Javelin Addresses The “What If...?” Questions
Immediate traceability of all products is a vital requirement for an ear, nose and throat medical supply manufacturer, and they discovered that using the Jobshop ERP/MRP system cuts the time to carry it out from three days to just 90 seconds.
While making use of many functions in the market leading Jobshop advanced production planning and control system (the latest releases of Jobshop are now known as Javelin), materials control is the most important for Exmoor. Works manager Janet Hosier (pictured left)explains: “A number of our products are actually implanted into the human body, so we have to be geared up for an instant recall in the event of a potential problem. We need to know what products are in which batches, and what was sent to which customer. We also need to know their shelf life, and everything else about every product.
“Although there’s never been a recall we have had to identify where certain products were at a particular time. If we’d done that manually it would have taken us three days to complete. But Jobshop gave us the information in just 90 seconds.”
It was this instant traceability function, along with the “Use-By-Date” capability that originally steered Somerset-based Exmoor to Jobshop. “Being in the health care sector, those two features are of paramount importance to us,” says Janet Hosier. “But it didn’t take long for Jobshop to become an invaluable and integral part of our company, providing us with a full database right across the board, for every piece of information we need to store and retrieve. It gives us all the information we need at the touch of a button, it gives us complete control over our stock, and an up-to-date picture, minute-by-minute, of what our customers’ requirements are.”
Customers include the NHS and private clinics in the UK, along with health sector organisations around the world who are supplied via overseas distributors. Exmoor manufacturers a range of products in stainless steel, titanium and silicone rubber, including single use surgical instruments, nose splints, suction tubes, and aural ventilation tubes known as grommets (pictured right) which are often implanted into children’s ears.
Sales orders come into Exmoor via telephone, fax and email and are immediately put on to Jobshop’s Sales Order Processing function. “This means we can look at current demand on a daily basis,” says Janet Hosier. “Because we always manufacture for stock we can despatch orders on the same day we receive them.”
She says Material Requirements Planning is an excellent guide for them, as they purchase raw materials from all over the world, with delivery times ranging from a couple of days to several months. “Jobshop holds the cost of all those items and detailed part numbers. It also shows us who the normal supplier is and what certificates are required.” Purchase orders come out of MRP, and they handle around half a dozen daily.
The Works Order function is particularly valuable in assisting production of sub assemblies – complete kits of sterilised items for operating theatres. “We bring a lot of equipment together for putting into a full kit, and when we first started using Jobshop for this we intended running the manual system alongside for three months. However, after just two weeks we were able to stop the manual system.”
Exmoor’s Managing Director often asks for a complete breakdown of costings on particular products, and Jobshop’s costings function provides it at the touch of a button.
Janet Hosier says Jobshop also replaces a number of manual operations, such as physically checking stock with a clipboard and pen, and it replaces a number of spreadsheet operations, along with numerous ledgers where orders were written daily by hand and added up with a calculator.
“Also, in the last 18 months we’ve been able to reduce our stock holding by a third because of the control Jobshop gives. It’s also extremely valuable in showing us when something is reaching its sell-by-date.”Jobshop (now known as Javelin) has certainly proved to be just what the doctor ordered for Exmoor, enabling them to take their business to the next level.