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Award Winning Supplier to F1

Formula 1 is the highest class of international racing for open-wheeled cars sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile. These vehicles are built from more than 14,000 precision components in a wide variety of lightweight exotic materials.

Each car's performance on the racetrack is analysed in granular detail with every team seeking to extract marginal performance gains within the strict confines laid down by the race's governing body.

This places huge pressure on the team's sub-contract manufacturers to deliver components finished to the highest quality within challenging lead-times.

For over four and a half decades, Progressive Technology has built a reputation founded on the principles designed to meet premier motorsport's industry component production needs. Progressive Technology's expertise opened opportunities to developing a wider client base in aerospace, space, defense and medical industries.

Alex Ridge, ERP Developer at Progressive Technology, noted, "Our name embodies our philosophy: we are Progressive in how we invest, develop and adopt new technologies that allow us to evolve manufacturing marginal gains aimed at delivering a better service to our customers. This ongoing process of continual improvement is a testament of being the best at what we do."

A Trusted Recommendation

Established in 1977, Progressive Technology has grown to become an industry-leading team that specializes in complex, small-batch, short-lead-time production. Naturally this generates a constant challenge to balance precision and quality within short production schedules.

To maintain the pace of improvement, Progressive Technology has always sought better ways to drive its operational efficiency in line with manufacturing industry's technological advancements. Ridge admitted, that their established paper-based manual system would eventually hinder future growth and efficiency. As the business has flourished, it recognised the need for technological solutions that will support it's manufacturing processes in a controlled, efficient and traceable manner.

Progressive Technology became aware of Epicor in 2015 through its relationship with one of their established customers, a leading formula one team.

With their recommendation, Progressive Technology's senior management team understood the benefits of implementing an advanced ERP platform not only to support it's internal processes but also for it's customers. The strength of the customer recommendation served as a catalyst for Progressive Technology's adoption of Epicor as its ERP solution.

Energizing Problem-Solver

Very quickly, Epicor Kinetic improved the quality and completeness of end-to-end transactions to allow the production of timely and accurate financial information and KPI monitoring. It also equipped senior management with information to remotely control and monitor workshop output with minimal intervention.

Ridge acknowledged, "The transformation of having someone running around the shop floor to ensure things happened in the right way, as compared to utilizing dashboards to track routing and timelines was a quantum leap in efficiency improvement. Furthermore, Epicor Kinetic eliminated errors that were inherent in a manual operation."

The data transparency provided by Epicor enabled Progressive Technology to efficiently share information needed by clients. The provision of this information within a manual system was an unwieldy process. Citing just one example, Ridge explained: "A client asked whether it would be possible to collaborate on improving data connectivity with their goods-in receipting procedure. With Epicor Kinetic, we utilised QR codes to transmit the required information from the manifest for distribution. Within a few hours, we helped a customer convert a their manual process into an automated one."

Whatever you can conceive can be achieved with Epicor Kinetic. It gives you the power to respond to and meet different customer requirements quickly and effectively.

Data-Driven Flexibility

Progressive Technology's business demands a highly dynamic, flexible approach. From unique components, compressed delivery schedules, to supply chain pressures, the operations must continuously adapt. "Epicor Kinetic allowed us to daisy-chain the entire process to create a seamless inter-departmental user experience," Ridge explained. "With the availability of robust, real time data, we are able to accurately deep-dive into operational and financial KPIs thus monitoring our business at all levels."

Ridge shared an example of applying insights for smarter business decisions. "Epicor Kinetic enabled us to analyse the fiscal and lead time impact on selected subcontracted processes; for example, on-destructive testing and heat treatment. Based on this analysis, we decided to invest in integrating these functions. The net result was an improvement in lead time, quality and process control."

Progressive Technology's reputation has been built on meeting challenging production targets. Alex explained, "The nature of our business is highly demand driven and being able to provide a 24/7 365 days a year service is essential to meeting our customer expectations. In some circumstances we could receive an order on the Friday with a requirement to be manufactured and delivered to the customer over the weekend."

Empowering Pioneers

Ridge attributed the commitment to innovation to Progressive Technology's Managing Director, Ross Pinchin. Ridge observed, "Ross heavily reinvests in his company. A good example is the establishment of our Apprentice Academy, where we developed a bespoke program that trains and mentors mechanical engineering apprentices. We're establishing a solid reputation of developing local home grown talent which has been so successful, that we've tripled our apprentice intake within the last four years."

Ridge also pointed out that the new Epicor Kinetic user interface supports Progressive Technology's focus on continuous improvement. "As the UI evolved, it's connected with modern data driven expectations. Because it's aligned with web and mobile phone interfaces, the solution is familiar and easy to learn and use, which accelerates user adoption."

A Pivot to Duty – Helping Produce Ventilators

During COVID, Epicor Kinetic helped to make the shift to remote working seamless.

More importantly was the role that Progressive Technology took as an essential part of the UK's response to the pandemic.

Ridge divulged, "Formula 1 had an infrastructure designed to build and test parts rapidly. A consortium of companies answered the call to produce ventilators. Epicor Kinetic gave us the agility to shift production methodologies very quickly from our typical low-volume manufacturing to mass production."

During the ventilator project, Progressive Technology manufactured 10 different geometries, producing approximately 90,000 component parts, leveraging a range of on-site processes including multi-axis CNC milling, assembly and inspection.

"Epicor Kinetic, enabled the business to function during that period without a lot of on-site, hands-on management," Ridge explained.

Expediting Additive Manufacturing

Epicor flexibility adds value in other ways too. For instance, in Additive Manufacturing (also known as metallic 3D printing), Ridge's team has written custom scripts to automatically attach additive manufacturing powder to the associated job, and to batch multiple jobs for booking, thereby fast-tracking processes.

In terms of projects, Team Bath Racing (TBR21), the University of Bath's combustion Formula Student Team, partnered with Progressive's Additive Manufacturing division to reduce TBR's car mass. This ensured more consistent contact between the tyres and the track, while allowing the vehicle to have increased response to steer inputs. Progressive Additive Manufacturing used high-strength aluminum-scandium to develop and print lightweight suspension components without compromising structural performance.

In another example, Progressive Technology was one of the first companies in the UK to commercially print magnesium, a highly combustible material. Printed magnesium produces lighter components, which decreases fuel consumption in the aerospace industry and also supports Progressive Technology's sustainability objectives.

On the sustainability front, the Additive Manufacturing group also collaborated with Russell Finex (a worldwide leader in fine mesh separation technology, also an Epicor customer) to improve AM powder recycling. The automated process reclaims unused powder using a controlled and non-contact method maintaining quality whilst significantly reducing production downtime.

Ridge highlighted, "The benefit of Epicor Kinetic is that it provides a solid framework, but also allows flexibility to customise selected processes to support internal or customer requirements.That's why it's unique compared to other ERP platforms. Using APIs, we are able to develop code to associate external software platforms, such as a new proprietary HR software." Not only does this help the company creatively problem solve now, it helps the company to rapidly adapt to future needs as they occur.

Driving Relentless Growth

Ridge emphasized the flexibility of the Epicor solution as a key true differentiator. He explained, "Potentially, any improvements you may conceive could be achieved with Epicor Kinetic. It gives you the flexibility to respond to, and meet individual customer requirements quickly and effectively."

Ridge also explained how effective the new Kinetic toolset, Application Studio, is. It is user friendly and intuitive to use. The new functions feature allows for code to be stored and maintained within a single centralized location. This feature is extremely powerful as it enables us as developers the ability to save time by re-using code, and even program in our own functionalities."

Phil Perkins, the Systems Software Development Lead at Progressive Technology Group shared: "The power and accessible interface of Application Studio allows us to react quickly to changing business requirements. As a visually intuitive product, the user adoption process has been effortless. Having the power of Epicor Data Discovery / Reporting Services at our disposal allows us to present insightful information to decision makers. There are endless possibilities to where we can take Kinetic."

The power and accessible interface of Application Studio allows us to react quickly to changing business requirements. As a visually intuitive product, the user adoption process has been effortless. Having the power of Epicor Data Discovery / Reporting Services at our disposal allows us to present insightful information to decision makers. There are endless possibilities to where we can take Kinetic.

Since 2016, Progressive Technology, has grown from 80 employees with annual sales of c.£8 m to over 240 people and annual revenues of c. £25m Epicor Kinetic has proven to be one of the key components in supporting this expansion.

Our Managing Director commented that "we would not have been able to survive our business expansion periods without it."

We've experienced exponential growth in recent years and this has been supported by Epicor Kinetic. Our Managing Director commented that we would not have been able to survive our business expansion periods without it.

A Full-Throttle Future

As its name implies, Progressive Technology manufactures complex precision components within the shortest lead times whilst exploiting developments within smart factory and IoT.

Elaborating on these goals, Ridge revealed, "We've developed strong relationships with the Epicor team and a personal aspiration is to showcase how Epicor Kinetic is working in an avant-garde environment, helping make pioneering products."

"I'm quite excited about where we are going together, and what the future holds."

Company Facts


  • Legacy ERP constrained growth
  • Inability to access business data
  • Inadequate systems to support additive manufacturing


  • Flexible, real time, and transparent solution informs decision-making
  • Process automation speeds operations
  • Seamless pivot to different methodologies
  • Enables exponential growth

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