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How Access FactoryMaster is helping Kirkstall Precision Engineering expand infrastructure and improve productivity

Leeds-based company Kirkstall Precision have laid out their plans to drive growth as they transition into 2021, and a key part of that has been the adoption of Access Group’s award-winning Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system coupled with its material requirements planning (MRP) system.

The software, called Access FactoryMaster, is designed specifically for small-to-medium enterprises in mind.

It aims to provide greater visibility, predictability and control by improving production, inventory management, stock control, quality assurance and traceability.

Streamlining production and purchasing

As anyone experienced in the field of precision engineering will know, creating sophisticated and complex components has a number of difficulties associated with it such as limited visibility over the production process, manual spreadsheet planning and a lack of stock traceability.

FactoryMaster aims to trivialise these issues. Its various ERP modules allows for greater control over its Customer Relationship management (CRM), procurement management, production planning, Quality management and its continuous Improvement process.

The software’s ability to allow integration of our Business Management Systems (BMS) allows us to have total transparency from the enquiry to delivery cycle. Its quick search capabilities allows users to quickly search for required materials and components, which is essential for meeting unexpected orders and urgent deadlines.

Iqbal Bahia, Operations Director at Kirkstall Precision, said FactoryMaster has so far been an excellent success at meeting the company’s needs.

“FactoryMaster is perfectly suited to the type of work we want to win, i.e. complex, highly regulated, in hard to penetrate markets that require a high degree of traceability,” he explained. “Furthermore, the system can scale in tandem with our operation as we continue to grow.

“We’ve already integrated our barcode scanners with the system so that any material that is booked in or out is scanned and tracked, ensuring all the information being logged and presented is accurate and up to date.”

Integrating their barcode scanners with FactoryMaster’s systems is even helping Kirkstall Precision become a paperless workplace – so it’s saving time, money and the environment!

Sticking to schedule

Having an organised workplace is essential for productivity, and FactoryMaster helps companies achieve that, too.

Access Orchestrate simplifies the process of connecting material resource planning to production systems. That means more communication between the two stages of production, creating a smooth and clear workflow.

Messy spreadsheets are turned into complex but easy-to-use Gantt charts, meaning companies like Kirkstall Precision retain all of the depth whilst simultaneously being able to more easily meet tight deadlines.

With more control over stock and production, FactoryMaster promises to save companies admin costs of over £20,000 as well as provide 20% turnover growth.

Kirkstall Precision anticipates FactoryMaster integrated with Orchestrate and Access Report Writer will replace up to eight separate systems.

Report Writer gives managers the opportunity to create quick and accurate reports without having to be an expert in the technical know-how.

One way it achieves this is through data dictionaries, which compile all the relevant field names into a list. A report writer can then select the appropriate names and be provided with the required data.

Conquering COVID

Kirkstall Precision, like many other businesses in its field, has faced its own challenges in overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic.

FactoryMaster, however, has helped provide some peace of mind due to its ease of use and efficient processes.

As a company which primarily provides components for elective surgical procedures, Kirkstall Precision’s orders dropped by 50% at the start of the pandemic and they were forced to rethink their business strategy.

Although they’re still stress testing the system, Iqbal said the reliable processes and traceability provides customers with the confidence that their business can deliver their promises.

“The secret to winning new business is providing a potential customer with confidence,” he said. “They already know you can manufacture the product, what they want to know is whether your processes and systems can deliver it on time, to the required level of quality, with no issues and with full traceability. That confidence is ultimately what FactoryMaster enables us to sell.”

“The journey we’re on means that whatever the future may bring, be that opportunity or disruption, we’ll be in a stronger position to address it,” he added.