Success Story: Brill Power Powers Up its Production Management with MRP Software
UK battery management system manufacturer Brill Power gets a power boost in their manufacturing and inventory management by implementing an ERP/MRP system. “None of what we do at present would be possible without MRPeasy,” says Stuart Grondel, Strategy and Operations Manager.
Sustainability and efficiency are written into the company
Brill Power is an Oxford-based manufacturing company that produces intelligent battery management systems that increase the lifetime and total energy output as well as the charging speed of large lithium-ion batteries. At a time when sustainability is becoming a key issue in global politics, business, and our day-to-day lives, the company is creating new solutions that help tackle the problem of hazardous waste coming from the most widely used type of rechargeable battery in the world.
Brill Power has been striving for this since 2016 and today they employ 26 full-time employees with plans to double this year. An innovative company with a novel product that has just entered the sales phase, they are looking to take the markets by storm.
“There are two key markets we are looking to service,” says Stuart Grondel, Strategy and Operations Manager at Brill Power. “Firstly, stationary energy storage for residential, commercial, and industrial scale needs, as well as utilities – the needs of which are the largest. The second market for us is mobile energy storage, encompassing both automotive and marine.”
Experience led to ERP/MRP
The company used Microsoft Word and Excel at first when they only had a handful of orders. They knew that they needed an ERP/MRP system, however.
“I’m from a manufacturing background and I pushed forth for something that could handle manufacturing better than an ordinary ERP system,” Stuart says. “We needed the full functionality: customer and lead management, procurement, bills of materials, and so on.”
The company, seven employees strong at that time, initially put together a simple spreadsheet weighing the functionalities of various systems against their requirements while also considering the price and scalability of the solutions. Finally, they ended up with two contenders.
“Based around gut feeling and its attractive monthly subscription model, we chose MRPeasy in the end,” Stuart states.
A straightforward system adoption
When the time for implementing the new system came, Stuart took the reins and went through the whole process on his own.
“I started to collate the info from scratch and experimented by putting data in to see what was going to work and what was not,” Stuart recalls. “At first, there wasn’t much data as we were only seven people and a few orders then. But as we grew, we added more into MRPeasy and now use basically every feature it has.”
Although for the first couple of years, Brill Power made do with only one subscription to the software, recently they added another user so that warehouse employees would have permanent access to it. The company has implemented barcoding and other inventory tracking functionality, allowing the staff to only give minimal simple inputs in order for the system to work efficiently.
“We ran a first training session with the full company just two weeks ago showing how MRPeasy works for our company,” Stuart says. “Our first proper internal stock take will be next week and from then on the info that is in MRPeasy will be our gospel.”
Software is vital for the business
Even though Stuart cannot provide any concrete metrics that would quantify the effectiveness of the implementation, he is adamant that the software is vital for the success of their operation.
“None of what we do at present would be possible without MRPeasy – it condenses a lot of intricate parts into something much more manageable; it enables us to keep track of orders in progress from the supply side – showing us what’s outstanding,” he states. “From a customer perspective, I feel we are also able to appear more professional with repeatable, robust, and consistent documentation around delivery notes and invoices.”
Online materials are useful and plentiful
Based on Brill Power’s implementation experience, Stuart recommends other manufacturers use the online materials MRPeasy has made available in addition to the online support of the company.
“I would specifically highlight the value of the dynamic help panel which changes when you move from function to function, and I really recommend using the demo videos available on MRPeasy’s website,” Stuart says. “The support ticket system is also great. They respond quickly and even if the response comes back with a “what you are trying to do is not possible”, I have recently had a follow-up call some months later with the MRPeasy team advising that the feature has now been made available.”
“I would also recommend listening to their podcast – they are really good at explaining concepts in a very useful basic way,” he adds as a final remark.