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Efficient, Accurate and Informative – Estimating with MIETrak Pro

Estimating is arguably one of, if not the, most important processes for manufacturers today. Ensuring that your products and services are sold at the right price can be imperative in ensuring a company is successful. There is a fine line between being both cost effective and profitable, so what can you do in order to find this balance and how can an ERP system help?

Ensure quotes are produced efficiently

Speeding up your quoting process will benefit your company in many ways. First and foremost, your customers (or new prospects) are going to receive their quotes back quicker, which in turn suggests that customer service is high on your agenda. It will allow your estimators to use their time more productively, by following up on existing quotes or seeking new business. An easy to use and intuitive ERP can help by streamlining and reducing the number of hours consumed by this process. MIE Trak Pro has the ability to copy previous quotes and templates, along with the functionality to import data from spreadsheets, CAD files and even PDFs, which means the days of having to manually enter every piece of information from scratch are long gone.  

Accurate quotes across the company.

Producing quotes efficiently is great, but ensuring that the quotes being sent are accurate is no doubt even more important. A large part of being able to quote accurately comes down to experience. Someone who has been quoting for 20 years will have more experience, expertise and logic to work with compared to someone who has been doing it for 5 minutes. But what if that logic could be shared amongst everyone in the company, regardless of how long they have been quoting for? A completely customisable, questions based, quoting system can be implemented with ERP software. Rather than have the estimator guess how long a job would take at each manufacturing step (with different people potentially having a different answer based on their interpretation), a list of questions can be presented on the screen which require “black or white” answers,  which in turn then uses the formula logic set up in the system to do the hard work and calculate the time for you. 

Make informed decisions based on historical data. 

Have you ever wondered if you are charging enough or even charging too much for your products and services? Feedback from customers can be a vital indication as to whether you are at one extreme or the other. Also, feedback from the shop floor as to how much it’s actually costing can help you identify the jobs that are profitable and those that are not. ERP with live KPI and reporting functionality gives you access to essential data that can help identify these trends and can be presented either graphically or in PDF report format. This data can then be assessed and scrutinised in order to plan business improvements moving forward.

For more Information or for a free no obligation demonstration, please:

call: 01527 576444

email: [email protected]

Knowing your KPI’s with MIE Trak Pro

Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) used to be a term that was often only associated with large corporations that had entire teams of analysts whose sole purpose was to create and then analyse company data. This data would then be used to further improve the company’s efficiency and enable them to set future goals.

Fast forward 10 years and this sort of data is now easily accessible to every company – whether they are corporate giants or privately owned businesses – all at a reasonable price in the form of an MRP / ERP system. 

A lot of markets in recent years have become very price driven, partly due to the fact that medium to small sized businesses are now running their day to day operations more efficiently. The number of KPIs available are nearly infinite, different companies efficiencies come from different aspects of their operations, but there are a few sought after pieces of information that are common and relevant to the majority.

Quotation Capture Rates

Have you ever wondered how many quotes you have won and lost for a particular customer? On top of that, have you ever looked into why you lost the job? The answer is quite possibly no. 

It is easy to assume that if a customer has said no to a quotation that you have sent them that there is nothing you can do about it and that it’s out of your hands – this is where KPIs can be of huge benefit. For example, you may find that you are constantly losing quotes that are sent to a particular customer based on the price you are able to offer. 

For one-off jobs there may be nothing you can do about the price that would make any further discounts worth it, but by using KPIs you may realise that you have lost out on several quotes that when added together have a value of hundreds of thousands of pounds, and knowing that, you may come to realise that dropping your price per unit further may actually be worth it in the long run.

Sales Order book

A sales order book is, in theory, a very basic KPI, but one that’s sometimes not used to its full potential. The sales generated by a company are what keeps it going, but it can also give you a lot of information back which can help you improve your business further. 

A common piece of information that is extracted from a sales order book is the actual spend of each individual customer. This in turn can be used for things such as capacity planning. You may have a customer that makes up for a large part of your turnover and so they are the last person you would want to upset. Making their orders a priority when scheduling jobs on the shop floor may be of paramount importance.

The sales order book can also be used to identify customer spend within certain geographical areas; you may come to realise that you aren’t dealing with many companies within close proximity. If profit margins are tight, dealing with companies close by may be worth looking at as non-manufacturing related costs such as deliveries are naturally going to be much lower. Also, with this information, you may identify that you deal with very few customers in a particular area that has a large industrial base. Taking this into consideration, it might be worth sending a sales rep there in order to try and expand your customer base.

Purchasing order book and receivers

In the same way that a sales order book gives you information on turnover, a purchase order book will give you information on expenditure. Other than giving you the basic expenditure with each supplier, the purchase order book can also be very useful for other pieces of information that can help determine how and where you purchase from in the future. You may find that you are purchasing the same materials from different suppliers and are therefore quite possibly paying more than you would if you were to buy it all from one supplier. 

The receiving’s data can also be very useful and help you determine where future purchases are made. By comparing basic information such as the expected delivery date against the actual delivery date, you’ll easily be able to paint a picture of which suppliers are more efficient than others in getting their products to your doorstep on time. Drilling down even further, you may find that certain suppliers are slower in getting certain products to you than others. This may be due to that fact that only a small proportion of their transport fleet is capable of carrying larger items meaning you are having to wait for their trucks to become available.

As mentioned before, the possibilities with KPI’s are nearly infinite and I’d never finish writing this article if I were to try and describe even half of them. The main thing to remember is that they aren’t just pretty graphs that snapshot whether you are successful or not at that moment in time, they are highly valuable pieces of information that can be taken to any degree of complexity and should be considered when making decisions on how you wish to move your company forward.

If you would like any more information or would like to discuss your requirements in further detail then please either;

Email us: [email protected]

Call us: 01527 576 444

Why Paperless Shop Floor Data Capture (SFDC)?

Our shop floor data capture, MIE KIOSK, can answer that:

Keep up to date.

Employees on the shop floor are just as reliant on the latest news within the company as anyone else. Bar-coding on its own does not enable employees on the shop floor to keep up to date on what’s happening within the company. Things like company messages and changes in production schedules can be rolled out onto the shop floor, but only when paper copies or verbal messages are given. If the original message or schedule is then changed, the process above must be repeated. This is where Kiosk comes into its own. With Kiosk, as soon as something is changed within the main ERP system, it is reflected on the Kiosk screen. 

Integrated data.

The main reason for shop floor data capture in general is to track where jobs are up to on the shop floor. By combining this feature with an ERP system, employees in the office are immediately able to see exactly where things are up to, meaning that they no longer have to physically walk onto the shop floor. This integrated data also enables users to see how the job is being reflected from a financial point of view. It might be that a certain process has taken longer than anticipated, meaning that the job could potentially be losing money or even running late.

Open to communication.

Bar-coding is effective, but at the same time limited, in what it can do. With its functionality being totally dependent on scanning predefined barcodes, it lacks the ability of two way communication. It still retrieves data on how long things have taken just like Kiosk, but is unable to log information that may be unique to a particular job. For example, an employee may complete a job that was allocated 30 minutes but took 40. At this stage, they may want to make a note against that job for future reference and for the information of the office. It may be that the job was more difficult than first thought, or that a different process was required in order to complete the job. Bar-coding would mean that the employee would have to either walk up to the office or make a note of the comment on a piece of paper which exposes the information to potentially being lost or misinterpreted. Kiosk on the other hand allows users to type the information in there and then, which in turn will also keep the traceability of that note against that job. In the same manner, Kiosk enables users to make purchase order and engineering change requests.

Streamline shop floor operations. 

One of the main advantages of Kiosk over bar-coding is the hardware costs involved. In today’s market, the purchase of a low end PC is considerably cheaper than the costs involved in buying new bar-coding equipment. This in itself enables companies to distribute more Kiosk stations throughout the shop floor, meaning that employees do not have to walk as far in order to access a station. Added functionality such as the ability to print move tickets from the shop floor helps speed up the overall process.

Key information.

With Kiosk being a software driven package, it is a lot more visual than its bar-coding counterpart. This alone gives shop floor workers easy access to a lot more information. If documents like drawings have been attached to the job, they can be viewed through the Kiosk itself. It also enables users to filter their results on the screen, making for easier reading. The system allows you to easily see what jobs you are currently clocked into, along with the locations of raw materials.

If you would like any more information or would like to discuss your requirements in further detail then please either;

Email us: [email protected]

Call us: 01527 576 444

Visit our website: www.mie-solutions.co.uk

UK manufacturing records has reported the fastest growth for three years. April data records strong demand at home and abroad that will calm concerns about a Brexit slump in the economy.

Britain’s factories smashed expectations in April, according to Market/CIPS Manufacturing PMI.

Britain’s factories enjoyed their fastest growth for three years last month on the back of strong demand at home and abroad, according to a survey that will temper worries about a Brexit-driven economic slowdown this year.

The manufacturing sector, which makes up about a tenth of the UK economy, enjoyed the strongest pick-up in new work since the start of 2014 and smashed expectations in April. Firms also took on new workers at a faster pace and ramped up production.

Its main barometer of business activity jumped to 57.3 in April from 54.2 in March. That confounded forecasts for a modest slowdown to 54.0 in a poll of economists.

To ensure that you are part of this growth an MRP/ERP & Production Control Software is paramount to ensuring complete visibility throughout your manufacturing plant ensuring ROI month on month.

MIETrak Pro is easy to install, implement, and use and is one of the leading MRP software available in the UK. With a worldwide presence it is the MUST HAVE software to support  your continued success.

*information has come from the guardian, manufacturing

UK Manufacturing Statistics

Manufacturing contributes £6.7tn to the global economy. Contrary to widespread perceptions, UK manufacturing is strong with the UK currently the world’s ninth largest industrial nation. Manufacturing makes up 10% of GVA and 45% of UK exports, and directly employs 2.7 million people.

The rising cost of energy and raw materials, as well as the potential cost arising from the uncertainty of Brexit, are all key concerns.  A large number of manufacturers have reported that they are focusing on “increasing sales” and “decreasing costs” going forward. An undeniably positive note characterises the mood with respects to new technologies, with the continued investment interest in automation, additive manufacturing and factory connectivity showing manufacturers are looking forward with confidence.

MIETrak Pro is an ERP/MRP and Production Control Software that will give you ROI, visibility, and allow you real time reporting; you will know what’s happening on your shop floor instantly and all of it at your fingertips.

You can focus on increasing your sales and together we can focus on decreasing your costs.  Call today and see for yourself how MIETrak Pro can change the way you view your manufacturing business!

* Information has come from the Hennik Research – Annual Manufacturing Report via The Manufacturer

 

Since I have begun working here at MIE Solutions UK Ltd, I have had so many fantastic opportunities to learn new skills and gain self confidence within the working environment. This is not normally the case for many apprenticeships today. Many are primarily set mundane and unchallenging tasks, and not given the chance to live up to their full potential by being given the chance to grow. I am glad to say that I have had a very different experience working here at MIE Solutions UK for the past two years.

I feel a sense of pride whenever our software MIETrak Pro is installed into yet another manufacturing company. Knowing that the support I am able to give our customers is rewarding and I feel positive everyday in my job, especially when our customers go out of their way to thank us for all our support and help.

The diversity of MIETrak Pro is largely one of the reasons I personally believe we do so well in the manufacturing sector. No two companies are the same in the way they work or process their requirements, and MIETrak Pro will always get the job done for every single customer.

I also feel proud to be a part of a company which is successfully growing year on year. Their acceptance and encouragement of apprenticeship schemes and young apprentices is refreshing; especially as they are about to take on their 5th apprentice to date.

Engineering Update Aug 2017 Page 17

MIETrak Pro is easy to install, implement, and use and is one of the leading MRP software available in the UK. With a worldwide presence it is the MUST HAVE software to support  your continued success.

*information has come from the Engineering Update

Despite the decline since the 1970s, when manufacturing contributed 25% of UK GDP, the UK is currently the ninth largest manufacturing nation in the world.

Overall, the UK’s industrial sector has increased by 1.4% a year since 1948, according to a recent report from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The ONS attributes the sustained growth to a better quality; more skilled workforce; a shift in production from low to high productivity goods; improvements in automation and technology; increased investment in R&D, and a more integrated global economy.

Some 71% of manufacturers have said that they had spent more on IT than in the previous year. Looking at the past three years together, unprecedented numbers of manufacturers have spent increased amounts on IT.  Overall, 88% of respondents reported spending more or the same as in the previous year, leaving just one-in-eight reporting that their business actually spent less.

When asked what form, precisely, did this investment take, ERP dominated – as it has in previous years – with 42% identifying it as their top investment priority.

So to stay ahead of the rest and keep up with your competitors,  you need to take a look at MIETrak Pro, designed for the Manufacturing sector; adaptable, easy to use, install and implement.  Can you afford not to invest?

* Information has come from the Hennik Research – Annual Manufacturing Report via The Manufacturer

Effective Inventory Management with ERP software

The first question of effective inventory management is not, “how much inventory should we have?” Nor is it, “when should we make or buy something?” The most important question to ask in today’s manufacturing environment is, “given our system and environment, where should we place inventory to have the best protection?”

Once you have established and replenished your inventory positions, the actual levels of your inventory have to be initially set.  Over the course of time, group and individual traits can and will change as new suppliers and materials are used, new markets are opened and/or old markets deteriorate and manufacturing capacities and methods change.

Inventory controls within an MRP system will allow your company to adapt to group and individual part changes over time through the use of several types of adjustments. So as more or less variability is encountered or as a company’s strategy changes, so will your MRP system.  It will allow you to adapt and change it to fit the environment of the time.

Take a look at MIETrak Pro and see how we can improve your Inventory control and visibility.

What could happen without an ERP & Production Control Software solution?

It is imperative that companies control the types and quantities of material they purchase, plan which products are to be produced and in what quantities to ensure that they are able to meet current and future customer demand, all at the lowest possible cost for both you and your customer.

Making a bad decision in any of these areas will make the company lose money. 

Why? 

  • If a company purchases insufficient quantities of an item used in manufacturing (or the wrong item) it may be unable to meet contract obligations to supply products on time.
  • If a company purchases excessive quantities of an item, money is wasted – the excess quantity ties up cash while it remains as stock that might never be used at all.
  • Beginning production of an order at the wrong time can cause customer deadlines to be missed.

This is where an ERP tool can deal with these problems. It provides answers to several questions:

  • What items are required?
  • How many are required?
  • When are they required?

ERP can be applied both to items that are purchased from outside suppliers and to sub-assemblies, produced internally, that are components of more complex items.

Can you continue to take the risk of not having an ERP system in place?

No? 

Then take a look at MIETrak Pro a complete all round ERP & Production Control Software for all types of manufacturing industries.

 

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