Established in 1981, Claydon Drills is the most renowned direct strip-till seeding system in Europe, giving sustainable high yield results year on year with huge environmental benefits. The seed drills can be used direct into stubble or cultivated soils giving farmers huge time and cost savings when used as a direct drill.
Oli Claydon started working for the family business in 2003. Oli said: “When I started I quickly realised that the company couldn’t grow unless we had the right systems and right processes in place. It was important to have the right ERP software in place that can be flexible for future growth.”
At the time of implementation, Claydon Drills were running a small office of 3 or 4 staff. There were numerous problems with their operations. Oli said:
- Claydon used Excel spreadsheets for managing Bill of Materials (BOMs) and to track costs.
- We had no history of what we manufactured.
- With more people getting employed, we needed a better system to manage the business.
- We were over-stocking and under-stocking at times.
- The machines/drills became more complex and we were using multiple parts in the same spreadsheet. We had issues linking Excel spreadsheets together so we could carry the same costing through and didn’t need to change each individual spreadsheet.
Evaluation/Selecting the Solution
This led Claydon Drills to start looking at different databases and software vendors.
Oli stated: “We looked at creating a Microsoft Access database and I was also aware of ERP and MRP solutions but understood that some of these solutions are a significant investment and can be quite complex to implement.”
Oli experienced some friction from others in the company due to the cost of software solutions. Also, staff members had various degrees of awareness of technology and not all people in the business were computer literate. We had to get an easy to use solution that suited all employees.
It was paramount to have all employees using the same system and process to run our operations.
Value for money was part of the selection process. There are hundreds of solutions with different costs and different functionality. Oli said: “I had to find a solution that met our needs and provided value for money. For instance, spending £50,000 doesn’t guarantee that the software would cover our requirements but a lower cost option still needed to fit the bill.”
Claydon Drills looked at using Microsoft Access but Oli quickly realised it would have been a massive learning curve. The company also assessed Microsoft Dynamics Nav, Sage 200, 123insight and ProgressPlus.
“We evaluated Microsoft Dynamics Nav (Navision) and also looked at Sage 200. Sage was missing functionality that we really needed.
When we looked at Microsoft Dynamics Nav, the reseller quoted a sensible price. We then had a 2-day evaluation which we had to pay for. After this, the company then came back with an enhanced price that was 4 times what was originally quoted so we never went forward with this.”
Oli continued: “I was unhappy as it was a waste of our time due to lack of transparency from the reseller. The Microsoft Dynamics Nav sales person only cared about the sale and massively underquoted to get us to say yes. We then had to pay £3000 for an evaluation of our business and after this, they quadrupled the price. Subsequently, we pulled out of the deal”.
“We reviewed 123insight where you rent their software for a monthly cost. When assessing the costs, we looked at this as a minimum 10 year investment. After doing the maths, the costs involved in the 123insight route would have paid for the ProgressPlus license multiple times over but with ProgressPlus we would own the software license rather than having continual rentals.”
ProgressPlus Supports Company Growth
Claydon Drills chose ProgressPlus as the solution was easy to use and the software would give them a quick return on investment. Oli Claydon also mentioned: “I was really impressed with the flexibility of the ProgressPlus software to fit our business needs.”
Claydon Drills are happy with the support team. Oli said: “The Berkeley Myles Solutions support team are excellent. I have never experienced a time where we cannot phone up and get the information we need. The responsiveness of Berkley Myles Solutions to what we need to achieve is fantastic.
Since implementing ProgressPlus, Claydon Drills has increased turnover from £850,000 to £6million.
Oli said: “ProgressPlus has been key to our growth. We started with 4 licenses and have increased the amount due to the growth of the company and employing new staff. It is being used by accounts and we are using Shop Floor Data Capture for people logging on and off jobs, which is giving us more insight.
The staff love that if they ever get stuck or need a refresh they can call Berkeley Myles Solutions support and get answers straight away.
Oli talked about the benefits:
- “We are really impressed with the sheer amount of information we can get out of the system. Everything is recorded and everything is traceable.
- We are more efficient and we have better control of costing on machines as we can log staff on and off jobs.
- Better stock control and stock-takes.
- Better communication. We can integrate ProgressPlus and see where the product is in the process.
- Better control over spend. All purchases must have a purchase order number. I will not pay a bill unless I have a PO number against it. Now I can see what people have ordered and when they have ordered it.
- Better workflows. As the machines are getting more complex, issuing the Works Orders has helped the employees get the visibility of what needs to be done.
- Better management of manufacturing process.
Overall Berkeley Myles Solutions have been brilliant. The software has been a key part of the growth strategy and communications have improved within the company. Support has been exemplary and the team at Berkeley Myles Solutions help us get the best out of the software.”