Using state of the art CAD, CAM and CNC manufacturing technology, Currock Engineering offer specialist precision engineering solutions to the Aerospace, Defence, Power Generation and Small-arms industries.
With over 75 skilled staff operating from their facility in Essex, Currock has crafted an excellent reputation for quality and service throughout the industry. The company is proud of its laser-like focus on customer care and many awards have been achieved for quality excellence.
Access to efficiencies
As a business committed to quality, Currock continually assess operations within the business to check for inefficiencies. As a result, two years ago, business systems were highlighted as being an area ripe for development.
David Savage, Production Controller at Currock Engineering, explains: “Since the late 90s we had been running on an old Microsoft Access database with a little bit of customised code.
“Production control using Access was OK, but it didn’t give us much information. It was difficult to look any further at efficiency gains without better business intelligence to guide our decision making.”
As a high performing Engineering business, Currock then looked to an ERP system investment to serve as the cornerstone of the business’ next phase of growth. After considering the full market of providers, Currock settled on Epicor and purchased the licenses they needed.
The famous fives
After an extended standstill period, David was called in to become part of a new team of 5 tasked with testing and implementing the new sitewide system.
David comments: “Epicor was purchased before I started in the business. It was a good while from buying licenses until we actually got round to implementing the system.”
In addition to building the right internal team for the job, Currock wanted to bring in a proven partner who had a demonstrable track record in Epicor deployments to make sure that the implementation happened with the minimum amount of risk possible.
The scope was to get Currock live on Epicor 10 across the board – from CRM to production management. A number of customisations were needed to flex the system to Currock’s business processes and formal project management was sought to make sure the project was completed on task and to budget. After assessing the market, Currock confidently appointed Clear Business Outcome as their partner of choice to deliver the project’s objectives.
This enabled the internal team at Currock to get to grips with their new investment while receiving support every step of the way.
Dave explains “Our starting point was to find out exactly what Epicor could do. A lot of this meant playing around with the system, safely, experimenting through trial and error. Clear Business Outcome were then able to take a look at what we were doing and provide guidance and feedback. This experiential way of learning allowed me to get up to speed pretty quickly. They were extremely helpful throughout the whole process.”
After a 6-9 month process of rigorously testing out the customisations as part of closed system testing, followed by a data import from the legacy Microsoft Access database, Currock went live with Epicor 10.
The avenue to adoption
Currock decided to go down the ‘train-the-trainer’ method of equipping people to use the new system. Intensive time was spent with a handful of employees within the business, who then distilled the knowledge in the most appropriate way to their departmental colleagues.
This enabled a controlled deployment, which eventually encompassed all 75 users of the system across the factory.
Period of adjustment
As is typical of any business system deployment, Currock experienced a small number of initial teething problems with the system.
David expands: “We did have some issues on the accounting side where the system wasn’t behaving exactly how we thought it would. Fortunately we had 14 office staff as the first part of the deployment ramp, so Clear Business Outcome were able to address the issues pretty quickly and without impact on the wider business. Once they were ironed out, we moved to deploy to the rest of the team on the shop-floor.”
It wasn’t just on the system side of things that the business was readjusting to its new system.
David continues: “We had to work with staff to reinforce the benefits of the system. Some individuals on the shop floor were readjusting to the additional level of monitoring as part of the production process. Also, while the business was comfortable it would finally get the granular insight it needed into many areas of the business, to get great insight out you have to put great data in. And it took some of the team a while to become accustomed to putting the right data into the system in the first place when they had been used to not having to do it previously using Microsoft Access.”
Bringing in benefits
After working tirelessly for months on the deployment, Currock were delighted to see business upside soon after pushing the button on go live.
David explains: “It was amazing to finally get more control over the production process. For the first time we also had fine detail on what was going on with a particular job. Historically, once a job had made its way onto the shop floor you had no real knowledge about how long was being spent on it and whether it was running efficiently.
“With Epicor we got complete control over our resources and brought all of them within a single unified system that powered our entire operations from initial quote through to shipment.”
What comes next?
Now the system is delivering value for the business, Currock are able to look at what comes next.
With ongoing work to ensure jobs and parts are working in the optimum way, David is excited about the future: “We know we are just scratching the surface of what Epicor can do.
“There were a lot of areas where, because we had never had a system like it before, didn’t know exactly how we wanted it to work. Now we’re able to work on that finer detail and get it to where we want it to be.”
The business is also looking to incorporate Epicor into the clocking in and clocking out process, adding further insight into the available resources against a particular job and feeding into wider HR processes within the business.
Why Clear Business Outcome?
Since deployment, David has continued to work with Clear Business Outcome in a number of capacities.
He concludes: “Clear Business Outcome has a very distinctive way of doing things. Because of their intrinsic involvement in the deployment of all our customisations, and having been on the whole journey with us, they know our business extremely well.
“Clear Business Outcome are my go-to choice for Epicor support.”