Personal Care Product Distributor that provides perfumes, body and hair care products on a consignment basis. They sell directly to large retailers with close to 5,000 outlets across the continental U.S.
The company’s business model relied heavily on the ability to easily access real-time information. This information was largely comprised of EDI transmissions and a custom-developed solution based on virtual warehousing. The information was used to forecast and replenish customers’ stock levels. The company also used EDI and other technologies for transmitting shipping and receiving data between their suppliers and customers, maintaining many customer accounts. In addition, the company’s trading partners varied in business types and sizes. It was important to be able to properly maintain and manage a large number of customer accounts and warehouses and manage a variety of data types.
The old systems couldn’t handle all of these demands, and this had resulted in a patchwork of various custom systems and manual processes. The increased work and time delays was decreasing overall company performance. Adding the company’s explosive growth to the equation, it became obvious a new system would be needed.
- Auxis performed an assessment that led management to implement a new ERP solution – Microsoft Business Solutions Great Plains software. The new system was required to meet a variety of needs: Sustained Company Growth – The task of providing increased productivity and real-time information was critical to sustaining projected growth
- Management of Inventory and Sales Data in Real-Time – Using Microsoft Business Solutions, Auxis designed a solution used to manage and track inventories across thousands of virtual warehouses and provide sales and inventory data in real time
- Capture and Integration of EDI Data Using eConnect – The ability to capture the EDI data and automatically integrate it to the back office using eConnect reduced hours and days from the task of forecasting. Sales representatives can now remotely access historical stock levels and sales trends, updated with real time retail sales data. The data are analyzed, and replenishment orders are issued directly from the field
- Increased Automation. While many processes have changed, thanks to the company’s new system, the CFO states that even in the cases where nothing is new, things are better. ‘The solution crafted by Auxis using Microsoft Business Solutions, BizTalk, and eConnect allows us to automate many processes that were formerly manually driven. Obviously, manual processes do not scale. In addition, we now have capabilities that we did not have previously to run the company better.
The new Great Plains solution streamlined the entire business process and created a ripple effect throughout the organization. The company was now able to experience:
Before the implementation, sales representatives couldn’t access current inventory and sales trends until unreliable, custom-developed programs scrubbed all the data. Today, Microsoft Business Solutions provides real-time sales and inventory information.
The old system incorporated inventory errors that resulted in procurement and accounting errors; Microsoft Business Solutions automatically adjusts for these inaccuracies. Cost Savings. The total investment in the implementation was less than half the cost estimates of other solutions. In addition, the automation of many previously manual processes eliminates the need to hire additional staff and allows for better use of existing resources.
The flexibility of Microsoft Business Solutions allows our client to accurately predict and prepare for demand. This increased lead time widens the gap between analysis and execution, allowing for improved demand planning.