Crystal Icing on the JAVELIN Cake
Leading screw press manufacturer De Smet Rosedowns doesn’t need a crystal ball to see where the business is going – it uses the Jobshop advanced production planning and control system. And Using Crystal reporting in conjunction with Jobshop means managers can get fully customised documents for print, email or pdfs – which they say is vital to the efficient running of their business.
Founded in 1777, the Hull-based company began life as a foundry, and over the years has also manufactured cannons, equipped whaling ships, and handled civil engineering work. It started manufacturing oil seed presses in the 1830s when oil seed coming into the docks from around the globe made Hull the oil seed processing capital of the world.
“Screw presses are now our sole business,” says I.T. Manager Keith Hirst (pictured right), who brought Jobshop into Rosedowns in 2001. They manufacture screw presses (also known as expellers), which press and expel oil out of oil bearing seeds such as rape seed and sunflower seed.
Their small mini presses can process up to 500 kilos of seed a day, while the larger machines used by all of the major oil seed processing groups around the world, can handle 800 tonnes of seed daily. The presses are also used in the animal rendering industry for the extraction of fats and meals from animal carcasses.
Having doubled turnover since 2005 from £5m to £11m a year worldwide with export sales to over 40 countries, invested £1.5m in new machinery, increased its workforce to more than 80, and boosted operating profit by an impressive 85%, the company won the 2009 Hull Daily Mail Business of the Year Award. Editor John Meehan said of De Smet Rosedowns: “People like you and businesses like yours will ensure this region moves forward strongly once more.”
Jobshop has played a strong role in helping the business develop, as it ensures managers can run it exactly as they want to, enabling them to make decisions based on accurate, up-to-the-minute information and also controlling costs.
“It’s our database,” says Keith Hirst. “We run the entire business on it. It integrates everything from quotations, sales ordering, purchasing and manufacturing, through to storage, picking and despatch and creating internal invoices for us to prepare for our export customers. It gives us traceability of the entire process from the initial enquiry to the final despatch and invoice and also -- very importantly -- gives us visibility of the costs.”
Amongst the many features they utilise to the full: Advanced Production Planning Control System, Quotations, Sales Order Processing, Materials Requirement Planning, Purchase Orders, Work Orders and Scheduling. They also use the powerful Shop Floor Data Capture for booking time and quantities to provide them with the information they need. “One of the real benefits of Jobshop is that it is completely flexible, and we can configure its many functions and features to suit our methods of working. Jobshop’s consultants have also provided us with some bespoke features.”
With their previous system they could only run MRP over a weekend because it took so long. “That meant we had to wait until after a weekend to know what materials to order, and it was putting our lead times back a week. An important part of our business is the supply of spare parts for which delivery and lead times are vital. With Jobshop we can run MRP in 5 minutes, and often run it 2 or 3 times a day if necessary, to see what demand is coming through. We can now see instantly what we need. We know where everything is in manufacturing and where we are in every department at a particular time. Jobshop has really helped us tighten up on production.”
But for De Smet Rosedowns, the icing on the Jobshop cake is the Crystal reporting function which they use all the time. “Alongside Jobshop’s extensive standard enquiry and reporting functionality it allows us to get to the exact data we need and produce customised reports from which we can make informed management decisions.”
Powerful document customisation allows key system documents to be defined for printing, emailing or PDF creation, either via the standard internal print format or a fully customisable document based on a Crystal Report template. Crystal adds exciting possibilities to the external documents feature, allowing De Smet Rosedowns to define the specific Jobshop data they require, and format the document layout in any style they wish. It is even possible to customise documents so they are different for individual managers, customers, suppliers, or applications.
Overall, Jobshop gives managers complete control of every aspect of the business, and its complete flexibility to tailor functions to their specific, individual needs, means it really is a case of the dog wagging the tail, and not the tail wagging the dog which can be the case with some software systems.