Marshall Trailers’ digital transformation towards intelligent, agile manufacturing

Marshall Trailers’ digital transformation towards intelligent, agile manufacturing

With a turnover of approximately £8million, its customer base has grown and its product line has evolved and increased with a new, superior range, which is also easier to manufacture.

Automation Adoption

As Marshall Trailers continued to thrive, investments in robotic welding units and shop-floor technologies followed, but it also became increasingly obvious that the business needed to replace its creaking IT systems and move towards a 21st century business system capable of supporting its ambitious growth plans. An operational re-organisation, and adoption of an automated workflow encompassing the whole process from stock control and manufacturing through to customer engagement and accounts, was required – all whilst protecting Marshall’s hard-earned reputation for producing high quality products.

The Change 

Marshall Trailers knew that the resource planning process they aspired to was traditionally the preserve of much larger companies. However, the solution came in the form of ADIMA, a pre-packaged version of SAP created by Absoft SAP Consultancy, which is uniquely applicable to the SME sector.

Understanding that hundreds of companies across the UK face the same challenges as Marshall Trailers, Absoft took the baseline SAP solution, streamlining and pre-packaging it to form ADIMA (AD-vanced DI-screte MA-nufacturing), a pre-configured, single, fully integrated ERP solution specifically created to address the needs of SME manufacturing companies.

By working closely with UK SME manufacturers, Absoft built ADIMA ERP so these types of  businesses can unlock the power of a world class ERP affordably without making exceptions on functionality.

Cost & Process Efficiency

Since implementing ADIMA ERP, Marshall Trailers has streamlined its office-based operations considerably. This has been directly attributable to the paperless (and more environmentally sound) processes of ADIMA. This is a huge saving for a company of its size, with invoices now created in 30 seconds and quarterly management accounts created in an hour, rather than three days. ADIMA has also ensured administrative accuracy, with errors such as double payments now a thing of the past.

ADIMA has also allowed the company to manage stock levels of products and services produced by third parties, ensuring a seamless integration of those components into the wider production process, without delays or additional cost. Critically, the system has allowed 100% clarity on the accuracy of all deliveries. Where previously a small discrepancy between purchase order and units delivered may have been difficult to trace, now this can be achieved in seconds. Marshall believes that the savings accumulated in this way are set to save the company thousands.

Perhaps most crucially of all – and in the words of C. Marshall, “phenomenal” – is that ADIMA has facilitated clear and concise reporting for all clients, who can track the progress of their order and have proof that its delivery is on time. This level of customer service is rare within Marshall‘s particular sector (agriculture), serving to reinforce the professionality of the company and helping them maintain their client base. ADIMA has also given the company the confidence to offer a reliable spares ordering service via their website – an additional service which helps maintain the client base.

Cloud-based Operations 

By hosting ADIMA on the Cloud, Marshall’s sales staff now have the ability to provide clients with answers to almost any question related to an order – past, present or future – on the spot; a huge leap forward when “on the road”. ADIMA has been the catalyst for a move towards an entirely Cloud-based operation, with the associated cost savings that removal of on-site servers provides as a long-term benefit.

“From day one, Absoft has correctly anticipated any shift in requirements and understood exactly what we need – whether that‘s improved workshop floor operations or the data required to ensure we‘re maximising production. They provide a pragmatic approach to our requests and address any challenge with a positive, problem solving attitude.“

“For us, the adoption of ADIMA was both necessary and revolutionary. There are business activities that can only be done so well with paper and old IT systems. Marshall Trailers wants to grow – this is the route to ensure that happens.” Charles Marshall, Marshall Trailers MD

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