A British silk specialist is using cutting edge machinery and Mertex software to thrive in a traditional business.
From its origins in Switzerland, Kent-based Pongees Ltd has historical connections with the ancient Silk Road to China.
Three years ago the business, which has operated in London since the 1930s, made the big decision to move its main production facility 20 miles out of the city while keeping a showroom in the capital.
But with the move came an opportunity – to fit out the new premises exactly as they wanted.
Pongees contacted Polymaster, a specialist machinery manufacturer for the fabrics industry, to design the new warehouse facility, which includes a mezzanine floor, new cutting tables and automated machinery and a carousel linking the two levels.
But just as important as the hardware was selecting the right software – and Mertex was chosen to provide the 'brains' for the state-of-the-art Polymaster machinery.
“Creating the factory involved a three-sided dialogue between Reflex Data, Polymaster and us,” said Nick Moore, joint managing director at Pongees.. “Mertex is our company Bible. Everything is done on it. The cutting room is linked to Mertex.”
After a three-month installation, the new facility went live in 2016. The system, says Nick, provides speed and accuracy and the efficient service customers expect.
“It's a constantly flowing system from goods in to goods out. It's extremely efficient. We sell to everyone, from small dressmakers to larger retailers, from clothing designers to interiors contractors.
"The hardware is fully integrated with the Mertex software and the new warehouse and the whole operation works very well together.”