all steep. There are two of us in the company who gained a thorough understanding of how to use the software within a matter of weeks. There are of course always new elements to discover thanks to the versatility of PSL Datatrack and we get good telephone guidance.”
Initially, Newtech has used PSL Datatrack modules to focus on the key areas relating to improving customer service. The company produces turned parts in one-offs through to batches of 20000 for a vast range of customers in industries as varied as defence, electronics, automotive, food processing and fabrication.
Many of the customers' orders are repeats or have slight changes in terms of material specifications or quantities. These can now be dealt with much more easily as PSL Datatrack gives them the facility to call up previous orders and quickly make the required changes before quoting. “It’s so much quicker and more accurate than having to requote from scratch,” comments Alan.
The shop floor now know precisely what has to be made and when - including what time has to be allocated on individual turning or milling machines. “This helps us immensely in keeping to our delivery promises and as an added benefit we can produce order acknowledgements for our customers so that they are fully aware of when their delivery will be made,” says Alan.
PSL Datatrack is used to manage a Kanban stock system ensuring that specific parts are readily available to fulfil delivery of specific parts to any customer as well as providing instant information relating to the status of any order.
In terms of quality, Newtech has noticed an increase in the need for traceability from all customer sectors and maintaining production quality is high on the company's agenda. “With PSL Datatrack, a works order to the shop floor is always accompanied by a quality inspection sheet that has to be filled out by everyone concerned in fulfilling the order. This makes a major contribution to ensuring full traceability,” comments Alan.
With its initial investment in PSL Datatrack production control software managing quotations, sales and purchase order processing, material and stock control, Newtech High Speed Turning is now set up for working successfully out of its new premises. “We are aiming to expand the business and will invest in new machining technology.
But just as importantly, we know that the PSL Datatrack software can grow with us whether that means getting more of our staff to use it or whether it means investing step by step in more modules. It has been great for us so far and will help us to build even better customer relationships.”