Manual repetition and data entry are common pain points among subcontract precision engineering businesses.
We, at PSL Datatrack, have seen many variations in the manual processes subcontractors will go through because their fundamental purpose is to produce components, not to design systems. Our system is there to streamline the entire production process, from quotation to invoice, for them.
The system was written with the knowledge of that process in mind, therefore speed and ease of use are key. PSL Datatrack starts with a quotation; we describe our Quotations module as the production control software equivalent of setting a machine tool! Once the information has been entered at this stage, it can be reused throughout the rest of the PSL Datatrack system to prevent the manual retyping of data, human error and to help get the paperwork done as quickly as possible.
The Quotations module is designed for how subcontract precision engineers need to work. There’s no unnecessary information or extra boxes to populate – it’s all tailored directly for them. The quote is commercial and calculated by defining the process (set and cycle times), material, subcontract and tooling requirements alongside any mark-ups.
They also need to have control over tailoring the quotation – for example, larger batch sizes may be calculated at a preferential rate. It’s all about being able to quickly make those changes to ensure the quote is fully accurate and PSL Datatrack caters for all of these factors. If a customer has a unique requirement we can also write bespoke solutions.
Producing a quotation, if you don’t have a designated, organised system, is often going to be done on an Excel spreadsheet. But what happens to the data after that? It’s there for a calculation, yes, but it doesn’t go anywhere else.
As well as calculating the sales price, PSL Datatrack enables the user to produce a well formatted and well presented quote letter at the push of a button, which can be sent to the customer with minimal effort. A PSL Datatrack quote letter is displayed as the user wants it – it’s their way of presenting themselves to the customer, after all. If you have to type up letters on Word documents or emails it can take a huge amount of time.
Likewise, before taking on PSL Datatrack some of our clients used Word to create their job cards. So, they’ve already done a manual quote in Excel – they then had to re-key that information to get it into the Word document. That Word document is an order, potentially, but then they needed a separate spreadsheet for their order book. Then they needed to produce a delivery note, which may be yet another manual document or require entry into their accounts system. PSL Datatrack, however, pulls all existing data through to the next stage for the user.
The system automatically creates all documentation, through to final invoice, which can then be generated with company letterheads and emailed to customers straight from the system. All financial data can then be imported into accounts systems with no rekeying required. All credit control is therefore dealt with externally, with all document generation and traceability dealt with in a specialist production control system.
When taking on a PSL Datatrack system, users may wish to import existing data to kickstart the process. PSL Datatrack can comfortably handle this and we will always agree which information they would like to start with. This means there is no need for someone to sit down and key in all their customers and suppliers, for example.
As well as documentation, PSL Datatrack includes many detailed reports within each module that focus on all business areas. For management, there is also a statistics screen which brings up to 57 key performance indicators (KPIs) together on one screen to give you a high spot of all the different areas. Users can click on any of these statistics to generate a report with all the data behind it. There is no need to create manual dashboards or management reports as the system does it for them.
As PSL Datatrack is a practical, simple and logical system we don’t usually get involved in training when customers take on a new employee, although we always offer training as part of new system implementation. There tends to be enough skill within the company that they can train new staff themselves. With a bit of practice, they’re typically up to speed and productive very quickly.
PSL Datatrack is therefore integral to the whole business as soon as it is installed. Production control software runs the company, gives management control and ultimately shows them what needs improving. Make the first improvement today by contacting PSL Datatrack!