Industrial Switchgear, based outside Redditch, UK, design and manufacture electrical control panel equipment across a range of industries and sectors, with over 50 years experience in the sector.
The business needed an integrated CRM & MRP system to improve efficiency and provide a platform for growth.
“As MD, Flowlens MRP software has given me more time to spend with customers. This means better relationships, faster responses to opportunities, and problems, and more repeat business.” – Rob Poole, Managing Director
“The information you hold on the business belongs to the business – not to any individual – and the Flowlens manufacturing system gives us close to full visibility.” – David Lincoln-Lewis, Commercial Director
Working in partnership with Building Management Engineering practices and Building Management Systems Houses, their team of 20 people manufacture control panels for a variety of areas including, Retail, Health & Hospitals, Automotive, Heating & Ventilation, Climate Control and Schools & Colleges.
- Inventory and customer data management, integrity and storage was a problem with information held in departmental silos and not accessible across the business.
- Stock control / materials tracking was an issue particularly in relation to visibility of real time inventory levels.
- Visibility of stock that had been reserved for live projects wasn’t possible which led to issues in the delivery of projects.
- Lack of consistency of project information was an issue as there was duplication across departments with information stored in excel spreadsheets of varying levels of detail and data integrity.
- This resulted in the lack of a ‘one version of the truth’ that was required to not only make the best decisions for the business, but to have confidence that the decisions being made were based on factual information.
- More intelligence around the required re-order levels for specific components was required in order to ensure that the company could deliver manufacturing projects more efficiently while also improving the customer experience.
The Ideal Solution
The company had a number of things that they were looking for from a manufacturing and CRM system and spent a lot of time looking at the market and the various options that were out there.
“This was a big investment for us as a company so it was very important that we got the decision right”
David Lincoln-Lewis – Commercial Director
- The system needed to be easy to use across a wide age and IT skill range.
- The system needed to provide control and accuracy of sales, MRP, inventory and project data.
- They were looking for an accessible solution that would not only add value to the business but would be adopted by everyone in the business who would be required to use it.
- The system itself should help to build discipline into company processes and provide solid project and operational workflows that would improve business performance.
- A relatively young company was attractive as a supplier of the system as they felt that this would help to bring new ideas and help them find the best way to solve their specific problems – rather than the easiest or quickest way.
- A cloud based software manufacturing software system was a preference for a number of reasons:
- Ease of access for off-site / remote users
- Data security and Reduced internal IT infrastructure (and the associated risks)
The company was looking for a business software system that would evolve as they evolved – there were no restrictions in how the system would develop in the years ahead.
The internal sell and dealing with opposition to change – the supplier needed a level of commercial awareness and empathy for internal processes.
Fear of non-adoption by the people in the business was a real thing to address – the company needed user-friendly cloud software that was sensitive to this and would help ensure its integration into day to day processes.
“Flowlens software implementation team have helped us with a step by step approach to build engagement and buy-in and demonstrate the benefits to individuals in their daily jobs as well as to the business as a whole.” – David Lincoln-Lewis – Commercial Director
Rob Poole, MD comments “As MD, Flowlens has given me more time to spend with customers. This means better relationships, faster responses to opportunities, and problems, and more repeat business.
Having Flowlens as our central data hub for sales, stock and projects has meant we’ve avoided the need to hire another admin person, which is a saving of around £25k per year.
On average team members are saving a day a week, that’s 20% of their time that’s now put to better use.
Finally, Flowlens has demonstrably helped us serve our customers better, helping us spot potential component shortage problems early, so projects run more smoothly, saving them time and ensuring we get more repeat business. We’re a safe pair of hands.”
Access to the Flowlens team
“We chose Flowlens because the implementation team were willing and keen to get involved in a conversation with us. Access to the Flowlens team was promised and delivered – and access to the product team in particular has directly impacted on the success of the project. They really understood our business and what we were trying to achieve.”
Confidence in Stock Levels
“Knowing what stock is available in the company, customers are seeing the benefits because we are on top of stock, with MRP software ensuring that the right parts for the right job are available when the job needs them.”
A Business Process Improvement tool
David Lincoln-Lewis: “It went beyond the delivery of an cloud IT solution. We wanted to work with a company that would help our business to perform better now and in the future. That is what we’ve achieved since working with Flowlens.”
“Communication throughout the project worked very well – there was a very good feedback loop and that gave us a lot of comfort that we would get to the right solution.”
“Speed of response has been impressive – we feel like Flowlens understand the commercial pressures we’re under and have been very quick to communicate progress and answer any questions that we have.”
Behaviour Change and Business Continuity
“When I come into the office I see the system open on people’s desks – so I know it’s being used and see discipline it has created. Information is now available at people’s finger tips, so we no longer waste time looking for things.
With everything in one place in Flowlens, and the team working to an agreed process, its easier to pick up when people are off or away from the office. There’s less paper on peoples’ desks, and less time spent looking for information.”
Better decisions. More quickly.
“No decision in any business is made in isolation, and we now have access to much better information – so we are more confident in the decisions we are making.”
Benefiting our people
“We’re making better use of the people in the business by reducing the time it takes to gather data. We can now focus on what actions to take based on the accurate and reliable data that is in front of us at the touch of a button.”
Easier to Quote, Easier to Process
Rob Poole: “We’re finding that we can issue sales quotations much faster, versus our old manual process. It’s easy find old quotes faster to reference for new jobs. All technical info is uploaded during the sales process, so when we win the job all the data is there ready to go, so there is less time wasted.”
“From a supply chain perspective it has improved our commercial offer – data security, safety, project management processes and even environmental impacts from reducing waste all combine to put us in a better position to win new business.”
“As we integrate the MRP system into the business, we’ve now got a very solid foundation to work from.” Rob Poole – MD
How Flowlens CRM & MRP Software Can Help You
We focus on your process to help you drive efficiency in your business.