Manual Job Management Cannot Support Growth
Since 1988, U.S. company, C.A. Tooling Inc. has grown its turnover from $160,000 to $5 million, and is still growing. It specializes in foundry tooling and general machining and is set to expand its 12,000 sq ft Lynchburg, Virginia facility by a further 8,000 sq ft in the near future.
The rapid rize in business made its manual management methods too slow to keep up with the demands of its customers. Keith Kessler, Machine Shop Manager, says, “We needed to streamline our quote preparation to allow us to respond quickly and accurately to the increasing number of inquiries, as well as managing the growth in our production levels. We evaluated several systems, and chose MyWORKPLAN job management system from Sescoi. We already use Sescoi’s WORKNC CAD/CAM software, and have been very pleased with its quality, and the levels of support we receive. This gave us the confidence to invest.”
"Without MyWORKPLAN we would have been unable to continue to expand. The software has greatly reduced our administrative load, automatically generating purchase orders and producing quotations in a fraction of the time"Keith Kessler, Machine Shop Manager
Software tailored to job shops
MyWORKPLAN has been developed for custom manufacturers, so it is ideal for the way in which C.A. Tooling operates when it manufactures tooling for manifolds for Detroit Diesel, differential cases for the F150 truck, or brake callipers for General Motors.
Starting from the CAD model, C.A. Tooling is able to analyze the design in MyWORKPLAN to check for potential problem areas and then allocate machining times, using the shop rate for each process. Keith Kessler adds, “With MyWORKPLAN we can interrogate old quotes and similar jobs, this way the new quotation is immediately half finished. Once the software has been set up with our rates we can be sure that we won’t miss any items or processes.”
All aspects of each project are kept together in MyWORKPLAN, so purchase orders are automatically generated and jobs and subcontract processes are tracked to ensure the delivery schedule is adhered to. Keith Kessler says, “We have a customer and supplier database within the software, which makes it easy for us to keep up with our customers. We can, for example, query all plating jobs irrespective of customer, which gives us a better understanding of costs and manufacturing times. We can also keep track of supplier pricing and delivery times, thanks to the early warnings provided by MyWORKPLAN.”
With five users, information about each project can be shared around the company, which gives extra transparency for all jobs. Potential problems can be quickly detected and solved before they impact on quality, cost or delivery. Additionally, MyWORKPLAN integrates with existing software such as Microsoft® Office, which allows C.A. Tooling to make use of existing data and maintain previous management techniques where appropriate. Keith Kessler says, “Sescoi has tailored MyWORKPLAN to suit the way we work. We can quickly find where parts were purchased and the individual costs of each job. The software is extremely easy to use, and the support we get over the Internet is extraordinary.”
Business growth and efficiency
Keith Kessler continues, “Without MyWORKPLAN we would have been unable to continue to expand. The software has greatly reduced our administrative load, automatically generating purchase orders and producing quotations in a fraction of the time. It is certainly a big change for the company and we can attribute a 10 to 15% increase in business directly to the installation of MyWORKPLAN.”
C.A. Tooling’s efficiency levels have definitely improved, thanks to the new software. Analysis of CAD data, the referencing of the operations and costs of old jobs, and improved management information reduce the chance of error and make it much easier to maintain profitability in its expanding business.
The company is justifiably proud of its quality standards, which include ISO 9001 2000, NQA-1 and 10CFR50 Appendix B. MyWORKPLAN helps it to maintain compliance. Keith Kessler says, “The easier administration and the sharing of data has helped us to reduce our overheads and gives us a better understanding of the status of each job. MyWORKPLAN has now become an integral part of our management process, a powerful tool for bringing in new business, and an essential part of our operation.”