Published On: Wed, Nov 8th, 2023

Move with the times

The demands on your business change month by month, so why not invest in a software platform that does the same? We talk to Greg Beachim, Sales Manager at First Degree Systems, to find out more.

Little did we know at the start of 2023, that this year would turn out to provide a period of reflection and reassessment for many companies – window fabricators in particular.

While systems companies have been the focus of many of the changes in the industry, with big names withdrawing from the market, and others taking on significant large accounts, these seismic shifts have affected many other businesses.

As fabricators have switched suppliers, and taken on new profile materials, machinery companies and software providers have stepped in the ensure these changes have taken place as smoothly as possible.

According to Greg Beachim, Sales Manager at Cyncly business First Degree Systems, many window fabricators also took the opportunity to move away from owning their software licences outright, to a subscription package, which offers more flexibility with the service that is provided.

“Periodically, business owners will step back and take a broader view of how their operations are run, and look to see where efficiencies can be made,” Greg says. “We are often approached at this stage because Window Designer has modules that can be bolted on to offer extra functions. And this is easier to achieve if companies subscribe to Window Designer, rather than own it outright.

“This year, we’ve seen many more businesses go through this process, and we’ve found ourselves rolling up our sleeves and making some significant and optimal changes, to basically help our customers be the best they can be.”

Primarily, when a fabricator switches system supplier, First Degree Systems is contracted to help change their extrusions from extrusion A to extrusion B. 

“As this is taking place, our customer will think ‘if I’m doing this, I may as well look at what else they can offer me’, and they will talk about adding in modules such as Barcode Tracking and Stock Assistant, for example,” Greg says.

Stock Assistant is an integrated stock management system, which offers just-in-time stock ordering, and Barcode Tracking gives full visibility of the work running through a given production facility.

“What we’ve also found is that if customers have stuck with a profile system for a long time, they may have been working off a material list for maybe 10 years or more,” he says. “And by updating their software package, they can now take advantage of improved technologies, such as material list rule sets and part translations.”

Ultimately, this requires much less administration, according to Greg, which frees up resources and makes a company more profitable.

And the growth in the popularity of colour has forced many window fabricators to look at new ways in which to manage this, so that money isn’t unnecessarily tied up in stock.

“Let’s say a customer’s picked a specific foil that’s made to order,” Greg says. “As a manufacturer, you might get MOQs [minimal order quantities], which you don’t really want to keep. 

“With our Auto Material Requirements Optimisation (AMRO) module, we can backfill the unused profile – or wastage – so that the entire profile cost is passed on to the customer. But Stock Assistant will keep track of the unused profile so that you can draw on what you already have without ordering extra when new orders come in. 

“This saves you money, makes you more agile, and doesn’t tie money up in stock unnecessarily.”

Greg points out that while window fabricators (literally) take stock of their current offering, so they remain profitable and competitive, First Degree Systems and Cyncly also continue to refine their offer.

“With Window Designer, you are not just investing in what we can provide now, but what is on the horizon,” Greg says. “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 moving the window designer platform to use SQL, a new module for designing corner bi-folds, the ability to view cross-sectional drawings, and an improved version of our remote application called Window Designer Mobile, which will make the quoting and selling process quicker and easier.

“Ultimately, our business is about giving our customers the tools to be the best they can be. Since the requirements for this change on an almost monthly basis, taking advantage of our subscription package is the best way for you stay on top of your game,” he concludes.

Tel: 01283 808042