How software can transform a company, an E-Max case study

Polycast Limited, market leaders in specialist investment casting and cast products, had been enjoying constant growth for a number of years. The leadership team recognised the need for a solution to manage their growth in order for the company to enjoy continued, and greater, success. Facing issues not uncommon in the manufacturing sector, the team identified some key challenges, including lack of live data, multiple in-house systems and little visibility across key departments.

The identification of these issues, coupled with the desire to find software that could evolve and grow with the company, meant Polycast sought out E-Max Systems. After implementing E-Max’s ERP software, Polycast now have a single software system across all departments which enables all employees to have access to the same information. This has improved the speed and accuracy of decision making as well as:

Increasing on time delivery by 11%
Improving stock control to an accuracy level of >99%
Increasing operator efficiencies by 12% through E-Max SFDC
Enhancing purchasing techniques to improve their supply chain.

Polycast Limited have been metal forming since 1946 and are today one of the UK’s leading providers of quality metal cast products. Supplying multiple different industries, both in the UK and internationally, they offer solutions for all types of specialist investment casting, ranging from individual pieces through to mass production jobs. Polycast’s current customer list includes Bentley Motor Cars and Rolls Royce Motor Cars and the most high-profile example of their work can be seen in the ’Spirit of Ecstasy’ flying lady that graces the bonnet of every Rolls Royce motor car. Continuing to deliver high quality items to all of their customers is a top priority for Polycast’s 30 strong production team.

The Challenges

Polycast was enjoying steady growth across different markets. The management team recognised that, to effectively continue this growth, they would require more visibility of all aspects of production, purchasing and stock control. Rather than relying on certain individual staff members, the management team needed live accurate data. The MS-DOS based bespoke system, backed up by multiple spreadsheets, that was used by Polycast until then was no longer enough for their needs and could not support continued growth.

The key issues Polycast faced were:

Limited information on production batches
No visibility in all areas of production or purchasing which still used paper records only
Multiple different systems in place meant data needed to go through several systems before any sort of meaningful information could be obtained
Whilst Polycast are predominately an investment casting company, they did not want to invest in a standard foundry package. Instead they wanted a system which could be bespoked specifically for their needs and would grow and evolve with their changing requirements.

The Solution

Polycast spent a considerable amount of time and effort looking for a system before approaching E-Max Systems.  We took the time to understand what Polycast wanted to achieve and worked out how our software could be adapted to their working environment. Because of the flexibility of E-Max, we were able to modify the software to meet Polycast’s requirements.

Although Polycast were initially concerned about the potential disruption implementation of a new company wide system could cause, Polycast’s Managing Director, Andy Martin, was keen to highlight that wasn’t the case: “Any issues we experienced, we always had the support from the team at E-Max to overcome them. Implementation was very easy and painless.”

Andy goes on to say: “E-Max has, quite simply, transformed our company. We are far more customer focused because the system allows us to see live data which we use to keep our customers updated on live POs.”

The Benefits

By implementing a company-wide ERP system, all relevant Polycast employees now share the same information. This new visibility within manufacturing and purchasing has enabled the company’s decision makers, from Directors to purchasing staff, to make on the spot decisions without the need to go through other departments. The increased speed of decision making has in turn had a positive impact on the supply chain, meaning orders are fulfilled faster and to greater customer satisfaction.

In particular, the Shop Floor Data Collection (SFDC), has provided significant benefits. It has enabled Polycast to track progress through the factory, making it a simple matter to identify the actual status of every job in production and highlights any potential issues with the job in real time. Polycast have also found this to be a great asset when being audited as all aspects of every job are recorded.

The Results

Since implementing E-Max, Polycast have:

Increased on time delivery by 11%
Improved stock control to an accuracy level of >99%
Increased operator efficiencies by 12% through E-Max SFDC
Enhanced purchasing techniques that have improved their supply chain.

Andy summed up Polycast’s experience with E-Max by saying: “We have many positive user experiences but for me the level of customer service which Polycast Limited receive from E-Max Systems is exceptional. Through this we have built a system which is specific to us which has transformed our business into a progressive and forward thinking one.”

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