William Shakespare

Background

The Outcome

Change is difficult for all businesses and for all people involved. After some initial resistance the Back Office team realised that the new system removed a number of manual activities and improved accuracy. When they realised that they could get rid of the historic "what we have to do is" and that JGS listened when they said "it would be nice if" and in most cases made the nice, the team quickly got on board. Ultimatly it saved them time. 

Similarly there was significant resistance from the Quoting team. The nice thing about a spreadsheet is I can just change that cell, it I want to increase the price or reduce it I can with no real implications. Again the new system allowed them to do that, ie change anything but it also tracked it giving visibility to everyone of the change. The 2 factors that really contributed to its adoption were the use of recipes to reduce the monotonus aspects of quoting and the fact that their information was being used by the manufacturing team, they felt their effort was more valued.

Job tracking and Capacity planning have allowed the business to better communicate with its customers about timeframes and their introduction has signficantly reduced under recovery in the factory. That saving alone has more than paid for the cost of the system.

The Journey

The first challenge was determining what to do first. The business was under pressure to change its accounting package and also improve the value (ie put more time into quoting and then have that information flow accross the business) of its quotes.

Quoting was almost standalone and so it was decided that quoting could be implemented over time, where if a Quote needed to be produced at any time and for whatever reason the new system couldn't do it, they could just make it using the spreadsheets. 

Job tracking was related to Quoting in that it was the quote that generated the estimates of time etc so Job tracking was implemented after Quoting was running.

That meant the best starting point was Financials.

As a precursor to Job tracking mobile Time Entry devices were deployed in the factory to the team could enter their time directly into the system, which both saved time and improved accuracy.

Once the Quoting was up and running Capacity planning and Job tracking were introduced. 

Southern Cross Engineering (SCE) are a large scale engineering company. They manufacture big things worth lots of money, often Millions of dollars. SCE started in 1954 and have always had a customer focus. 

They have multiple offices in New Zealand and an operation in Australia. 

In the inital stages of contact SCE were looking primariliy to change/upgrade their Financial system. During this process it became evident that quoting was also an issue. The Majority of quotes are made in Excel which provide the users with great flexibility,  but with that comes inconsistency. It is unlikely that 2 people quoting the same job would come up with the same price.

In the current market there is a lot of competition for the big engineering jobs and one of the key aspects that separates SCE from their opposition is their quality control and testing regimes to ensure everything that leaves the factory is at or above specification.