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Aircraft manufacture is undoubtedly one of the worlds most demanding industries - the margin for error is simple, there isnt one!
This level of quality control goes all the way through the industry, from the finished aircraft right down to the smallest component parts. Midland Aerospace has built its reputation as a high quality, reliable and one-stop-shop supplier of machining and fabrication services. It provides these services to deliver key wing parts for world-leading aircraft, including the new Airbus A380. To succeed in this business, Midland Aerospace has to provide complete reliability and on-time delivery and it achieves this with the help of Exact Softwares JobBOSS.
Midland Aerospace was formed in 2001 and operates a purpose built machining and fabrication facility near Nottingham. Its comprehensive range of services has given it a reputation for quality and reliability, which attracts leading name clients from around the world. It compliments its machining and fabrication services with extensive in-house support capabilities, making the company uniquely positioned to partner aerospace suppliers from major aircraft manufacturers to small maintenance operations.
At the time Midland Aerospace was formed, it was using a bespoke system for its shopfloor tracking and management. Eamon Lyons (pictured), Managing Director for Midland Aerospace, explains, The previous system was fairly old and lacked a lot of the modern technology capabilities we needed to give us the control over our business that we needed. It wasnt integrated, which meant all our activities were disjointed and information was often inaccurate. We decided to research the market and find a business management software system that would really allow us to take control of the business.
After an exhaustive search, Midland Aerospace selected Exact Softwares JobBOSS manufacturing and business management system. JobBOSS gave us what we were looking for, adds Lyons. Our business is dependent on our ability to deliver 100% accurate solutions on time - every time. To meet industry accreditations, we have to be able to show a full audit of every component of our finished products, even down to the adhesives used. Without being able to do this, we simply do not have a business. JobBOSS has the flexibility, functionality and control to provide us with a solution to compliment our business and make us a better supplier to our customers.
With over 4,000 installations worldwide, JobBOSS is a leader in shopfloor management for machine shops and fabricators. It provides a key range of fully integrated functionality, such as advanced scheduling, bill of materials, real time data collection, inventory management, quality control and accounting. It can also be easily integrated into other systems, such as financial accounting and HR to deliver a complete business management solution for the manufacturing industry.
A key requirement of Midland Aerospaces business is scheduling. Delivering on time is essential to our customers and therefore our business. JobBOSS has an advanced scheduling system that gives us complete visibility over our capacity planning so that we know exactly what can and cant be achieved on the shopfloor. This helps us to manage our business more effectively, giving customers the confidence that once they have placed an order with us and we have accepted it, delivery will be right on time, accurate and with all the appropriate paperwork, says Lyons.
Midland Aerospace has a number of terminals around its factory floor and staff use handheld radio frequency devices to log into JobBOSS prior to beginning their work. The system recognises the employee and automatically prints out their work schedules, detailing what needs to be done, where, with what parts and where those parts are located. At any one time we could be manufacturing as many as 600 line items and each project needs to be on the system and up to date. Also, when a job is completed, we need to deliver a Certificate of Conformity, which is required for all stages of aircraft manufacturer. Every clients certification requirements are different, but JobBOSS is able to provide an accurate certificate in the right format for every job that we deliver, he says.
Lyons continues, JobBOSS makes it very easy for us to track jobs through the system because all the information is there in real time. At any given point in the day we can find the immediate and accurate status of every order in the system These can also be tied in with external suppliers delivery dates, providing a complete picture of each project and when it will be completed. This gives us fantastic control over the business and puts us in an excellent position to manage our resources effectively to exceed customer expectations while maximising our own profitability.
JobBOSS also helps Midland Aerospace at the engineering and planning stage. Lyons explains, With JobBOSS, we can create quotations for clients using live information from the system. We can instantly identify stock levels and lead times allowing us to provide quotes that are always accurate and achievable. The system can also identify the clients themselves and deliver quotes and receive orders in the format they require. When the job is complete, JobBOSS automatically informs the accounting system so that invoices can be raised as quickly as possible, which is a significant benefit to our cash flow.
As well as providing comprehensive levels of control on the factory floor, JobBOSS gives Midland Aerospace complete visibility of all the operational processes. Managers can create reports on virtually any aspect of the business using real time accurate data. Having information like this available in clear and easy to produce reports has had a massive impact on our efficiency, productivity and profitability. We can react quickly and appropriately to any issues on the shop floor and we can respond to specific customer requirements with complete confidence, adds Lyons.
Midland Aerospace has also appreciated the help and support it receives from Exact Software. Lyons, Our relationship with Exact is excellent. They have a real can-do attitude that we appreciate and they have always been very responsive and professional. The consultants clearly have an exceptional knowledge of their product, but they also understand their customers business and how they can exploit the system to their best advantage.
Eamon Lyons concludes, JobBOSS has delivered many important benefits to our business and our ability to service and support our customers. It provides a comprehensive and accurate view of all aspects of our operations and business processes. In terms of parts management alone, I estimate we would require six additional people to deliver what JobBOSS puts at our fingertips. It is a hugely advanced system that is continually improving and I am sure will continue to support our business for many years to come.