During the turbulent year of 2020, UK fluidic component manufacturer Connetika pulled off a business pivot and the solo implementation of a new manufacturing ERP system.
Ferndown, Dorset based Connetika offers miniature fluidic components and systems to industries that require them. Their key revenue streams come from manufacturing and supplying stock components, tubing, valves and fittings that convey liquid and gas; and from the design, production, and assembly of bespoke parts. While at first much of their business came from the automotive and industrial sectors, with the economic repercussions brought on by the pandemic, Connetika directed their attention to the medical sector.
“Thanks to the fact that our components can be used in a wide range of industries, we have been able to pivot our business from those sectors that have been hit harder, like automotive, to those that have been able to retain most of their business or even grow,” says Liam Barrett, the Sales Director of Connetika.
Needing an MRP system with Xero integration
Around 90% of Connetika’s business used to be distribution, with the company using Xero for inventory management and accounting. However, as soon as they started to look at the value-added production side of the business, it became clear that Xero could not handle it.
Looking at which MRP systems integrate with Xero, Connetika identified two key offerings to trial: Katana and MRPeasy. After trialling the two systems, MRPeasy came out as the winner.
“MRPeasy offered lot traceability at a price that Katana could not match and that really made the difference,” explained Barrett regarding the decision-making process. “MRPeasy also offered a longer trial period that allowed us to get a better understanding of its capabilities. Towards the end of the trial with Katana I did not see as many benefits as I did with MRPeasy.”
Implementing with online support materials
The company started the implementation process in April 2020. With his previous experience with SAP Business One and Pegasus Opera, Barrett found it unnecessary to bring in an outside consultant. Instead, the implementation team took advantage of the thorough support materials on MRPeasy’s website.
“We used the standard implementation guide and the video tutorials,” Barrett confirms. “Together with the initial call with the MRPeasy’s Customer Success representative, the materials were very helpful”.
Backward scheduling drove the upgrade of the package
Starting with the mid-level Professional package offered by MRPeasy, Connetika has now upgraded to the Enterprise version of the software, driven by the growing needs of a growing business.
“We are now using almost all of the MRPeasy features and we are really pushing it to establish all of its capabilities,” Technical Director Stephen Elliott explains. “The trigger for moving from the professional package to enterprise was backward scheduling. It’s a really good feature for manufacturing just-in-time and being as lean as possible. The system’s production scheduling capability is great – this is something you cannot find even with much more expensive products like SAP Business One.”
One of Elliott’s favourite things about MRPeasy, however, is that the software allows for adding custom text everywhere.
“The problem with solutions like Pegasus Opera or SAP is that if you want to customise anything, you’ll need a consultant or someone in-house that can write code,” he says. “Out of the box, MRPeasy provides custom fields, a PDF label editor and reports that can be customised even by the non-IT professional.”
Software makes the company flexible and responsive
“MRPeasy shows us when we are in trouble,” Elliott says. “When parts don’t come in and suppliers don’t deliver, we can react quickly and move our production schedule. And we have to do it multiple times a day because that’s how many times we get updates on when materials are coming in. The drag and drop features are also a great help in this.”
The impact of the new system has already been felt by Connetika’s customers, as well, who have commended the company for their proactiveness when it comes to keeping them updated about order statuses.
“That is how we have wanted to set ourselves apart from the competition – by being proactive, not reactive, when it comes to customer relations,” Elliott adds. “We never want a customer to phone us and say that something that was due yesterday did not arrive. MRPeasy gives us the power to avoid that.”
Read the full story on MRPeasy’s blog.