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PSL DataTrack - Demand for global business administration flexibility

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PSL DataTrack
: 28 May, 2009  (Company News)
Demand Technology is a unique customer for PSL DataTrack, the business administration and production management software specialist.
With its head office in the UK, manufacturing plants in China and customers throughout the world, Demand Technology is a truly global operation. The company keeps no stock of any of the wide range of customised products that it manufactures as they are sold ex-works from Hong Kong. To help manage this thriving business and to co-ordinate successfully all the administration associated with its purchasing, production and sales processes, Demand Technology relies extensively upon the DataTrack system that offers the capability of providing almost complete supply chain control.

Demand Technology supplies plastic mouldings, die castings and precision metal pressings for RFI and EMI shielding applications within the worldwide communications, mobile phone and computer products markets. The company also designs and manufactures products for niche areas such as medical devices including the disability market. Manufacturing is carried out in factories in China and products are despatched directly to customers, normally via shipping agents in Hong Kong. The UK head office in Fleet, where the DataTrack system is installed, is responsible for design, development, prototyping, manufacturing logistics and supply including purchasing and invoicing.

The company was formed in the late1980s, with the founders pooling their respective expertise in jig & tool making with mobile phone technology in an overseas outsource environment. Co-founder Barry Kirkpatrick already had experience of using DataTrack software in a sub-contract engineering environment and recognised its potential to be used in the new global business.

“I could see the way in which the features and benefits of DataTrack that were applied at my previous company, Walton Jig & Tool, could be successfully applied to this new business situation,” says Barry.

Demand Technology’ basic requirement was for a business administration system that would bring control to the whole manufacturing and supply process. The company’s engineers work with customers to design product solutions that can be manufactured effectively and at a competitive cost. The company can also take customers’ designs and make recommendations on improved methods of manufacturing. Then, prototypes can be created or the project can be taken straight to tooling before first off sample manufacturing and then volume production. Demand Technology insists that all their moulders and press metal suppliers have the capability to produce their own tooling in house.

From the outset, these processes needed to be managed carefully and initial investment was made in PSL DataTrack’s sales order processing module which included works order, delivery and invoicing capabilities giving Demand Technology fully documented control over these aspects of their business. Initially orders placed on the Chinese factories to manufacture customers’ orders were controlled manually but this loop was closed by investment in the DataTrack purchase order and materials stocks modules.

DataTrack has now fulfilled Demand Technology’s requirement of complete control from initial enquiry to final delivery with complete traceability of each product sold along the supply chain. “PSL DataTrack has given us exactly what we required and offered the flexibility to be expanded as new customers/suppliers have been added and more functionality has been needed. It has also enabled us to implement changes to our invoicing methods efficiently - such as when we introduced multi-currency invoicing including the US dollar and the Euro,” says Barry Kirkpatrick.

When using the sales order processing module, DataTrack provides cross referencing between purchase orders on the factories and final invoices to customers. Invoices from the factories are checked as part of a purchase order reconciliation process so there is no risk of duplicate invoicing going unnoticed. The receipt of invoices from the factories triggers the generation of an invoice that goes directly to the end customer by email and is also included with the shipped goods.

DateTrack provides Demand Technology with easy generation of purchase orders and highlights when a purchase order has satisfied a works order. All purchase orders are both traceable and searchable and can also log any modifications to works orders as customers frequently make changes to scheduled weekly orders.

PSL has been able to configure DataTrack to serve this unique customer, offering continuity of use and familiarity for them during changes and development of their

business including, for example, changes to invoicing currencies.
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