Precision engineering firm brings in specialist help to coordinate £80,000 systems upgrade

precision engineeringPrecision engineering manufacturer, G W Martin has brought in specialist SME computer consultants to help it upgrade systems to capture growth opportunities in the energy sector.

The Hampshire-based company provides high precision, complex components to aerospace, defence, automotive, electrical, filtration and medical industries across the UK and internationally. It has worked with specialist computer consultants, Thinkers, to ensure an £80,000 investment in new manufacturing control and accounting systems was handled professionally.

While G W Martinhad invested in the latest CNC machinery at its Eastleigh factory, its internal systems were due an update. Managing director, Stuart Yalden explained: “We trade on our precision, consistency, quality and reliability. The manufacturing side is highly successful but we need to process information more smoothly to ensure we service growing demand for our products as the manufacturing industry recovers from the recession.”

G W Martin brought in Thinkers to help the management team choose and implement the most appropriate new system. Stuart Yalden said: “Thinkers not only knew where to look for the best system, they played a vital role in creating buy-in and enthusiasm for change among the senior management team. They showed us precisely how an integrated management control and accounting system would benefit everyone and helped us create the right specification to shortlist and select from all the potential suppliers.”

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A key part of the shortlisting process was visiting the itSHOWCASE exhibition held at St Mary’s Stadium.  Visiting this exhibition allowed G W Martin quickly and easily to identify vendors to include, and those whose focus was in different industries and hence which did not quite apply.  Doing this at an exhibition rather than with site visits was highly efficient.

The system is crucial to help G W Martin realise fresh opportunities in the energy sector as the UK seeks alternatives to fossil fuels. Precision-engineered components are a key requirement in the development of new offshore wind and nuclear energy facilities.

Thinkers’ director, Martin White said: “SMEs often struggle to find the best manufacturing control systems on their own; we ensure they don’t make the wrong decision. During a series of workshops, we helped G W Martin explore precisely which company and service characteristics were most important to them and, together, we selected the right system to address their needs.”

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They chose theEFACS E/8 Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system from UK manufacturer EXEL. Thinkers’ role in the final stage will be to mastermind the implementation, collaborating with the technical staff at EXEL to ensure that the system goes in smoothly and that all staff are trained to use it to its full potential. Implementation will be supported by a Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) grant and is expected to be complete by the summer of 2015.

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