The opportunity to do so came when Darrell, together with Simon’s predecessor as IT Manager, were invited to a barbecue at Exel’s headquarters in Nottingham, where a series of short presentations and demonstrations would showcase the latest version of EFACS.
“The invitation showed an image of the new touchscreen-based shopfloor data capture system,” Darrell recalls. “I thought: ‘We have to find out more about that’, so we went.
“It was fascinating, and I could quickly see half a dozen major areas of new functionality that were very, very attractive – as well as lots of minor enhancements that would also be advantageous.”
The productivity benefits of touchscreen-based shopfloor data capture were obvious. Equally, the same Android-powered mobile tablets could also be used for paperless picking for Works Orders, he relates, meaning that operatives could dispense with trips to the office to pick up batches of Works Orders.
“In effect, we could send production jobs direct to workstations on the production line, eliminating the need to print reams of paper,” enthuses Simon.
Likewise, the improvements that had been made to EFACS’ inbuilt CRM were also attractive, adds Darrell.
“Our experience had been that the CRM capability in our present version wasn’t especially easy to use – whereas in the latest version, it seemed to offer users a better, cleaner, more consistent process that we thought users would find attractive,” he sums up. Better still, the product was now a truly mobile CRM, running on Android devices such as tablets and phones.
And finally, EFACS’ inbuilt integration with Microsoft Power BI offered ASD a much better dashboard reporting capability than that which it currently possessed, which relied on Microsoft Access, which some users struggled to master.
Power BI, says Darrell, “is extremely impressive – and now it’s built into EFACS.” Even better, he adds, “Power BI is accessible via both the desktop and mobile applications, providing unprecedented insight into operations”.
In short, he sums up, the case for EFACS E/8 was fairly compelling. The decision was duly made, and ASD went live with the new system on March 16th, 2020