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Laser & Waterjet Profiling
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Planit’s advanced production planning and control software Jobshop has undergone a name change for its latest release, and taken a significant step forward by moving to a relational database platform in the form of MS SQL. Solutions reports.
Product name changes are not taken lightly as they can affect important aspects such as brand recognition, but sometimes, to reflect evolutionary changes in the marketplace, they are completely necessary and justified as Jobshop’s general manager, Paul Holmes reveals.
“Several years ago the collective name for subcontract manufacturers was a Jobshop. But nowadays these same companies are high tech, sophisticated manufacturing businesses, so the term ‘Jobshop’ no longer accurately reflects what our customers do or indeed what we actually provide for them in terms of our software.”
While the Jobshop brand remains, the software is now called Javelin – and with the name change comes a switch from the use of the Pervasive database to Microsoft’s SQL.
“There are several advantages to utilising MS SQL,” Mr Holmes adds. “This platform allows better integration with other software and provides speed improvements within the ‘thinking’ programs like MRP and scheduling. It will also be more scalable and operate more efficiently with larger user accounts. In addition, data access is easier and other tools such as MS Query and Excel can be used. Data structure changes are also more easily accommodate in MS SQL, allowing for more cost effective development. MS SQL is also often available as a free download or rolled into the MS server operating systems.”
As a flexible, scalable and intelligent production planning and control system offering advanced functionality and value in the key areas of manufacturing and assembly, Jobshop allows SME organisations to successfully compete in difficult economic and market conditions, through direct productivity improvements and lower IT infrastructure costs.
Case study: Elite Electronic Systems
A leading Irish-based supplier to the electronics industry is so impressed with Jobshop that it has installed it at its US-based sister company as well. The company claims that using the Jobshop database system has streamlined all elements of the business – including production and assembly.
“Jobshop is used by every department and almost all our 150 employees in Ireland,” says engineering manager Jackie Beresford. “It gives everyone immediate access to vital information regarding sales order processing, purchase orders, works orders, shopfloor data capture, materials control and costings – and provides concise reports when required.
“Jobshop is also able to create special customised functions to handle individual requirements,” she continues. “A bespoke Materials Control function revolutionised how our stores work through the creation of a ‘second store’. Previously, our system was bulk issuing up to 5,000 parts from our main store – ‘store one.’ Some of the kits we were putting together might only require 100 pieces, so the remainder had to be stripped off the machine afterwards and put back in the stores. Now, when parts arrive at the factory we reapply a number of them into store two, and Materials Control provides the assembly workers with the required parts. It then runs a shortage sheet so we know to bulk issue any additional parts from store one, and we know what stocks store two has when we are reordering.”
For aerospace supplier JJ Churchill, Jobshop central to the way information is distributed. “Our business would be fundamentally constrained in its ability to grow if we didn’t have a fully functioning database approach to the way we manage information,” managing director Andrew Churchill reveals. “As an SME within the supply chain we tend not to be mass producers, but have vast levels of customisation and a huge variety of part numbers. There is simply no way we could manage that part count without Jobshop – and even if we could, it would be impossible to be compliant with the processes and standards required by our customers and the industry.”
Jobshop is also a key element in Churchill’s SC21 programme. “We’ve been supplying BAE Systems for many years, so stepping up to SC21 has been more of a translation for us than anything else, making sure we’re talking the right language and that we’re presenting our continuous improvement plan appropriately. Jobshop is an important element in that, both for us and for any company seeking SC21 compliance.”
De Smet Rosedowns
For screw press manufacturer De Smet Rosedowns, Jobshop has played a strong role in helping the business develop, as it enables managers to make decisions based on accurate, up-to-the-minute information and also control costs.
“It’s our database and we run the entire business on it,” says IT manager Keith Hirst. “It integrates everything from quotations, sales ordering, purchasing and manufacturing, through to storage, picking and despatch and creating internal invoices for us to prepare for our export customers. It also gives us traceability of the entire process from the initial enquiry to the final despatch and invoice.”
The company takes full advantage of Jobshop’s functionality: Advanced Production Planning Control; Quotations; Sales Order Processing; Material Requirements Planning; Purchase Orders; Work Orders and Scheduling and Shop Floor Data Capture.
Arrowsmith managing director Jason Aldridge recognises that Jobshop has become a crucial part of the company’s SC21 implementations and its Continuous Sustainable Improvement Plan. He reports that a primary goal is to become a world class supplier to the aerospace industry and expects Jobshop to play a significant role in achieving this objective.
“We wanted a system that would grow with us and Jobshop is perfect for that,” he explains. “It will enable us to quadruple our turnover in a precise and controlled manner so it’s an absolutely vital and integral part of the future development and success of the company.”
Mr Aldridge says Jobshop is particularly useful in assuring customers that delivery deadlines can be met. “Literally – through visual methods – we can show customers how we intend to manufacture their components on a particular machine. We know when the job will start and finish and also what resources are available in terms of capacity.”