EFACS E/8 provides group wide visibility

President Engineering Group Ltd (PEGL) discuss how Exel’s EFACS E/8 aids them to handle every part of day-to-day business.

At any one time PEGL has approximately 1200 live orders with around 900 of these passing through the machining area.
At any one time PEGL has approximately 1.200 live orders with around 900 of these passing through the machining area.

PEGL was formed in October 2010 from a management buyout of Conflow and Bestobell from Flow Group. The £20m turnover business recently had a recent acquisition of Bretby Gammatech Ltd, a specialist provider of coal monitoring products.

At any one time PEGL has approximately 1,200 live orders with around 900 of these passing through the machining area comprising 12 CNC units, irrespective of which company or customer they relate to. They are then separated out into distinct assembly areas, one for each business.

Optimising capacity as well as smoothness of flow is essential, but complicated by multiple routing permutations, lengthy setup times and the fact that different processes require different levels of skilled operatives.

In other words, as financial director Marie Cooper states: “There’s always a lot going on which puts pressure on our capacity, visibility and ability to meet our stringent ‘On Time and In Full’ (OTIF) targets.”

PEGL had been successfully using EFACS E/8 since 1996 to handle every aspect of the business and as Cooper reflects: “It did everything we needed it to.” This changed in 2005 when PEGL had to integrate the Bestobell and Conflow businesses, but boardroom-level issues led to the company continuing to make the best of what it had for the next five years. However, a successful MBO in October 2010 gave the newly formed PEGL the freedom to address this, and within a month Cooper had invited Exel in to discuss the new group’s requirements.

They both identified that PEGL would benefit from upgrading to the latest version, EFACS E/8. The key considerations of the implementation were that firstly, it could not impact the day-to-day running of the business; secondly, it had to have the ongoing buy-in and input from all users of the system; and thirdly had to reflect the business processes across the entire group. Even during the implementation, this led to EFACS being seen as an enabler for people to do their job better and helped move people away from an individual job to a more company oriented focus.

When PEGL did go live in mid-September 2012, it was a success, with the increased visibility leading to immediate improved communication between commercial and production. Decisions that previously could be delayed for days could now be taken right there and then, while in her own department, Cooper could now access financial data much quicker and easier.

Quality Control, previously reliant on manual processes, now benefitted from the Document Management and Workflow functionality within EFACS E/8 which makes it impossible for any stage to be overlooked or for anything other than the correct documentation to be available. This even extends to the shop floor where operatives can instantly access the required drawings etc. via Wi-Fi enabled terminals. Helping to keep live data completely up to date is the new EFACS E/8 Audit Trail module which is used to provide traceability about key strategic transactions across all the relevant business processes.