Bluebell Opticom is a highly successful company that designs, manufactures and distributes customised fibre optic transmission assemblies for the broadcast, satellite and telecommunications industry. The company relies on PSL DataTrack production management software for its production administration procedures. This underlines the versatility of the DataTrack system which is used largely in the engineering sub-contract sector, but is wholly transferable into the electronics and other industries.
Working in a niche market, Bluebell’s product range consists of four platforms and a range of over 50 configurable PCB card-based electrical to optical converters. The company’s production model is based on making assemblies for stock and then customising them to meet specific orders. This ability to customise has meant that its business administration and production management procedures are complex.
For many years the company relied on a manual administration system that included the use of spreadsheets to check and track bills of materials, quotations, stock, work in progress, deliveries and invoicing – in fact the entire production management process. However, with business on the increase and working with distributors worldwide, this approach became increasingly unsustainable for the company’s small team.
A number of administration software systems were identified, but DataTrack was already being used successfully by one of Bluebell’s major sub-contractors. Based on this, and the support that PSL could offer locally in the UK, Bluebell took the decision to invest in DataTrack.
Once set up and configured to work with Bluebell’s manufacturing principles, all the company’s production procedures, particularly the creation of bills of materials and assemblies, have become much slicker with DataTrack. Quotations, Purchase Ordering, Stock Management and Sales Order Processing modules are all now used by the company. One of the major benefits has been the positive impact on Bluebell’s business image, as they can now issue their customers with order acknowledgements with accurate delivery dates. Paul McCann of Opticom says: “This gives us a professional sheen that we did not have before.”
The fact that DataTrack is a modular system that could be built up was also valuable to Bluebell. It meant a lower initial entry cost and the flexibility to add more sophisticated reporting later as required.
DataTrack has not changed the type of business Bluebell undertakes, but it does allow the company to carry out existing business much more efficiently. Paul McCann says: “All software should work with the user rather than dictate how the user should work. With DataTrack we have a system that works very much to our advantage. Although it took us a while to grasp the process flow of the software, once it clicked Bluebell staff were able to use it with confidence.”
There are now plans to extend the use of DataTrack with more modules and Bluebell will also request more modules and specific management information reports to be written by PSL DataTrack.
Paul concludes: “We are happy with DataTrack and would recommend it to other SMEs. The initial hard work has paid off and we are now a tighter more efficient unit. PSL DataTrack have been absolute rocks in terms of the support they have given us.”
For further information about PSL DataTrack production management software email or visit www.psldatatrack.com.