Industrial Tooling Corporation (ITC) is a specialist tooling supplier operating out of Tamworth, Staffordshire. The firm manufactures and sources product from all around the world, holding well over 100,000 solid carbide tools, tool bodies, inserts and tool holders on the shelf.
With a state of the art production facility including CNC grinding machines from leading manufacturers, with the capabilities to create new tools, adapt existing tools to specific requirements and return used tools to an ‘as new’ condition, ITC boasts an in‐house team of capable and enthusiastic engineers and technical sales people.
Last year, the firm changed its software provider, choosing Merlin Business Software. Simon Horseman, IT Manager at ITC, tells Torque the decision had been a long time in the making.
“I’ve seen Merlin operating in the market for a long time,” he tells Torque. “I first met [Sales and Marketing Director] Ashley Jones at the Computers in Manufacturing show many years ago.
“Around six or seven years ago, ITC had the opportunity to change our software system, so I made a presentation to the management team and gave them my two recommendations, including Merlin.”
The management team didn’t decide to go with Merlin at the time, but years later, when the software system was up for renewal again, the team jumped at the chance to sign up with Merlin.
“Merlin was installed in 2017. It was about six to eight months in the planning, which is the kind of time you need for this kind of project.
“Was it daunting? Yes it was, not least because it’s a 30 user system that reaches across various departments, so it’s a sizeable installation.
“But Merlin has been in the market for a long time and has worked with a lot of similar businesses. The questions I was asking them are the kind of thing they are used to so they had answers for me straight away.
“They took ownership too, which was a relief as I’m the sole IT person here. The hardware, the software… they can handle everything in‐house. Previously we’ve found that some support teams have been outsourced and they’ve not been responsive. We’ve had some bad experiences, but Merlin’s in‐house support has been great and they are quick to react.”
What kind of difference has Merlin Business Software made to the ITC business?
“It has made a difference right across the business, from the operator on the tooling desk right to the management levels. Access to information is so much quicker. Processing orders has been 30 to 40% quicker. We do manufacturing here and even special orders have been significantly quicker.
“Generally, getting to our data is really easy. It works well with Windows and Office and it can all be easily exported to Excel or you can produce more detailed and complex reports.
“The order acknowledgement system is fast. Invoices are sent out automatically and it is even better than that as, with Merlin’s software, you can schedule invoices according to what the customer has requested. They can be sent invoices daily, monthly or whatever they want, all automatically.
“I absolutely would recommend Merlin Business Software. Sales orders are so quick. You can access to a customer’s pricing, quotes and everything all together, so you don’t have to have multiple windows, you can measure quotes vs orders…
“At ITC we import and distribute as well as manufacture, and you can easily track jobs around the shop floor in real time. We know where items are and the system gives you that level of visibility.
“I’d admired Merlin from afar for some time, and I’ve not been disappointed now I am finally using the system.”
THE VIEW FROM MERLIN
Ashley Jones, Sales & Marketing Director for Merlin Business Software, says: “I can honestly say that I was delighted when ITC came back to us second time around, as I knew there and then that we could do an excellent job for them. Simon and the team at ITC were hungry for a system that would help them grow, as it was clear that their old system had not delivered and was badly holding them back. The news of the significant efficiency improvements that ITC have gone on to achieve in such a relatively short space of time has been astonishing, and is further testament to the benefits that we know our software is proven to deliver… and they aren’t stopping there, as we have gone on to establish a progressive working relationship to help ITC get more and more benefits out of Merlin every month. A great company and a truly terrific customer.”