ManuSoft, the Australian shopfloor monitoring and control IT firm which launched itself into the UK last month, says its users are getting 20—70% productivity gains from its factory operations management software. And the firm is now offering Tier Two/Three manufacturers and jobshops a free trial of its DRC (dynamic resource control) touch screen PC system. Says managing director, Alan Matthewman, “DRC is real time software that puts management and employees alike in control of their production processes: it’s all about people-based production.” He says that despite the number of competing IT vendors offering manufacturing IT to jobshops and SMEs, his firm is confident of success in the UK because of its track record of improvements for companies in Australia over the last 12 years – from very small to 1,000 employees. As Manusoft’s latest client in Ireland, Laserform, said: “For the first time in 21 years, this is a company that hasn’t over promised and under-delivered.” Matthewman claims that part of the secret is the firm’s expressly real time home-grown database, but the value has more to do with this system’s simple and appropriate interactive shopfloor touch screens. Quite simply, they makes sense for real people- and machine-based factory operations and help to force good, efficient, customer-centric practice, while providing excellent visibility for managers wherever they are. Most important, it also lets managers handle the inevitable changes without appearing to be out of control. And it means that in a world of on-line B2B, smaller manufacturers can look as efficient, fast and able as bigger firms with more expensive systems. Matthewman: “It’s low cost and it takes the guesswork out of factory operations.” Essentially, shopfloor workers and cell teams get all of their instructions from the system and provide data like job start, job finished to it – they have to, or the next job doesn’t come up. And as they do so, managers can see and get automatic updates on time taken and the rest. And there’s quite a lot more. It also handles inventory control with MRP if needed, job prioritising (and re-prioritising on the fly), quoting, activity-based costing, reject and quality issues, labour performance and real time financial accounting with integrated general ledger. Alerts ensure that whoever is relevant knows what he/she need to know as it happens. “The key issue for many manufacturers is to gain control of the production process,” says managing director, Alan Matthewman. “When this is achieved then British manufacturers will compete admirably with overseas companies. Profits, quality and productivity will all be dramatically improved. “Our software and support systems are designed to put manufacturers back in control, giving them the tools to manage and effectively integrate, in real time, the planning, costing, production, administration, and delivery of the product and finally the financial accounting processes.”