Over time the Addlestone-based company has grown into a highly respected precision engineering subcontractor. Linear Precision operates out of what was originally a WWII parachute factory and offers its services to a range of customers within industries as diverse as aerospace, defence, packaging, safety, printing and photographic equipment.
With one landmark anniversary out of the way, April 2020 marks 20 years since the company first invested in PSL Datatrack production control software.
“It is one of the best investments we ever made,” comments Andy Allan. “We have added to the original modules as our business requirements changed plus we get all the upgrades and great support from the company.”
Amongst Linear Precision's business objectives is to ensure a reliable service from quotation to invoice, maintaining an all-round high standard of customer service. It was harder to achieve that 20 years ago when the administration associated with the growing business was undertaken manually and started to become unmanageable.
The business partners' wives were assisting by typing invoices; manually filled-in route cards were created for parts production processes and orders and confirmations had to be faxed to suppliers and customers.
The company even developed its own Access customer database to assist in managing the business. It was functional when it came to checking historic customer information but not so when planning the next day's run through the workshop in a way that would keep delivery schedules on time and fulfil promises to customers.
“I knew there were systems out there to help us but it was PSL Datatrack who came up with the solution that really met our needs. We started with the sales modules and since then have added other modules as we needed them – Purchase Orders, Goods Received and Component Stocks have been added over the years,” says Mr Allan.
Linear Precision is ISO 9001:2015 accredited which reflects the company's commitment to quality and continuous improvement. There is a fully calibrated inspection system and the company is involved in the manufacture of precision components for global use.
“PSL Datatrack is essential to maintaining our accreditation, providing auditors with all the information they need instantly,” Mr Allan explains. “Our customers require traceability within our production processes and the software provides a full traceable history of all the parts we produce.”
Indeed, the facility to trace any information about a specific part, customer or order on a daily basis is a major benefit. Within PSL Datatrack, Mr Allan can click on a works order and immediately identify purchase orders, delivery notes and other requested information relating to that job, saving time as well as providing essential management information.
“Whenever we have an ISO audit or a company comes to vendor rate us they are always impressed with PSL Datatrack’s ease of use and logic of traceability throughout the system,” Mr Allan comments.
PSL Datatrack has also responded to specific requests from Linear Precision for customised reports which are designed to ensure that the company is achieving its Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). When a user has a specific question regarding the system, PSL’s support team is only a phone call or email away.
As one of PSL's longest serving customers, Linear Precision fully understands the benefits of working with a provider that specialises in the subcontract engineering industry and has a high level of confidence in the software's capabilities.
This is so much the case that over the years Mr Allan has recommended the software to other companies on the same industrial estate, including AC Engineering (Byfleet) and Cresdrive Engineering which have in turn also become established users of the system.
“Linear Precision is very much into long-term thinking and planning,” Mr Allan says. “We have acquired a number of state-of-the-art CNC milling and turning machines which are at the heart of our engineering business, yet we still run a Herbert Number 1 capstan lathe which is ideal for batches up to around 100 off.
“It's the same with PSL Datatrack – the original modules still do a great job and we will continue to adapt and develop with them as the need arises,” he concludes.
PSL Datatrack www.psldatatrack.com
Linear Precision Engineers www.linearprecision.co.uk