Posted in Technical Members News on 29th May 2019
Tefloturn Limited supplies components in PTFE and a variety of other plastic materials to customers in industries as diverse as food and dairy, electrical, medical and engineering. Products include everything from gaskets and seal washers to more complex sensing probes, thermocouples and compression fittings. However, it is not all about the end product but also about quality management standards as a whole and customer satisfaction. The company have recently relocated from Flitcham to larger premises in King’s Lynn, which has enabled them to take on more staff and, as a result, more work. They are also looking to greatly increase their capacity by adding a 32mm sliding head lathe to complement their existing Star sliding head and XYZ turning and milling machines. As Managing Director Mick Finney explains, the company's continued investment in machinery has been alongside investment in PSL Datatrack production control software which has given Tefloturn far reaching benefits.
How did you hear of PSL Datatrack production control software?
I first heard about PSL Datatrack some 15 years ago from an industry colleague and friend whose company was already a PSL Datatrack user.
What was the motivating factor behind you making contact with PSL Datatrack?
What I found out from this other company in the metal subcontract engineering business made me think that it was the type of system we needed as a plastics parts manufacturer. It could relieve all the manual administration that we had to get involved with to sell our products and services efficiently. I therefore arranged for PSL Datatrack to visit us and give a demo. Consequently, we quickly made the decision to invest in a package of PSL Datatrack modules.
How did you manage your business and production control prior to investing in PSL Datatrack?
We are a small company that prides itself on personal service and our main problem was that we were spending 5 days a week just manually generating and typing quotations for our customers. They wanted and needed them quickly in order to run their own businesses efficiently. This time-consuming administration was a clear obstacle to the success of our own business and was having a detrimental effect on our levels of personal service.
How has Datatrack improved your business processes? What particular aspects have benefited most?
The ability to speed up the process of creating customer quotations has been a very important benefit to us - these are all produced in a matter of minutes. It's also much quicker to requote customers who may come back to us frequently or may ask us to quote once every few years. Whatever the case, whenever they contact us we can simply enter their name into the PSL Datatrack system and retrieve the relevant information – what we quoted previously in terms of quantities, prices, materials used, material costs, our suppliers and so on. Once a customer is in the system they are there forever and we have all the historic records we need. With this information ready to hand we can quote for a new job much more quickly and give informed details on delivery times.
In general terms, how does PSL Datatrack software help a turned parts subcontract engineering business such as yours?
First and foremost it does not matter whether the company has expertise in turning and milling plastics as we do or is in the metals business. We invested originally in a package of modules that covered the relevant aspects of our business and would be beneficial to any company – quotes, works orders, process layouts, deliveries, invoicing and job costing (post production costing) and so on. We subsequently added purchasing, goods received and material stock control and there are more to be had should we require them in the future.
This means that we have everything we need to run the Tefloturn business efficiently and professionally. Any subcontract engineering business would find PSL Datatrack helpful as their business would also likely be based around multiple customers needing varying batch sizes or call offs and where components have to be supplied in many different material types and variations.
Which modules have proved the most useful and why?
All of the modules are valuable to us. For example, there are several variations of PTFE materials that are used in our plastic parts manufacturing and our suppliers' records held on PSL Datatrack show us all of the variations available from different suppliers, when they were supplied, how much they cost – allowing us to do price comparisons – and whether their delivery was satisfactory. With this information we can be much more confident when we are quoting in terms of speed, reliability of delivery and cost.
How have your own customers benefited from improvements to your processes achieved through PSL Datatrack?
As I have already said, speed of quoting is very important – not just for us, but for our customers who need to quote quickly themselves. More than that, our customers know they are getting accurate and reliable information from us and that inspires confidence.
How was the training delivered and how fast was the implementation process?
I am no real expert in computers – some call me much worse than that! But I can say that learning how to use PSL Datatrack was straightforward and especially easy for my wife Jackie who has been heavily involved in the day to day running of the business. A day was spent at PSL Datatrack's headquarters learning the basics of how the system works and also looking in more detail at particular aspects of the software that we would be utilising regularly in the initial period. This process took away the fear factor and we were then able to get back and learn more for ourselves as we went along. If we had any queries, the PSL Datatrack support team were always on the end of the phone to answer any questions. So overall the implementation process was quick and easy.
How have you found the technical support you have received from PSL?
It's been the same with technical support. PSL Datatrack has a very good telephone support service and can also take over our computers remotely if we need them to in order to demonstrate how to do new things or to improve on anything. The PSL Datatrack team is very helpful and polite – I cannot praise them enough.
Can you say something about your business growth/customer base and the key aspects of your customer service?
Getting products out of the door is our number one challenge and priority if we are to continue to grow. We have some 50 regular customers who require delivery of everything from one offs to batches of up to 10,000. By centralising everything through PSL Datatrack we are able to fulfil their requirements in the most efficient way and there is no hindrance to our own potential for taking on more business. We have just recruited an additional staff member and we know that by using PSL Datatrack that person will be quickly integrated into the effective running of our business.
Any specific points you would like to include about your business and comments on PSL Datatrack software and company support?
I cannot recommend PSL Datatrack as a company and as a product highly enough. The software runs our business, has enabled us to dramatically cut down long hours of administration and given us a reliable platform for growth, all-round quality management and customer satisfaction.
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