K8 Manufacturing is vital for Variable Message Signs


“With its extensive flexibility, the system allows us to operate the business our way and not according to fixed processes and disciplines. We are in the driving seat with K8 Manufacturing” Louise Martin, Finance Director


Variable Message Signs (VMS) is the UK market leader for transport signage systems. Serving road, rail, airports and seaport sectors, the Hill & Smith- owned company has considerable technical capabilities as an innovator and developer. K8 Manufacturing is an integral part of the business; processing transactions, controlling costs and managing profitability.

VMS have one of the UK’s largest installed bases of programmable sign systems. Customers comprise Highways England and Transport Scotland, joint venture organisations and large corporates including Balfour Beatty and Carillion. The merged company processes around 500 to 1,000 orders annually; with a lead time of up to three months. The pipeline is typically 80-200 orders at any one time, which can comprise up to 2,000 signs and equipment provision.   

For VMS, the K8 Manufacturing Job Ledger module is key to managing orders and maintaining accurate records. “The Job Ledger is the system hub and used very effectively across the business. Collating order detail; from sales order input, through purchase orders, weekly time sheet records and parts issued, we have an accurate picture of what’s going on. Work-in-progress adjustments are easily managed, the invoice position is straightforward to determine and hence the values that can be released into the P&L.” said Louise.   


Gains and benefits

  • Integrated solution
  • Comprehensive functionality
  • Job Ledger – a vital tool
  • Flexible process disciplines
  • Effective business control
  • Real-time information
  • Platform for future development
  • Close working relationship
  • Excellent training provision
  • Professional help-desk


VMS Case Study