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Reeling in efficiency with PSL Datatrack

Investment in production control software streamline the entire production process at Hampshire firm

Posted on 07 Feb 2024 and read 563 times
Reeling in efficiency with PSL DatatrackJames Boxall, the owner of Hampshire-based Reeling Systems Ltd, has outlined the efficiency gains his business has achieved as a result of its investment in PSL Datatrack production control software and includes a reduction in errors when raising purchase orders, quoting improvements and streamlined Bill Of Materials (BOM) reviews.

Founded in 1990, Reeling specialises in manufacturing and assembling — predominantly supplying firefighting equipment as well as offering sub-contract machining services. An employee since 2009, Mr Boxall stepped into the leadership role in 2021, purchasing the business amid challenging circumstances. With four employees and ISO9001 accreditation to maintain, he sought a solution that would streamline the entire production process. He recalled: “We were heavily reliant on Excel spreadsheets and Word documents for managing our workflow, quoting and stock control.”

This system had been in place since before Mr Boxall arrived at Reeling and had its difficulties, particularly noticed when Covid-19 resulted in staff shortages. He continued: “There was a lot of manual typing and editing of spreadsheets required and this process was prone to mistakes, especially as the workload increased.”

The list of limitations with the previous systems did not stop there. Mr Boxall added: “BOMs took over an hour to review and accessing stock information was very time-consuming. The need for a more efficient and error-free system was clear.”

Through online research, which included watching a great number of testimonial videos featuring similar sub-contracting businesses, James discovered Bracknell-based PSL Datatrack. The software’s features and functionality appeared to align perfectly with Reeling’s goals. Mr Boxall said: “I felt it would suit our business and the price point was within our range.”

No pressure sales tactics

A demonstration was subsequently arranged and PSL Datatrack tailored this session using job examples provided by Mr Boxall. He notes that it was particularly beneficial to see his company’s own data flowing through the system and that PSL Datatrack were also understanding that Reeling first had to prioritise other investments — in CNC lathes and mills — due to increased workload. He added: “There were no pressure sales tactics.”

The implementation was smooth, with training sessions conducted over manageable intervals via Zoom. He reflected: “Training a couple of hours at a time, once or twice a week worked well. You can pick up elements of the training, work on them using the software and address any questions before the next topic.”

Post-implementation, the benefits were immediate. Mr Boxall continued: “Administrative tasks such as raising purchase orders now take seconds, rather than hours. Reviewing BOMs, which can range from two to over 100 items, plus managing outstanding quotations, works orders and invoices has become much simpler and quicker.”

PSL Datatrack’s logical structure and ability to ‘jump’ seamlessly between modules has also been of great benefit to Reeling. He added: “There is no need to retype any data as you tab through —the software knows what is required and fills it out for you.”

Mr Boxall has already made use of the system’s Wishlist feature, where users can suggest additions to the software which are then incorporated and distributed to all customers in future updates. He also comments that “support is excellent — we can ring up and any questions will be answered either on the phone or via a quick Zoom session, which enables us to share our screens with PSL Datatrack.”

Secured new jobs

While quoting success rates have not been explicitly monitored, Reeling have secured new jobs from a local customer with plenty more work available, indicating positive growth potential. Looking ahead, the plan is to introduce more staff to PSL Datatrack and explore additional modules to further improve production planning efficiency, including ‘Non Conformance’.

Furthermore, utilisation of the software could support Reeling in future research and development efforts. James explaned: “The R&D feature holds potential for enhancing our cashflow and profitability.”

He concluded: “All administration responsibilities have been sped up greatly, freeing up people to carry out other, more productive tasks.” Mistakes have been eliminated and customisation provided by PSL Datatrack has addressed specific needs, such as incorporating serial numbers and cure dates for the company’s rubber products.

The integration of PSL Datatrack has not only streamlined Reeling Systems’ operations but also positioned the company for growth by optimising processes, reducing errors and enhancing overall efficiency. As Mr Boxall looks forward, he sees a promising trajectory empowered by this innovative production control system.