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5 minute read

Case Study: Industrial Switchgear achieves 20% savings following CRM & MRP investment

Industrial Switchgear, based outside Redditch, UK, design and manufacture electrical control panel equipment across a range of industries and sectors, with over 50 years experience in the sector. Its team of 20 people manufacture control panels for a variety of areas including, Retail, Health & Hospitals, Automotive, Heating & Ventilation, Climate Control and Schools & Colleges.

The business needed an integrated CRM & MRP system to improve efficiency and provide a platform for growth. Flowlens was the answer.

Industrial Switchgear needed an integrated CRM & MRP system to improve efficiency and provide a platform for growth / Picture: Flowlens


The Problem

Sales, Project, Inventory and customer management across the ‘engineer to order‘ process, plus data integrity and storage was a problem with information held in departmental silos and not accessible across the business.
Stock control/materials tracking was an issue particularly in relation to visibility of real-time inventory levels.
Visibility of stock that had been reserved for live projects wasn’t possible which led to issues in the delivery of projects.
Lack of consistency of project information was an issue as there was duplication across departments with information stored in excel spreadsheets of varying levels of detail and data integrity.
This resulted in the lack of a ‘one version of the truth’ that was required to not only make the best decisions for the business, but to have confidence that the decisions being made were based on factual information.
More intelligence around the required re-order levels for specific components was required in order to ensure that the company could deliver manufacturing projects more efficiently while also improving the customer experience.

The ideal solution

The company had a number of things that they were looking for from a manufacturing and CRM system and spent a lot of time looking at the market and the various options that were out there.
The system needed to be easy to use across a wide age and IT skill range.
The system needed to provide control and accuracy of sales, MRP, inventory and project data.
They were looking for an accessible solution that would not only add value to the business but would be adopted by everyone in the business who would be required to use it.
The system itself should help to build discipline into company processes and provide solid project and operational workflows that would improve business performance.
A relatively young company was attractive as a supplier of the system as they felt that this would help to bring new ideas and help them find the best way to solve their specific problems – rather than the easiest or quickest way.
A cloud-based software manufacturing software system was a preference for a number of reasons:
Ease of access for off-site/remote users
Data security and Reduced internal IT infrastructure (and the associated risks)

The company was looking for a business software system that would evolve as they evolved – there were no restrictions on how the system would develop in the years ahead.

The internal sell and dealing with opposition to change – the supplier needed a level of commercial awareness and empathy for internal processes.

Fear of non-adoption by the people in the business was a real thing to address – the company needed user-friendly cloud software that was sensitive to this and would help ensure its integration into day to day processes.

On average Industrial Switchgear team members are saving a day a week – 20% of their time that’s now put to better use / Picture: Flowlens


Industrial Switchgear managing director, Rob Poole, said: “As MD, Flowlens has given me more time to spend with customers. This means better relationships, faster responses to opportunities, and problems, and more repeat business. Having Flowlens as our central data hub for sales, stock and projects has meant we’ve avoided the need to hire another admin person, which is a saving of around £25k per year.

“On average team members are saving a day a week, that’s 20% of their time that’s now put to better use. Finally, Flowlens has demonstrably helped us serve our customers better, helping us spot potential component shortage problems early, so projects run more smoothly, saving them time and ensuring we get more repeat business. We’re a safe pair of hands.”

“We chose Flowlens because the implementation team were willing and keen to get involved in a conversation with us. Access to the Flowlens team was promised and delivered – and access to the product team, in particular, has directly impacted on the success of the project. They really understood our business and what we were trying to achieve. Knowing what stock is available in the company, customers are seeing the benefits because we are on top of stock, with MRP software ensuring that the right parts for the right job are available when the job needs them.”

Commercial director, David Lincoln-Lewis, added: “It went beyond the delivery of a cloud IT solution. We wanted to work with a company that would help our business to perform better now and in the future. That is what we’ve achieved since working with Flowlens. Communication throughout the project worked very well – there was a very good feedback loop and that gave us a lot of comfort that we would get to the right solution.”

“Speed of response has been impressive – we feel like Flowlens understand the commercial pressures we’re under and have been very quick to communicate progress and answer any questions that we have. When I come into the office I see the system open on people’s desks – so I know it’s being used and see discipline it has created. Information is now available at people’s finger tips, so we no longer waste time looking for things.

“With everything in one place in Flowlens, and the team working to an agreed process, its easier to pick up when people are off or away from the office. There’s less paper on peoples’ desks, and less time spent looking for information. No decision in any business is made in isolation, and we now have access to much better information – so we are more confident in the decisions we are making. We’re making better use of the people in the business by reducing the time it takes to gather data. We can now focus on what actions to take based on the accurate and reliable data that is in front of us at the touch of a button.”