With many customers located in the tech triangle that exists between Cambridgeshire, Oxfordshire and London in the Southeast of England, Carillon Industrial Services Ltd (CIS) is well equipped to provide high-tech metal cutting solutions, and have done so for 30 years. This triangle is the silicon valley of formula one and high tech engineering. Arguably, F1 and aerospace production are on the leading edge of design, engineering and manufacturing with critical and expensive components. Application expertise and cutting tool reliability have the same tight tolerances as the car’s performance come race day.

So how does CIS approach an installation of Seco Inventory Management? “We put sweets in the drawers”, says Mike Pope of CIS. And he’s not kidding. “It’s a fun way to help new users become familiar with the system, and it’s really that simple”, Pope continues. Although his friendly approach is light, Mike takes his responsibilities very seriously. Simplicity and ease of use are two criteria that CIS was looking for when they chose to provide inventory management solutions to their customers, many of whom are small flexible machine shops.

Additionally, they offer a robust solution that can manage all of a customer’s suppliers as well as be configured for future expansion and change. Before Seco Inventory Management, consumption was often being managed manually with a “best guess”, (often reactive) inventory management in place. “Within three months, the customer and CIS know what the consumption patterns are, and where waste has been removed. Provide data showing cost savings and other efficiencies when dealing with business managers. So, how to approach the customer with inventory management. “The numbers have to add up”, says Pope. It’s not a hard-sell situation, but more a chance to enhance the relationship, so we just show how efficiencies in inventory (use and amounts) can have an impact on the bottom line.

The point of entry is often production management because they are in tune with what’s going on out on the floor, as well as materials and suppliers needed to make it happen. Inventory Management makes life easier because the production manager no longer has to spend the time in administration or ordering that he normally would in a traditional, non-automated setup. In some cases the point of entry is at a more strategic level, such as business management. One of the most effective tools to have in this case is a similar company that has had success and the ability to provide data showing cost savings and other efficiencies. ROI, even for small operations, can be demonstrated.

One way is that Inventory Management cabinets are scalable. CIS can simply add additional drawer capacity in as little as thirty minutes. Plus, drawers can be moved at a later date to accommodate changing needs. CIS has a significant number of Inventory Management machines in the field and in several cases a virtual module as well. The CIS model for inventory management includes a dedicated team supporting tool management and vending both onsite and remotely. This effective and efficient team approach allows for CIS sales engineers to do what they’re best at – support customers with their applications and production needs. All part of an overall strategy that CIS uses to approach to market. An approach that also includes a dedicated proving centre at the High Wycombe location with milling and turning machines, balance, heat shrink, oil management, measurement equipment and of course inventory management. “With our proving centre, we can demonstrate how to provide complete solutions right the way through to production”, says Pope. You’re doing customers a great service by showing them additional and unused inventory, which in total can amount to quite a lot of money, and then in effect pulling it out of the system. That is something that every single customer is appreciative of, and which leads to improved and renewed relationships and growth.