Codan moves up a gear with 123mrp.NET Production Management Software

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Codan Rubber Ltd, based in Corby, Northants, manufactures and distributes fluid handling system.

As part of the Codan Group they had previously implemented a high-end MRP and accounting system costing in excess of 300,000, of which 180,000 were training and consultancy costs. It also proved difficult to implement and costly to develop. Hament Patel, IT Manager said; There were numerous bugs in the system. Product costing did not work, and neither did EDI, which impacted heavily on the main business as costings were inaccurate. We found the software too complex, and if we wanted to modify the system it would require development by AS/400 RPG programmers, which are very costly. In 2005, the demise of Rover Group - one of Codans largest customers - caused Codan to re-evaluate their MRP needs. Said General Manager Jonathan George MBA, The big push for change was when Rover went bust in April 2005, which happened at a time when some of our other business was being transferred to low-cost countries. The combination of massive restructuring meant that we had to get a new system in quickly otherwise we would not have survived.

In April 2005 the decision was made to investigate alternative systems. Hament added; I found 123mrp.NET through an Internet search and attended an evaluation workshop. I saw how easy it was to go through the full process of raising an order and was able to ensure it met our functionality requirements. After looking at the multimedia CD I talked it through with Jonathan and decided to get one user license so that I could test that it fitted into our business plan, after which we decided to go with it.

The decision to select 123mrp.NET was made in August 2005. Hament attended the 3-day user course, and the 1-day admin and implementation courses. A single license of SQL Server was purchased along with 1 license of 123mrp.NET allowing Codan to test the system before putting it on a live system. Added Hament; I was able to get the system up and running without any additional SQL training. License numbers were increased to 5 in October, 20 in November and 25 in March 2006. Three licenses of Access Accounts were also installed.

Extracting the data from the previous system took around a month, after which time downstream training was performed in-house by Hament. Once I went on the training course I set up a project group with all of the heads of departments - I went through the training with them and they then passed this on to their staff. I also made them a manual specific to their jobs, based on the electronic manuals supplied to me during training. The whole process took about 10 days.

The system went live January 1st 2006. What was immediately noticed was the improvement of visibility of company information. Said Jonathan; You could go into the View-IT Financials of 123mrp.NET and get a snapshot of exactly where you are each month. This has been a tremendous benefit, with graphs showing information such as top stock items, which has been very useful at pinpointing issues such as obsolete Rover stocks. 123mrp.NET has made the business much easier to run. The control of stock is completely visible. The product structures allows us to see where we are with the costings of each item and process.. Hament added; I have explained the structures process within 123mrp.NET to staff within 10 minutes - on the old system it would have taken a day.

With many orders requiring subcontract treatment processes such as brazing or plating, Codan initially had concerns that this would not be handled properly by any replacement system. Jonathan added; I was pleased to see that 123mrp.NET had thought through the need for treatments, as opposed to simple subcontract processes. We paid for hours of consultancy on our old system to work out how to handle this, but 123mrp.NET had this functionality as standard, and this was probably the biggest benefit of all to us.

Jonathan finished by saying; Weve moved away from being predominantly a manufacturing company, with 2/3rds of our business now distribution. We are, however, continuing to restructure what we do so that we are able to make small batch runs for specialist customers. We need competent and motivated people working in our business, and we also need a quick system that allows us to transact our business faster. We are hoping that 123mrp.NET will help us to get into that niche market in a bigger way.

Benefits Achieved:

  • Moved away from group recommended system because it was too complex, costly to support and bug-ridden
  • 123mrp.NET is much simpler than previous system
  • Just one person attended all three training sessions, then did down-stream training in-house using electronic manuals provided
  • Large reduction in handling costs and postage as invoices/purchase orders are now emailed directly to suppliers
  • Integrated MRP and Accounts solution
  • Stock control and visibility greatly improved
  • Handling of subcontract work made easier
  • Works seamlessly with Codans preferred reporting tool (Cognos)
  • MD now has immediate snapshot of the companys financial position
  • Total initial training cost for current staff of 1500
  • Low monthly rental fee of 1150

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