The journey taken by a product/service often provides a detailed insight into the reasons and purpose of the initial project. Although at face value MIETrak appears to be a modern piece of software that has only been around for the last 10 years or so, its story and history paint a completely different picture.

The core foundations of MIETrak were first formed in the 1980’s by the now president of MIE Solutions, David Ferguson. After seeing his father, who owned and ran a fabrication shop that still stands today, came home night after night with quotes to create, he identified a gap in the market and created the original QuoteIT to help automate the process. QuoteIT is a piece of estimating software that was designed to manage the quotation process for fabrication job shops. QuoteIT, now branded as QuoteIT Pro, is still used throughout the world and has diversified and been manipulated to be used in a wider range of manufacturing sectors. From the outset, the software was driven by someone with a production background and whose sole intention was to tackle the problems faced by manufacturers.

By the mid 80’s QuoteIT had become one of the market leading sheet metal estimating packages in the world. Shortly thereafter, its success eventually leads to the expansion of its capabilities. With technology constantly moving forward and with industries demands on the rise, it was time for something else to be born to push the technological boundaries that then existed. Rather than just managing the quoting process, a system that undertook the entire workflow process, from the initial enquiry all the way through to shipping and invoicing was required, which is where our next story begins.

Throughout the late 80’s and early 90’s FabriTRAK was developed. FabriTRAK was an ERP system developed to help automate the entire process, not just the initial quoting stage. It was developed on the basis of QuoteIT, but its streamlining capabilities were now accessible to other departments within manufacturing organisations. The process was continued into sales orders, works orders, scheduling, purchasing and shipping and invoicing. Even though computers had been around for only a short time, the software itself had already endured 10 years of exposure and had been continually developed based on customer feedback.

From 1990 – 2006, FabriTRAK was licensed to Metalsoft and machine manufacturing giants, Amada America. Throughout this period, the software’s client base grew dramatically and became well recognised throughout the US and the UK. Although newer versions are now available, FabriTRAK is still used today by companies throughout the globe and has without doubt withstood the test of time.

2007 lead to a complete overhaul of the software and the company structure. By the end of the year, David Ferguson and Don Clutter, along with Sam Hawkes and Chris Mann here in the UK, took back all of the rights to the software, re-wrote the code, and rebranded the company. This was where MIE Solutions and MIETrak32 were created. Although now under a different name, the core values, first created in the 80’s, still provided the foundations to the software. Whereas both Metalsoft and Amada America offered products and services other than FabriTRAK, MIE Solutions stood for one purpose and one purpose only, to provide a complete production control solution that was specific to the sheet metal, precision engineering and manufacturing industries. Although QuoteIT was being developed and is still available and supported, MIETrak became the company’s main focus.

In 2011 MIETrak32 was subject to huge changes as it became the software we supply today, MIETrak Pro. The database was moved from the outdated FoxPro and onto the new SQL in order to improve its functionality while maintaining its speed and reliability. With SQL being so much more flexible than FoxPro, things such as the software’s reporting possibilities became nearly infinite, and the potential to add new features increased substantially. As it stands we have over 1300 users in the UK and over 10,000 worldwide with offices situated in multiple locations throughout the world. The company offers services to customers of all sizes, whether it is a 1 user system, or a multi-site and multi-national corporation.

They say that a journey says a lot about a person. Someone who has gained experience travelling the world will have an understanding and appreciation of different cultures, foods and climates. Having said that, the term “been there and done it” often springs to mind. The same applies to anything, whether it is a person or even a piece of software. With proven experience of maintaining a product and service that has been at the forefront of its market for over 25 years, you can be assured that you are investing in a company and a product that is built to stand the test of time. Throughout that period, there have been many highs as well as lows, but one thing is for sure, we must be doing something right to be where we are today!

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