With large projects under their belts like delivering a large-scale milk plant bottling line upgrade, Autoline estimate around 60% of New Zealand’s bottled milk passes over one of their conveyors at some point between the cow paddock and your fridge at home!
For companies around New Zealand, their robot and automation solutions are the secret to labour-saving, consistency, and high-quality production. Given their large-scale projects, it was vital for Autoline to find a project management system that could keep up. Enter TidyEnterprise; a project and stock management software with the depth and flexibility to serve Autoline’s needs.
Autoline began as a family business over 30 years ago, selling press feeder and bowl feeding solutions to the manufacturing industry. As the company grew, it introduced New Zealand to SlotPro (aluminium T-slot extrusion) and used the aluminium profile to build its first conveyor systems and guarding.
With a progressive development approach, Autoline continued to expand, diversifying into robotics with the acquisition of Carbines Engineering; New Zealand’s leading robotics integrator.
Today, Autoline is still 100% family-owned and have established themselves as New Zealand’s pre-eminent conveyor automation company. They continue to lead as the robotic, automation, and conveyor experts, bringing the latest technology and innovations to New Zealand.
The Three Ds
The rule of thumb to determine which tasks are best suited for robots is the Robotics Three Ds Principle: The Dirty, Dull, and Dangerous. For a long time now, robots have replaced or assisted work that is repetitive, unhygienic, or risky, in heavy industries.
What sets Autoline apart, is how they supply robotic welding cells to a range of industries for everything from heavy metal fabrication to aluminium gates, trailers, fireplaces, and more. The company also provides conveying solutions to many different industries in NZ, such as food and beverages, plastics, logistics, and many others.
Prior to using TidyEnterprise as a project management software, Autoline faced several challenges. The company’s previous enterprise resource planning software was not very flexible, particularly given the range of products and services Autoline required.
“We were looking for software that could process smaller spare part sales while also managing larger-scale projects in tandem,” says Matthew Fisher, Managing Director of Autoline.
In addition, the company had limited support with its previous software, and any training or assistance was hard to come by. Autoline struggled to integrate projects and smaller spare part sales into one software solution.
Autoline made the switch to TidyEnterprise just under 10 years ago and found the Kiwi company more approachable and flexible. TidyEnterprise software allows Autoline to process smaller spare part sales while managing larger-scale projects too.
Eight staff members across the sales, purchasing, and administration teams at Autoline use TidyEnterprise. It plays a key role in stock management, assembly productions, purchasing, project management, and spare part sales.
“The integration of sales and projects working off the same inventory system has improved our operations,” says Fisher.
They’ve also found it easy to train new employees and get them up to speed on how to use TidyEnterprise.
With the implementation of TidyEnterprise, Autoline has also been able to streamline its processes and communication between teams.
“We have found Tidy has tidied (no pun intended) up our purchasing so any project purchases or expenses are able to be attached directly to a project, also the integration of sales and projects working off the same inventory system,” Fisher explains.
TidyEnterprise’s integration with Xero tied everything together, improving communication between the two software applications. This allowed for a more efficient and accurate accounting process.
A Bright Future
Autoline sees a bright future in the industry, with a focus on developing and improving in-house processes. They’ve recently started a journey into lean manufacturing, virtual robot (VR) programming, and live stock control with barcoding and scanning.
This will enable Autoline to further streamline their processes and improve their inventory management, making them an even more efficient and effective provider of robotic welding, automation, conveyors, and SlotPro solutions.
Autoline is currently growing their range of robotic welding cells and expanding into Australia. They are moving into larger and more customised premises this year and recently established ANZRA: a robotics training academy. This will be fully established in their new premises with the latest robot and programming advancements, enabling them to provide world-class support for their customers.
With several exciting large-scale robot welding projects in the pipeline, Autoline is glad to have TidyEnterprise by their side to help plan, manage, and measure future projects.