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Preactor Captures Higher Vendor Rating
January 2001

Williams & CoWilliams & Co., a company based in Southampton, UK produce aerospace and nuclear components for companies such as Vickers, GKN Westland Helicopters, Boeing and the French Helicopter company, Aero Speciale.

As the customers of Williams aim to increase their world class positions it follows that they demand more from their suppliers.  Four day delivery windows are an industry standard (plus or minus 4 days) and suppliers of components are given a ‘vendor rating’ which reflects their competitiveness in terms of quality, price and ability to meet deadlines.

The company decided to look for a computerised system to enable them to meet the increasingly tight deadlines and thus secure the highest rating possible.

The search for suitable scheduling software led them through many production magazines and Williams & Co were worried that expensive bespoke software was the only solution.  Fortunately they came across the CES Preactor system which offered scheduling without any unnecessary invoicing or planning ‘add ons’.   The only alternative to Preactor was a European system, which did not have back up or the required after sales care required for peace of mind.

Manufacturing has polarised into two types of production: continuous process and discrete parts. First time users of computerised systems are unlikely to find, or be able to afford bespoke software to meet their particular production control needs.  A more timely and cost effective solution is to select a computerised system which can be configured to offer the closest fit and widest range of benefits to their current production.

Computerised Engineering Services (CES), a Preactor Value Added Reseller, offers a unique solution for discrete parts production both in terms of manufacture for stock and make to order is offered using three packages, Estim, Emtrac and Preactor. Established in 1976, CES has introduced new ‘information technology’ to engineering companies for more than two decades. 

From a UK base CES has completed over 600 installations for companies from as far afield as Scandinavia and Thailand.  CES specialise in estimating and process planning, scheduling, time and attendance along with job costing software, CAD CAM shape nesting, beam drilling for structural steel.  To CES the task of training the first-time user to adopt more efficient and productive methods through computerisation is paramount.

Estim is designed for use from initial enquiry to despatch, dramatically reducing estimation time and guaranteeing accurate, consistent and achievable work schedules thus contributing to overall profit.

Emtrac is a complete data capture and time recording system that measures elapsed time recorded from clocking on-shift and off-shift.  Preactor can be described as an electronic planning board – but unlike a wall planner the package calculates the most effective way to deploy manufacturing resources.  Given a process plan for a series of resources with cycle time, quantity and delivery date, the software will work back from due date and find the best fit for the work load, identifying bottle necks and late deliveries, effectively waving ‘red flags’ if problems occur.

Preactor was installed in two days and disruption was kept to a minimum.  Preactor suited the scheduling needs of Williams and gave a holistic picture of production, facilitating easy prioritisation to meet urgent orders.

“We find that we get from Preactor what we put in,” said John Ball, Managing Director, “keeping the information up to date means the system serves us better”.

For this reason Williams are now looking to develop their systems further by introducing Emtrac. 

This will enable them to monitor staff times on the shop floor and accumulate actual time and costs of manufacturing.  Changing the shop floor documentation design will save operators the time of keying in the parts and operator identification.