Profit and productivity

Laserform has improved the availability and quality of information supplied to its customers by implementing a system from Manusoft.

Located in Drogheda, Laserform manufactures tooling for the packaging industry, as well as general sheetmetal fabrication and laser and waterjet profiling.

Many of Laserform’s customers operate just-in-time policies, which the company found was placing pressure on its resources and making it difficult to track critical factors such as the profit margin on jobs. Furthermore, Laserform was finding itself more and more frequently asked for rapid responses to queries re past and present jobs, which were becoming time consuming to deal with.

The company considered the option of simply adding more employees, but decided this was probably not the most cost effective and efficient solution, instead choosing to embark on a major review of its manufacturing systems.

Laserform was looking for a method by which it could both improve the availability and quality of information required by the customer, as well as providing an effective business management methodology for them. The bottom line being to increase profitability through improved management and enhanced customer relations. The solution presented itself in the form of an e-Commerce B2B package from Manusoft (UK) Ltd that would enable any customer, at the click on an icon on their computer, to access the Laserform system and view the real time status of any live job, as well as looking at previous histories.

The Manusoft solution is a fully integrated software package that offers full management capabilities, from the enquiry stage, through production control to financial accounting and the e-commerce business to business module.

Laserform went live with the system at the beginning of April 2001 and is already seeing significant benefits as a result of the installation. In essence, data is input on the shop floor by the production operatives via a touch screen. In total, there are currently three touch screens installed throughout the Laserform plant. Machine operators use the touch screens to clock in and out, to confirm they are starting a job, to confirm they have stopped or finished the job, to collect their next job and much more. In effect, the Manusoft system enables each job to be treated as a separate profit and loss account, as well as enabling customers to access production schedules. Together with this there is a facility to record reject and quality information via the touch screens, making the system an all encompassing manufacturing system to assist management to fully control the business.

‘A key attribute of the Manusoft system is the ease with which customised reports can be created,’ says Sean Mac Entee at Laserform. ‘The system is supplied with many popular reports available as standard, but the ability to tailor the information to best serve our manufacturing practices has been extremely beneficial.’

‘We still have a long way to go to fully exploit the capabilities of Manusoft. This gives us great confidence, as we know the system can grow with us. However, we are already seeing the benefit on our bottom line and it has to be said, that after 21 years in business, this is the first time software people have not over-promised and under-delivered!’

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