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Dale Power Solutions - EFACS E/8 enables 40% revenue growth in just 3 years
Is bespoke or off-the-shelf better? Thanks to Exel's EFACS E/8, the best of both worlds is available. Following a business process review, Dale Power Solutions has found EFACS has improved its management reporting, enabled business process automation and supported strong business growth.
Founded in 1935, Dale Power Solutions is a leading provider of secure power solutions for situations requiring uninterrupted power. The company manufactures generators and UPS systems as well as providing maintenance services. Based in Scarborough, Dale Power Solutions employs around 300 people.
The company used to rely on multiple applications for its manufacturing and field service divisions. The software had limited functionality, so EFACS E/8 was selected and implemented in early 2014 as a single solution to cover both areas of the business, with 100 back office users and 75 remote engineer users.
When IT and Communications Manager Az Yasin joined the company in late 2014, he recognised that the system hadn't yet achieved its full potential.
"EFACS E/8 had been deployed with all the modules," says Az. "It was an off-the-shelf package along with one or two customisations."
While the manufacturing side of the system worked well, the initial deployment of the field service element had been to a basic level, without a great deal of tailoring. The company's plan for 2015 was to rely on the flexibility of the solution in order to increase service operations from 30% to 50% of its turnover.
"The key problem for us was that we were trying to grow our services. There were processes that needed to be fixed through EFACS E/8."
Although the original implementation had delivered improvements, with some business processes changed to fit. Not everything had been automated, including service engineer scheduling, and some spreadsheets remained in use. The reason? Insufficient business process mapping to identify the data required.
A project team was formed in 2015 to improve the use of EFACS E/8 for increased business efficiency.
"We decided to do a gap analysis of the whole organisation," says Az. "We identified the key issues and listed about 100."
This list was divided into areas that could be fixed in-house and those that depended upon Exel's consultancy services. The idea was to streamline data and process flow.
"The key was giving end users improvements to meet their needs."
An improvement programme began with an Exel consultant spending 10 days on-site. As refresher training for the project team, the consultant also demonstrated the field service capability and then advised on the changes. These covered everything from quotation and contract management, through to service delivery and documentation.
"Exel know their product very well. They were able to guide us through."
Supported by temporary contractors and Exel's consultancy services, the project team set to work. New reports were written in-house making use of new custom fields for business data.
There were improvements for service, engineering projects, manufacturing amendments and the supply chain. The strength of the Customisation Toolkit provided a useful way to enhance standard functionality.
One task was a set of electronic forms for service engineers to record details, such as defects found. Used on mobile phones, this enabled data to be captured, processed and uploaded into EFACS E/8. Other highlights included new buttons to 'push' service data into other areas, such as new quotations.
Exel also delivered some of the required changes in a new software release.
"Exel performed well in making the changes. We managed to quickly achieve about 75% of what we set out to do."
The company has seen a £10 million growth in turnover in three years to £35 million. Greater automation, backed by improved business reporting, has supported that 40% increase. For example, higher efficiencies in purchasing have benefitted manufacturing and service operations, including vehicle stock replenishment.
"EFACS E/8 has enabled us to grow quite rapidly," says Az. "The service division is using the system more thoroughly than ever."
Service engineers have new Samsung mobile phones. These run the field service application and support completion of the electronic forms. Mobile usage is now better and quicker than before.
The inherent integration within EFACS E/8 allows the separate business divisions to feel joined up. There is now commonality between the business divisions, as it offers easy access to, and use of, shared information.
"We are looking to be clever with the Customisation Toolkit on some key processes in order to improve them further," says Az. "EFACS E/8 is very customisable and I think that is one of its biggest strengths for Dale Power."