Posted in Technical Members News on 6th Jun 2023
HSM Components of Deeside, North Wales, has seen a huge upturn in profitability and greater traceability benefits following investment in a PSL Datatrack production control software system.
Before acquiring PSL Datatrack all business administration was performed manually, using Microsoft Excel spreadsheets and Word documents with no realistic way of linking data together for traceability purposes. Steve knew that if he wanted to fulfil the business ambition of attaining ISO 9001 accreditation an industry-recognised, purpose-designed system would be essential.
PSL Datatrack allows the user to consider and detail all aspects of a job at quotation stage. For HSM these include time spent on setup, programming, handwork, cleaning and checking. Owner Steve Rigby admits that some of this time used to be missed, resulting in hours being physically spent but not paid for by customers.
Quotations for clients in the aerospace, automotive and motorsport industries are now produced far more accurately and have taken away the old-fashioned “guesswork” previously associated with quoting, according to Steve. “Jobs that are won now are more profitable because less time is unaccounted for,” he comments.
Currently operating as a one-man band, Steve is now looking to take on suitable employees as the work continues to grow. He started the company in 2016 as a part-time CNC machining business running alongside contracting work for other companies. The business turned full-time in 2020, in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, when the contracting work ended.
The core of the business now is CNC machined parts and production tooling. Quantities vary from one off tooling to small production runs of 50 and 100 offs, produced on two vertical machining centres and one slant bed turning centre supported by manual turning, milling and grinding machines.
Investment in PSL Datatrack has been coupled with investment in high-end CAD-CAM software which, coupled with a natural flair for engineering, allow HSM to process some top-quality components for its customers. HSM also helps with product design and some of the aftermarket motorsport parts made for one client are actually designed in house because the customer lacks CAD capabilities.
PSL Datatrack was chosen by Steve after seeing videos and posts on social media and realising how many other, similar subcontract precision engineers were using the software. “I realised the system must be good with the great number of positive testimonials that PSL Datatrack had,” says Steve.
The purchase of the software was carried out via a monthly finance package through PSL Datatrack themselves, eliminating the need for a lump sum payment, which proved to be a more manageable solution for HSM. “The implementation was very smooth and the training and telephone support provided was exceptional,” continues Steve.
When first installed the system is not fully live. This is to give the user ample time to work through the training and develop a working knowledge of the system’s modules, so that when it does go live the user can hit the ground running. PSL Datatrack offers a modular solution, offering a range of features so businesses can pick and choose the elements that are right for them.
Implementation of the modular production control system at HSM has resulted in a fully efficient administration process with full traceability to begin working towards the attainment of ISO 9001 accreditation. “Working practices to achieve accreditation were already in place but we really needed PSL Datatrack to provide the traceability that our manual system just couldn’t manage,” comments Steve.
Starting with a fully accurate quotation, data flows throughout works orders, purchase orders, delivery notes and invoices, greatly reducing the time it previously took HSM Components to process orders and making them much more profitable as a result. “There is far less time spent on administration and more time spent where I want to be, in the workshop making parts for my customers and putting plans in place to grow my business,” Steve concludes.
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