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A sub-contracting specialist successfully implements Exel Computer Systems' EFACS E/8 ERP system, while also responding to the COVID-19 pandemic

CBE+, a specialist sub-contractor operating from modern, purpose-built facilities in Chesterfield, specialise in CNC machining, Electroless Nickel Plating, Gears and Laboratory services. The group was formed by Cooper Brown Enterprises who invested in four separate businesses to bring integrated supply chains to global markets including the aerospace and oil & gas sectors.

Part of the continual investment plan at CBE+ involved the implementation of a modern, comprehensive ERP solution that would meet the needs of all divisions within the group – as well as to unite them.

The solution of choice? EFACS E/8 from Nottingham-based system author and provider, Exel Computer Systems plc.

There was, however, one specific challenge to overcome in order to effectively implement their solution of choice - the COVID19 pandemic – or more accurately, the lockdown in place due to this global crisis.

Implementation was put at risk by the sudden work and travel restrictions imposed, understandably, by the government, with project team members self-isolating or unable to attend meetings in person.

In addition, and to the credit of CBE+, they experienced a particularly busy time due to their involvement with the VentilatorChallengeUK consortium, whereby tens of thousands of parts had to be manufactured within very tight deadlines to support the NHS.

Nevertheless, the team at CBE+ allocated extra days and weekends to continue their work of transferring data, testing functions and making sure the system was ready to go live. The postponement of the ‘go live’ date was minimised, which CBE+ sees as a great achievement considering the challenges the project team faced.

The system successfully went live on 1 June – despite the rather unique setbacks.

Working alongside CBE+ during the implementation was the system author, Exel Computer Systems plc. Exel’s EFACS E/8 offered everything CBE+ required to monitor and control an ever-expanding operation that brings together multiple processes, whilst maintaining full traceability of products; a necessity when supplying the aerospace industry.

CBE+ would make use of the broad range of business functions available in EFACS E/8, such as Product Management, Change Control, Manufacturing, Production Planning, Material Requirements Planning (MRP), Finance, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), amongst others.

Lindsay Atkins, group production manager, explains how the new system would benefit the business day to day. “We are changing systems to increase visibility and support productivity,” she says. “Our current systems do not give us the planning and flexibility which the business needs, therefore requiring more manual input. EFACS will be integrated and will provide real-time data.”

CEO Marie Cooper comments: “Although we didn’t make our initial target date, we still saw the project through to the end, despite everything happening at once: lockdown measures and the manufacturing of medical devices parts we had never made before. A project of this magnitude must be done right, and under the circumstances the team performed exceptionally well. We believe EFACS E/8 will enable the controls and provide the insights we need to implement our strategy and grow the business in the future”.

Exel are truly excited to welcome CBE+ to the EFACS community, the team at CBE+ did an incredible job to implement EFACS E/8 during the challenging Covid-19 lockdown period.

Exel itself, of course, was not immune to the effects of the Covid-19 restrictions. However, the company managed, within one day, to transform the business from a single site with 102 employees, to one where every member of staff was setup to work from their home.

Not only is this quite a feat, in the current climate, it emphasises the benefits of secure and 100% available hosted ERP installations over on-premises installs.