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Improved service; easy as A… S… C…

Improved service; easy as A… S… C…

In March we made the transition to our new ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system; as is always the case with such a huge software change, there has been a period of bedding in, but the essence of what it provides is a seamless journey from quote to invoice for our customers. To give us the fully rounded solution that we required, following an exhaustive evaluation of the various solutions available in the marketplace, we partnered with Access, opting for their Supply Chain (ASC) solution including the following modules:

  • Core system for order processing, with integrated stock control and accounts
  • Bespoke shop-floor data collection module for better process control and intelligence sharing – allowing more tightly controlled quality and efficiencies, all of which will benefit our customers
  • Planning module, ‘Orchestrate’, to allow us to understand and react to bottlenecks and capacity requirements, run our plant more efficiently, provide real-time notification of schedule slippage, and “what if” scenario analysis in the case of urgent customer needs
  • Full Document Management including electronic copies of all documents, visible to all users of the system at relevant stages of the process
  • Cloud CRM system, aCloud, allowing us to stay in touch with our customers while on the move
  • ‘Insight’, the business intelligence module providing real-time information for managing our business more effectively, with dedicated KPI information clearly displayed
  • Bespoke quotation module which can handle the 6 different manufacturing methods that we currently offer, providing the most competitive materials pricing available from our supplier base and a faster response to customer enquiries, all tested against material and capacity availability.

Prior to going live with ASC, we were using a bespoke software system developed in-house that had grown since its DOS origins in 1992; our bespoke system was in many areas excellent, but the reasons for moving to a supported, off-the-shelf, fully integrated system will need no explanation for any business that has been down this route. Whilst ideal for many reasons, as the world of software and cyber connectivity become ever more complex with the constant upgrades to hardware and software platforms, so does the need for a centrally developed system using best practice and the highest level support. Our bespoke system was simply no longer sustainable, and clearly, having a robust, sustainable, flexible system is business critical to any organisation. The decision over which software partner to go with was one which the Directors of the business did not take lightly and therefore it was a long journey with several dead-ends. However, once the Operations Team had made their final recommendations we pushed the button, and went from agreeing the final concept to implementation within 4 months. This was a record for ASC, not only for a straightforward project but given that ours is one of the most comprehensive systems they have so far installed, a great testament to the commitment from their team and the staff at Martin’s to deliver the new system, to an excellent standard, in a very compressed timeframe. Our staff have been fully supportive throughout the project because they understand just how key information is both for them and for our customers, and it is due to the commitment of the great team that we have, that the implementation has gone so smoothly. There remains much to do of course to deliver the maximum value from the system; the core elements are fully operational and Dave Glover, our Quality and Systems Manager, is now refining reports, automating customer and supplier feedback, and working with each department to ensure that the system is working to their own and their customer’s best advantage. We are also beginning to deliver some “wish list” items that we have previously not been able to provide with our legacy systems, and these are helping us provide focus and direction within the business. As ever we are acutely aware of our customer’s needs and expectations and therefore we committed a huge amount of effort to keep the transition period as short as we possibly could, and with minimal disruption to customer service; we appreciate the support and loyalty that all our customers show, and many are already seeing the benefits. We are always happy to receive feedback and use this constructively to improve our systems and processes; if there are aspects of our new ERP system that you would like to comment on or find out more about, please either speak to your Account Manager or usual contact, or email [email protected]

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