Purchasing DataTrack production software, which is specifically designed for batch assembly and manufacturing operations, has led to significant cost and productivity benefits at Andromeda Telematics.
Andromeda Telematics (ATL), an 'intelligent building' integrator and KNX member, does not manufacture in the traditional sense, but complex projects involving batching parts and assemblies in its stores and workshop, as well as on site, made its activities suitable for benefiting from the DataTrack treatment. The company has grown very quickly in size and reputation, being involved in such high-profile projects as T5 (Heathrow - see photo), the British Library and the renovated St Pancras Railway Station. ATL provides controls and systems for lighting, heating, sound, energy and security.
DataTrack, from PSL, historically fits batch process or manufacturing applications, or anywhere that a batch or single items are being made, assembled or processed. It has obvious applications in engineering and subcontract manufacture, but is increasingly being used in electronics, print and building industry scenarios, among others.
When ATL's expansion made a business software enhancement necessary, accounts manager Carl Sexton considered a number of options, including an upgrade to his accounting software. But Sexton would only consider software that came with a recommendation, saying: "We can only choose how to spend our money by reputation – we had to trust that PSL's excellent track record was justified and we have not been disappointed." Because ATL puts together components for its building control projects, usually assembling into control panels and project managing out to contractors and installers, DataTrack proved a better fit than the MRP and ERP alternatives.
After a selection process that involved testing alternatives and talking extensively to existing users, ATL chose DataTrack. Factors included the ability to integrate with the company's existing systems, the ability to tailor the software and the minimisation of disruption during implementation. Most software packages were discounted immediately because of the amount of training involved to get the systems off the ground and the need for extensive and time-consuming installations.
Benefits of DataTrack that quickly became apparent included its modular make-up and the ability to cope easily with bespoke projects. DataTrack's modules have been shaped by PSL's close customer relationships that help to ensure the company is continuously improving the product to keep track of industry trends.
Sexton is now full of praise for PSL's team and what they have achieved for ATL: "PSL has made it very easy for us to make the jump necessary for this journey. The consultancy they have provided has been very personal and - while the training necessary to get to terms with this is minimal – has helped us to get the most out of our investment."
He also appreciates the way the flexibility of DataTrack allowed 'off-the-shelf customisation' for instant matching to ATL's needs: "The system fits us – we have not had to compromise the way we work to suit the software. PSL has demonstrated that we matter, and that our needs can and will be met by their ability to configure the software to our requirements".
A major advantage with DataTrack is said to be its ability to grow with and adapt to organisational needs and changes. Sexton states: "Next year we will be going for ISO – DataTrack will help enormously, as it brings traceability and process to our organisation."