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As a designer and manufacturer of crucial components for communications networks, BSC Filters has an unrivalled reputation for flexibility, quality and reliability. Many major projects for aerospace, telecommunications and military organisations rely on products from BSC, making accurate planning and timely delivery of paramount importance to its business. To achieve this high level of project planning and delivery, BSC uses JobBOSS from Exact Software.

BSC Filters is a world-leader in the design and manufacture of Microwave filters, diplexers and waveguide and coaxial passive components. They handle orders for a range of projects, from prototypes for research, up to high volumes in the supply chain for the broadband access marketplace. BSC supplies a vast range of products, often customised specifically to order, which places a heavy emphasis on the need for accurate planning. Martyn Lee, Managing Director of BSC Filters, explains, “Efficiency is the cornerstone of success for our business. Our customers rely on our products and we have to ensure they are manufactured to the highest quality and are available at the precise point they are needed.”

To meet these demands even more effectively, while increasing its competitiveness and profitability, BSC Filters embarked on an operational process improvement programme in 2004. “We wanted to introduce new techniques and philosophies, such as lean manufacturing, that would help us to be flexible enough to meet customer demands, while minimising the amount of waste, both in terms of materials and time, generated throughout the business. We found from that the start that JobBOSS was going to be a huge asset in helping us to achieve these goals,” adds Martyn.

BSC had installed JobBOSS back in 1999 and recognised that it would be an important element of the business process improvement programme. With over 4,000 installations worldwide, JobBOSS is a leader in shopfloor management for machine shops and fabricators. JobBOSS is a “Quote to Ship” system that provides a key range of fully integrated functionality, such as advanced scheduling, bill of materials, real time data collection, inventory management, quality control and interfaces to popular accounting software like Sage.

Martyn Lee adds, “Many of the operational improvements have involved physical changes to the location and nature of our workstations. JobBOSS has given us the flexibility to adapt our methods of working, reports and information flow so that we have become more efficient, productive and profitable. The processes are continually evolving and JobBOSS is a crucial and pivotal element of this development.”

Efficient Workflow

The entire workflow for each project carried out by BSC Filters is now managed and controlled through JobBOSS. Order enquiries that come in are entered into the system and the sales team use this information to prepare a quote. Once accepted, the system routes the job through pre-defined locations throughout the factory. This is achieved with attention to the burden that each job places on the workstations and JobBOSS helps to smooth the flow through the organisation.

JobBOSS provides a “work to” list detailing what is on order, what jobs are going through the system and everything else associated with the planning and management of projects. “With JobBOSS we always have complete visibility of what’s coming up and the situation with materials and inventory,” says Martyn Lee, adding, “For example, there is no point in the manufacturing team being ready to start work if the materials aren’t available. JobBOSS gives us the big picture, which allows us to manage the operations much more effectively.”

JobBOSS continues to manage projects right through to delivery to the customer. It raises all the appropriate paper work and BSC is working on adding further integration into other systems, such as finance and Exact Synergy for CRM and advanced workflow management.

“Since our transition to more efficient operational processes and lean manufacturing, JobBOSS has become even more important to us and it has delivered in all areas. As our demand for more complex planning and detailed workflow management increases, JobBOSS is able to grow with us and support us in all areas. It is a very reliable and sturdy system and, because of the strong dependency of our business on the software, it needs to be. JobBOSS is always there to tell us exactly what we are doing and ensuring we do it in the most efficient and least wasteful way possible,” concludes Martyn Lee.