Historic engineering company turns to ProgressPlus production control software for the 21st century

Hallamshire Engineering Services‘ pedigree stretches back to 1720 when it made hand tools for the agricultural industry. At the start of the 20th century, it specialised in making rolling stock for Britain’s burgeoning railways.

The Sheffield-based manufacturer, which employs 20 people, is now part of major worldwide exporter Group Rhodes and is primarily involved in the quarrying, recycling, clay preparation, construction and paper industries. It makes bulk material handling equipment, conveyor pulleys and products such as augers and scrapers for working with clay.

Engineering manager Stuart Galley said that a decision was made to upgrade its production control capability as a strategic part of staying ahead of manufacturing advances and it took notice of another company in the group which was operating ProgressPlus production control software.

“We went to look at it in operation,” said Mr Galley, “and it was immediately clear that ProgressPlus was a lot more user friendly, more flexible and much more forgiving if you did something wrong. Curiously, it was also a lot cheaper.”

Hallamshire installed the new system earlier this year and, within one month, had completely dispensed with the old one.

Mr Galley said: “We produce estimates outside the system using a bespoke spreadsheet but everything else goes through ProgressPlus. It deals with enquiries which, if successful, can be turned sales orders. This saves double inputting, which we had to do on the old system. We can also review lost quote reasons, so we can understand why we didn’t get particular sales.”

“When the sales order is live, we review them and then produce drawings in Autocad which we attach to the system. Once that is in place, we produce all our works orders, the job is put into stock at the end of its production and then we invoice.”

“From the invoicing module within ProgressPlus, we have a link to Sage, which completes the loop.”

The main thing, said Mr Galley, is that ProgressPlus frees people to focus on the areas they need to. It is easy to interrogate and eases the journey to the works. “We can build up a history,” he said, “and, as it builds, the system will become progressively more intelligent.”

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