Statii, Formet & Qimtek - Connecting and winning business together

Statii & Qimtek: A Winning Combination For FormetUK

Statii, Formet & Qimtek - Connecting and winning business together

How Statii has helped FormetUK to win more work...

Just a few months ago, St Neots-based Formet UK implemented Statii software at its 4,500 ft2 subcontract sheet metalwork, fabrication and precision engineering facility. It services a multitude of demanding industries, including bioscience, medical, automotive, printing, aerospace, MoD and Ministry of Justice, as well as electronic and communications

A few years ago the company upgraded its core machinery, including an advanced CNC laser cutting machine equipped with a nitrogen generator for gas assisted operations and a 150 tonne 3 m CNC pressbrake, and at the same time invested in a software system to manage these. The modular software was intended to look after the end-to-end running of the business. However, it became too large and unwieldy to implement so it was difficult to get any business value from the system. 

Company Director, Anthony Bloomberg, says: “A discussion with the team at Qimtek about our situation resulted in us looking at the Statii system, which absolutely suited what we wanted to achieve. Being cloud-based we didn’t need any special hardware inhouse and it is very cost competitive while providing all the functionality we need.” 

He continues: “Like all manufacturing, sheet metalworking seems like an exact science, but it is not. For many customers we make ‘boxes’ but not all boxes are the same. It depends how it is configured, the fold radii and the additional elements that make that box specific to the customer. So, estimating for a new project relies heavily on a working knowledge of previously completed parts. One of the advantages of Statii is we can estimate the work and then run it through the shopfloor to feedback how close we were on times and therefore costs so we can quickly evaluate new projects.”

The Statii system also provides consistency to Formet, as Anthony Bloomberg reflects: “Having had an estimator with many years’ experience retire recently, we wanted a method of retaining the knowledge required but also with the flexibility to consider all of the ‘live’ data, such as material price variations, required to quickly provide an accurate but competitive quote. It is true to say we lost some business at the start of this year because we did not have Statii in place.”

Being a member of Qimtek has helped fill these shortfalls and Formet knows from customer feedback that its quotes are always competitive. Nine full time experienced staff and three part time work at Formet, and the company has been operating on the same site for around 35 years. “We have plans to recruit three additional staff for the second half of 2022,” says Anthony Bloomberg. “Thanks to the ability of the Statii system allowing our people on the shopfloor to run individual ‘google’ tablets to track the actual hours each job takes; we can schedule our production and it supports our planned expansion in to split shifts going forward.”

He concludes: “Qimtek works really well for us and with Statii now established for quoting new business we are starting to get into the production scheduling of the software and we can already see the value it offers to the business.

More from Mark Thornhill at Statii...

Qimtek provide the opportunity to win new work. However, quoting and managing that work correctly is as important. What is the point of taking on a new customer without knowing that you can get the work out on time and what your margin should be? This is where Statii comes in.

Statii is a straightforward cloud-based ERP/MRP solution that will enable any business to increase its productivity cost-effectively, improving the bottom line and ensuring the business reaches its full potential. The system is SME specific and intuitive, having been developed by manufacturers for manufacturers. 

The systems co-founder, Mark Thornhill, says: “For many SMEs their quoting method is sporadic and inconsistent and, while Statii is far more than a quoting tool, it does support a consistent and accurate way of quoting for work.” 

And, more importantly, when the quote becomes a live job all the necessary paperwork is automatically generated. So, any items that will be required from stock are checked by the system with shortages highlighted and purchase orders created to match up. It takes a paper-based system and turns it into a semi-automated operation from quotation to despatch notes.

One of the strengths of Statii is it ability to capture data from the shopfloor. The ‘live’ data ensures the production scheduling module is more accurate as any variations in the process time taken are fed back into the system to improve efficiencies on the shopfloor.

“There is a cultural change required at shopfloor level for clocking on, and off, jobs using ‘google’ tablets so we can accurately see what is happening. We run a simplified interface that makes it easy for the operator to do this as we don’t want to spend longer inputting data than actually making parts. And, accurate data means improved business and job security,” Mark Thornhill explains.

Operational data captured from the shopfloor provides the opportunity to drill down into the information which may highlight some process or setting issues or even maintenance requirements. While Statii shares knowledge around the business the knowledge within it will only be as good as the knowledge of the staff in the business, “the system ‘learns’ how your business operates it does not tell you how to operate it,” says Mark Thornhill.

Traceability is another key consideration and Statii keeps key information so that any future issues can be tracked back and addressed. The CAD files are stored along with all the communications and emails associated with the project. Everything is stored in a single location so looking back is straightforward.

Statii has two user levels, shopfloor and office with full ‘real-time’ support and updates included in the subscription price. “Support is vital because we are available to resolve any issues immediately. Our customers run on lead times of 4 days or less, so they can’t wait for technical support to get back to them at some point in the future,” Mark Thornhill points out. 

He continues: “There are a number of ERP/MRP software solutions, but they don’t have our experience in engineering and manufacturing and our support means any issues are resolved immediately. With Qimtek you have the tool to help you source new business and then with Statii you have the tool to win and manage that new business. It is an ideal strategic partnership.