SYSPRO opens the window on real time information for Tyneside Safety Glass
Tyneside Safety Glass Company is realising huge benefits from its phased implementation of SYSPRO from K3 Syspro (K3). The leading UK independently-owned safety glass manufacturer has made a significant leap forward in efficiencies and productivity right across its three production sites thanks to a combination of SYSPRO ERP, a £5 million investment in new machinery, lean manufacturing techniques and Kaizen management improvements.
Maintaining a lead in a globalised market with stiff competition from the Far East is not easy, regardless of which sector you operate in. The pinch from low-cost economies is even being felt in specialist markets. Gateshead based Tyneside Safety Glass Company is a case in point.
Tyneside Safety Glass is one of Europe’s leading manufacturers of glass products for the agricultural, industrial, automotive and security industries and is the largest independent company of its type in the UK. The company manufactures a comprehensive range of safety glass products including toughened, laminated, anti-bandit and bullet resistant glass. Tyneside Safety Glass has led the specialist glass market for over 50 years. Today the company boasts three factories in the north east of England, a turnover of £13 million, 220 employees, 150 customers and an expanding business.
JCB, Caterpillar and Case New Holland are the company’s major clients. These world class agricultural machinery manufacturers draw on Tyneside Safety Glass’s expertise for vehicle cab glazing. Other notable customers include specialist bus manufacturer Wrightbus in Ireland and car manufacturers such as Morgan and Caterham, as well as various banks, post office and government agencies.
To maintain its leading edge position the forward thinking company recognised the need to gain greater visibility of its operations and integrate all of its processes, ranging from production through to accounts. This would enable the management team to gain full access to real time information that is so critical to its business. The company’s existing business systems could not answer this need and at best managed its sales order processing. Furthermore the legacy system did not offer any scope for improvement and so the company investigated the ERP market settling on SYSPRO from K3.
Clearing the information log
K3’s team analysed Tyneside Safety Glass’ needs, which included better management visibility of what it makes and how it makes it, and prescribed a phased approach to implementing a fully integrated SYSPRO ERP solution. SYSPRO went live in August 2006 and in just over a year the system, in conjunction with the implementation of lean manufacturing techniques, has made a huge difference; a 25 per cent reduction in stock holding being just one benefit that is saving the company money.
SYSPRO ERP is used across all three Tyneside Safety Glass production facilities. Each site is linked using a virtual private network (VPN). Using the VPN enables real time data communications and so the management team can access accurate information whenever required.
So far the company has implemented Bill of Materials, Inventory, Work in Progress, Purchasing, Sales Order, Financial and Payroll modules. These are providing better and easily accessible management information collected from diverse departments throughout the business. The current phase is the implementation of Shopfloor Data Capture. This module utilises barcode scanning to allow full traceability of products right back to raw materials. This level of traceability comes into its own should there be need to investigate a failure of a product in the field. One benefit of this is the ability to know exactly what materials were used to manufacture each product. This would have been extremely difficult to do prior to installing SYSPRO.
“By using Shopfloor Data Capture we will get a clear view of operations across the three manufacturing sites. For the first time we shall be able to drill right down into our data to give us much greater insight into what goes on in each factory. This will allow us to improve our shopfloor operations significantly. A great benefit of this will be the ability to identify jobs that suffer from the highest reject levels, which will allow us to amend our procedures and reduce faults,” says Jon Heeley, Project Manager at Tyneside Safety Glass.
Mike Matson, the company’s Finance Director, has additional objectives. He points to the much greater level of stock control that SYSPRO brings to the organisation. He comments: “We have reduced our stock levels by over 25 percent and we have less Work in Progress.”
These improvements, however, are only scratching the surface of what Tyneside Safety Glass is achieving.
“We have boosted efficiency levels across the board. The system delivers visibility between Sales Orders and manufacturing and allows us to analyse costs comprehensively. This would not be possible without the real time management information that SYSPRO delivers,” says Mike Matson.
The additional benefit of this level of management information and the increases in efficiency and productivity is allowing Tyneside Safety Glass to expand its business using the existing workforce.
No more paper mountain
Tyneside Safety Glass is also benefiting from much slicker information management. No longer does the management team have to struggle with duplicated data sources – many of which were paper records. The system completely integrates each operation.
Mike Matson states: “I now have accurate real time management information relating to all aspects of the business. The ODBC linking enables reporting across all the modules allowing me to link to anything I need to see. This visibility is critical to us and with it we gain a lot such as full product costing and the ability to analyse margins for every single thing we make from low- to high-volume. It even helps with very specialised products.”
“Real time information helps us to identify exactly where we can make savings. We can also compare performance levels for each site and investigate differences,” adds Jon Heeley.
Both Mike Matson and Jon Heeley speak highly of K3’s input. Jon Heeley comments: “K3 helps us every inch of the way. The team monitors our progress, guides us through the implementation – encouraging us to make more effort when necessary.”
“With the initial start-up we suffered very little disruption to our business. We did have to put some effort into writing our Bills of Materials, but K3 was there to help. That remains true today as we move forward with implementing further modules.”
Mike Matson takes up the argument: “K3 demonstrated a good understanding of our industry and how SYSPRO would fit our business. The K3 team listened to our requirements and formulated the project plan to allow us to implement the system in phases. The benefit of this is obvious; we were able to get on with business and migrate to the system incrementally and this has certainly suited our needs.”
He added: “Our business has progressed significantly since start-up with SYSPRO. We have seen the integration of the whole business across our three production sites, gained visibility of real time management information, and have achieved significant efficiency and control improvements thanks to SYSPRO,” concludes Mike Matson.
The future looks very positive for Tyneside Safety Glass and SYSPRO will play an important role in underpinning the company’s progress. Further implementation plans include automating Purchase Order generation for stock items, Engineering Control for tighter management of product development and MRP to enable the company to get a further firm grip of planning. Tyneside Safety Glass will also implement SYSPRO’s EDI module so that the company can communicate electronically with its major customers and suppliers.