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FactoryMaster provides manufacturing, warehousing and wholesaling software solutions for small to medium companies in a wide range of manufacturing sectors including aerospace, automotive and food & drink.

The company has over 160 customers in the UK, and exports through representatives in Europe, the USA and Asia. Now, working in unison with Aston University, they have taken on a KTP Associate to enable them to satisfy existing clients’ demands more fully and compete more widely and effectively for additional higher-level (and more profitable) business.

The associate, supervised by Professor Ian Nabney and Dr Jort van Mourik, is developing a scheduling system that integrates with FactoryMaster’s existing MRP product. This will enable FactoryMaster to address an already identified need (within its existing customer base and markets): in addition it will enable the company to develop bespoke solutions for a range of scheduling tasks. As a result the company will have the capability to enter new sectors, including the consultancy marketplace.

Professor Ian Nabney said, “This project is enabling Dr van Mourik and me to test out some of our novel scheduling algorithms on practical problems and enrich our research in the area.  The type of constraints in real-world problems is much more varied than in much academic work and it also raises interesting questions about the relationship between automatic scheduling and manual intervention.  We have brought current academic state-of-the-art to FactoryMaster enabling them to create better relationships with their existing customers and develop new markets. The relationship fostered by the KTP partnership will enable the development of other co-operations, including internships, student placements, and Master's projects.”

FactoryMaster Managing Director Darran Neary said, “This project will take the company from being a technically excellent, but largely product-focussed organisation, to one that is market oriented, and operating on a higher plane of expertise.”