Tomorrow’s Growth Starts Today

by | Feb 13, 2024 | Software

Fabricators are turning to systemised processes in greater numbers than ever before, according to sales manager of Cyncly business, First Degree Systems, Greg Beachim. We talk to him to find out why.

It is an almost universal truth that many window fabricators begin life as small operations, established to fill a niche requirement for quality made windows and doors.

“Within our team, we regularly see businesses start up with as little as a chop saw and fabrication bench,” First Degree Systems’ sales manager Greg Beachim says. “The trade sector serving the home improvement market is all bespoke, which encourages many small businesses to run a fabrication shop alongside an installation business.

“But those businesses can rapidly grow, and potentially outgrow even the most basic systems such as spreadsheets. In fact, they can become a millstone around their neck.”

Greg argues that in many cases, businesses starting off with a modest throughput won’t even consider a systemised approach to manufacturing, because systemisation and automation are words and ideas associated with large businesses handling thousands of orders a week and employing hundreds of people on multiple shifts.

“But that’s a myth,” Greg says. “Systemisation is less about size and more about scale. It’s also about staying in control of your operation as you grow, and not letting the tail wag the dog. The danger is that you can lose sight of the important things and be weighed down by processes.

“We designed Window Designer to allow fabricators to remain in control of processes so that quality of product and service remains the focus, and not the bits in between.”

For example, Window Designer is offered on a subscription-based model, so businesses only ever pay for what they need. So, as they grow, they can add on more modules as and when they see fit, and which will help them remain efficient and profitable.

“Actually, this year has been almost unprecedented,” Greg says. “More of our customers than ever before have expanded their automated processes and their systems because they’ve recognised that they want to be the best that they can be in the industry.

“And the only way to do that is to look at automation to improve not only accuracy of product, but the amount of product they can fabricate.

“Going into Q1 of 2024, our professional services team were working hard on an extensive order book, which is great because it means customers are recognising the fact that they need to make those investments if they want to keep ahead of the game, ahead of the curve.”

Window fabricators are also putting more control in the hands of their customers by putting more information and tools in the cloud.

For customers wishing to take out a site licence, our Zandi platform allows the manufacturer to create an account for their customer where they can log in, see any conversations, answer questions, pull up order confirmations, confirm production dates, set delivery dates, and issue invoices,” Greg says.

“This gives window manufacturers a lot more control, which not only speeds up their operations and reduces error, but improves processes at the retail end. This means window companies are not isolated from the manufacturing process, and everyone benefits from a joined-up approach.

“You don’t want a constant day-to-day battle with the system. We look at the processes that make our customers work well and we systemise those into our own solutions so they can adopt them without too big a change, while improving them.”

Greg points out that First Degree Systems is taking a leaf out of its own book, by keeping one eye on the future, and investing in products and services that will keep it relevant and efficient.

“Being part of the international software powerhouse Cyncly allows us to invest even more into research and development, and we have some exciting new products in the pipeline, including a module for designing corner bi-folds, the ability to view cross-sectional drawings, and the upcoming Window Designer Mobile application (which will make the quoting and selling process quicker and easier) and SQL additions,” Greg says.

“Ultimately, we want to always think bigger, because, like our customers, we will outgrow where we are now and need to be ready for the next stage of growth – and that journey starts today.”

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