Digital transformation helps James Aiken Engineering Solutions work smarter

An Aberdeen-based sheet metal fabrication company is using modern digital technology to transform the way it schedules its growing workload.

James Aiken Engineering Solutions has made a £70,000 investment in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) manufacturing software E-Max to track all aspects of its work from initial enquiries to job resources and completion dates.

The company’s diverse range of customers come from the on and offshore energy industry, marine, power generation, food processing, municipal and corporate building maintenance, commercial utilities and local authority works.

The integrated E-Max software package is the latest development to streamline the way James Aiken operates following the introduction of new procedures to the office and workshops and an overhaul of the company’s HSEQ management systems.

E-Max enables an at-a-glance analysis of each job on the company’s production schedule, including time spent quoting for work and the status of a job at any given time in the production and installation process.

The production team now have up to the minute information at their fingertips enabling them to identify how best to allocate time and resources to make sure each job is delivered within its agreed completion and installation date.

George Paterson, director of James Aiken Engineering Solutions, said: “Introducing E-Max software to the business has been a watershed moment for us and the benefits are clear to see now we’re using the system across both our engineering and machining teams.

“From operating in a traditional way to being able to analyse and interpret time spent on quotes and production work is a big step for us. It means we can identify the most effective way for our estimators to work as well as planning and scheduling time for machining and fabrication teams on the shop floor.

“E-Max has also enabled us to develop a ‘bid to win’ approach where we can analyse the type of work that suits our operation best and proactively follow up on quotes after a set period. This helps us to keep track of our sales pipeline and how competitive we are in the market.

“The use of E-Max is seen as a gold standard and we are delighted with the transformative impact it has had on how we operate and will play a large part in our growth strategy.”

James Aiken is no stranger to cutting edge technology with an impressive record of continuous investment in the latest automated Computer Numerical Control (CNC) equipment which accurately sets job specifications and mechanical details to produce complex engineering and machining work.

The addition of E-Max however, is the latest stage in the digital transformation of the business from which the entire planning and scheduling process now revolves.

The James Aiken management team has also recently introduced an improved maintenance plan for the facility’s machinery to help minimise down-time on the production

Mr Jolly said: “We’re very proud of our facility in the Bridge of Don and as well as updating our software, it is just as important that we take care of the machines we use day in, day out so that our production capabilities are kept in optimum condition to deliver the best results.”

James Aiken Engineering Solutions has been operating in Aberdeen since 1977. Originally based near Aberdeen Harbour, the company moved to a new £1million base in the city’s Bridge of Don area in 2015.