The sales data was held on a set of spreadsheets and controlled by the Sales office, the manufacturing data was on a different set of spreadsheets under the control of the Manufacturing Manager, and the stock control system was a paper-based system. There was a lot of duplicate data and it was difficult to keep all of the ‘systems’ synchronized and up-to-date. Forward planning was becoming very difficult and key staff had ‘closed ownership’ of specific functions, therefore absences could create major problems.
To bring together the disparate Sales, Manufacturing and Stock Control Systems into one common custom software application. A major requirement was to bring the staff into the process to enfranchise them to ensure that they could see the benefit of working in a new way. There was a fear that they would be both alienated and fear for their jobs.
We developed a new custom windows software application and database application, implemented in three stages to allow measured transition.
To migrate the sales, marketing and manufacturing spreadsheets to a secure database and provide a client application to allow the entry of customer data, sales orders, marketing information and manufacturing Data. The staff could initially ‘see’ the tangible benefits of the new system.
To extend the client application to include enhancements suggested by the users and to include additional functionality.
To incorporate the Stock control system into the database and expand the client application to accommodate the new data.
The data is now optimised, there is no replication, the possibilities to enter invalid data are hugely reduced. All users have access to the parts of the system that are appropriate to their job function. The data is securely backed up on a regular basis.
The Company is very happy, the staff are happy, and we are enthusiastic about the system and will continue to contribute to its development. We look forward to the next stage in the near future, a project to incorporate detailed manufacturing data from our industrial processes.