CTPE Limited, based in Suffolk, has seen its subcontract engineering business transform over the past few years, with higher demand from customers for increasingly complex parts and precision components manufactured in larger volumes. The defence, electronics, medical and scientific sectors have also placed greater demands on the company in terms of product quality and traceability.
CTPE is on the road to acquiring ISO 9001 accreditation and has made some significant recent investments in order to achieve this target. Its manufacturing services now include 3, 4 and 5 axis machining and multi-pallet lights out production as part of a complete supply chain solution. As well as enhancing its machine shop capabilities, the company has streamlined the administration of its entire production process by taking on a PSL Datatrack production control system.
Before PSL Datatrack was implemented all customer quotations and invoicing had been paper-based, but the need to modernise procedures to support the smooth running of the business was clear. CTPE were aware of the reputation and capabilities of PSL Datatrack through similar subcontract precision engineering companies and investment had been in mind for some time.
“Quality is central to everything that we do. Once we decided to go for ISO 9001, it made perfect sense for PSL Datatrack to become part of our quality procedures in advance. We could have relied upon our paper-based administration system but knew PSL Datatrack would make us more efficient and streamlined and would certainly help us to retain accreditation once we achieved it,” comments Alex Taylor, Operations Director at CTPE.
After a period of Zoom training and familiarisation with the system, PSL Datatrack was fully implemented and went live in August 2021. The company had been able to practise with the modules it had selected to control all key areas of the business in advance, from quoting and sales/purchase order processing to final delivery and invoice.
“Each customer is created on the system with trading rules as well as contact details. It is key to get this right,” says Alex, “because the information and rules set here are then reused throughout the system. PSL Datatrack is intuitive so for example, now when we raise a works order all the details are automatically pulled through from the original quotation and all we have to add is an order number and the production quantities involved. The works order information is then carried across to the Deliveries module and so on. The system just makes sense and is logical from start to finish, saving us time as there is no need to re-enter any data.”
When it comes to acquiring and retaining ISO 9001, CTPE knows that the traceability that PSL Datatrack affords will make that process much slicker. It will also make repeat business much easier to manage by keeping records of every part manufactured with associated drawings stored alongside them. Another advantage for CTPE is that more modules and user licences can be added as and when the need arises in line with continued business expansion.
“We have been running smoothly ever since implementing PSL Datatrack. It is an easy to use production control software system supported by good training and strong technical support,” concludes Alex.