M1 ERP proves vital to leading precision engineering business
Takumi Precision, based in Limerick, Ireland is now leveraging the benefits of using the M1 ERP system for manufacturers from ECi Software Solutions. Installed three years ago to control everything from purchasing to despatch and invoicing, M1 is now seen as so vital to the company’s progress and growth that Managing Director Gerry Reynolds says his company simply “wouldn’t be able to survive in industry without it.”
Providing Components for aerospace, Medical and Industrial Sectors
Takumi Precision has established itself as a prominent component manufacturing partner for the aerospace, medical and industrial sectors with the ability to develop products from concept, through prototyping, and into full production. The company carries ISO9001, ISO13458 and ISO14001 accreditations, as well as AS-9100 Rev C. Takumi is also a member of ADS.
“After graduation I spent six years working in the machine shop at a multi-national company in Japan,” says Mr Reynolds. “I then transferred to become manager of the company’s machine shop in Dublin, after which I decided to set out on my own and form Takumi, which is the Japanese word for craftsman or artisan.”
That was in 1998, and at first the company used a simple accounting and payroll software before migrating to a slightly more comprehensive suite that included procurement and receiving. However, around three years ago, the company decided that manual processes such as assigning material traceability to job numbers was unnecessarily labour intensive and, as a result, scrutinised the marketplace for a suitable ERP system dedicated to manufacturers.
“I had a good feeling about M1 – unlike some of the other companies we invited to come in, ECi had the answer to anything we threw at them on the day of the presentation,” says Mr Reynolds. “The system appeared very flexible and ECi had good local support, so we made the decision to invest. Within two weeks of commencing the installation and commissioning process, we were up and running. Our staff could see immediately how much better and easier things were going to be using M1, so that helped break down any resistance to change you sometimes encounter with this type of investment.”
Takumi’s strategy has paid off as M1 has helped support the company during its current phase of high growth, which has come about largely as a result of getting on a number of key aerospace programmes. The company is on course for 30% growth in 2016, with a further 30% projected for next year. Takumi now employs 60 people and turns over €5.5 million.
M1 Software streamlines and grows business
Whether for a job shop, custom or mixed-mode manufacturer, or make-to-order manufacturer, M1 software can help streamline and grow business.
Automation and integration of every company process from quoting through to fulfillment and invoicing reduces turn-around times and increases efficiency and customer satisfaction. M1 delivers all of that and is flexible enough to handle unique business processes with ease.
Among the many essential functions of M1 are maintaining contact details for customers and suppliers, managing job costings, and controlling inventory of raw materials, finished goods and sub-assemblies. M1 can also analyse pre- and post-sales activities and help ensure quality.
The business process at Takumi is typical of many subcontract manufacturing companies. Quotation and sales order is followed by the procurement and assignment of materials, and subsequent manufacture, inspection, despatch and invoicing – all of which is controlled by M1.
“M1 represents a natural mapping of our process flow,” confirms Mr Reynolds. “We can customise the software to reflect how we do business, not the other way round. This is definitely a major USP of M1. Three years on and we are still improving; still getting new reports and making new demands, such as different work paths and metrics, which is normal for an evolving business such as ours. However, M1 is flexible enough to cope.”
Indeed, Takumi has introduced a number of new capabilities since it first installed M1, including in-house traceability of documents, hyperlinking and (most recently) the synching of M1 to customer ERP systems.
“When we arrive in the morning and see new orders waiting for us in the cloud, we now have a ‘handshake’ window in M1 that takes out any manual data entry requirements,” explains Mr Reynolds. “We’ve also created similar functionality for our material treatment houses. M1 is structured in such a way to encourage changes such as these.”
Mr Reynolds says that M1 has changed Takumi’s working culture and that the banishment of flip charts and pencils has “saved so much time”. Indeed, the company says it is using most of M1’s extensive list of add-on modules, including those for sales management, shop floor data collection, product and supply chain management, and customer relationship management.
“It is difficult to quantify the exact savings afforded by M1, but I’m 100% certain that we wouldn’t be surviving in industry without it,” concludes Mr Reynolds. “Thinking about it, without M1, I would probably need another two or three people in production control, and the annual salaries associated with those people. Furthermore, I don’t think we’d get through many audits. Since installing M1, we’ve never had a single uncomfortable moment in an audit.”