Case Study | Maskell Productions
(supplier of a wide range of corrosion-resistant fibreglass (FRP) pipe and process equipment)
CHALLENGE Manufacture of a broader range of products for different industries required a more sophisticated level of materials planning and job costing. To accommodate growth and new product demands, Maskell Productions needed to implement a new system.
SOLUTION Greentree Financials, BOM, Job Costing and Payroll
RESULTS Maskell Productions has improved the efficiency of the BOM & JC processes without the need for costly bespoke development. They now have high visibility of data with the expected improvements in reporting and decision-making. The business expects Greentree to accommodate business growth well into the future.
Maskell Productions engineers and fabricates below and above-ground storage tanks for several industrial and commercial applications, and thus has a significant materials and job costing component to every job it undertakes. Thirty-five years ago, Maskell pioneered the innovative development of fibreglass for the containment, handling and treatment of corrosive chemicals and gases. This effectively extended the useful life of the old steel storage tank from 12 years to 30 years for fibreglass, which on the face of it seems counter-productive, but in fact this has enabled Maskell to find broader application for its products across a wider range of related industries. This has driven the need for more sophisticated job costing requirements.
Bryan Wentworth, Accountant at Maskell Productions, found plenty of salespeople happy to develop Bill of Materials and Job Costing modules that met Maskell’s specific requirements, but he says
“But they all wanted an outrageous amount of money to develop from scratch,” says Bryan. “Greentree’s Bill of Materials and Job Cost modules were standard, requiring little tweaking with an attractive value for money price tag.”
With more than 60 components all made-to-order, the Bill of Materials (BOM) is the ‘pulse’ of the manufacturing process. Its accuracy has flow-on implications for follow-on processes, particularly Job Costing, Billing and Forecasting, and ultimately impacts upon the bottom line.
Job Costing was largely a manual process, so Bryan was particularly interested to see how BOM and Job Costing were handled by Greentree, and he says the dynamic integration of Greentree automates a fair chunk of these dependent processes. The freeflow of information through and around the entire system has enabled much greater visibility of costs as they happen, which has improved the quality of information being captured, analysed and reported, and ultimately improves the decision-making process.
The amount of work involved in a new system implementation is a key concern for any small to medium sized enterprise, and Bryan says they were meticulous about checking references and basically doing their homework before making the final decision. Having experienced the new systems implementation ‘journey’ a number of times, Bryan says that at the end of the day, Maskell had to answer the question “who were these people and what risk might we be exposing the business to should we decide to implement Greentree?”. Like any other manufacturing business wholly dependent on job costing and ensuring the right materials are available to complete a job, downtime is simply not an option.
Bryan says the changeover was hardly noticed by customers, and staff found Greentree very easy to learn with its familiar Windows environment. The transfer of data from the old system to the new was done over a period of planned time, with constant comparisons of data to ensure that everything that used to happen in the old system was running smoothly and exactly as expected in Greentree.