Next Generation ERP at Work: How Manufacturers and Distributors Are Putting ERP Into Action

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Manufacturer and Distributors ERP

ERP is a complex beast, but for many manufacturers and distributors, the move can be one that puts them in a position for growth, simplicity, and a better understanding of the business. While yes, you may be skeptical, no it’s not a magic bullet, and yes, there is risk involved, those who are able to choose the right product for their needs and the right partner to put a solution in action can position their business for a better future.

Over the past few months, we’ve explored many of the benefits that a solution can have on your company, ranging from our discussion on the benefits of cloud-ifying your business with hybrid, the importance of documenting your needs and focusing on the end result, and the challenges ERP can help you solve. But today, we’d like to turn our attention to something that matters to you: Results.

One of the most important things to ask both your vendor and the company implementing a solution is simple: Have you done this for companies similar to my own? Experience with your unique industry will help you to find a solution that’s able to handle your workflows, tackle your regulatory burdens, and connect your processes, and can’t be understated.

Often, this comes down to testimonials and case studies, and today, we explore some real examples of how companies have benefited from embracing a cloud-enabled solution in Sage 100cloud.

Manufacturer Puts Next Generation ERP and Inventory Advisor to Work

Running a manufacturing firm is hard. Now, imagine running a nonprofit manufacturing firm. Sound hard? Now, imagine running a nonprofit manufacturing firm who has to answer to a federal government purchaser. For TRI Industries, this was the case.

Great Product and Better Cause

A manufacturer of laser toner cartridges and other imaging supplies, TRI’s mission is built around ensuring the employment of people with disabilities. The nonprofit, established in 1977, builds high-performance, eco-friendly office supplies that meet the quality standards put in place by the federal government’s AbilityOne Program.

Take a second. You already know the challenges faced as a manufacturer. Now, add the complexities of filing a Form 990 for all to see—and on top of that meting quality standards set by federal purchasers.

But TRI Industries made it happen—and for more than four decades, the company has delivered products, employed people with disabilities, and done so while maintaining eco-friendly ratings and performance specs.

A Familiar Supply Chain Problem

Like many manufacturers operating for decades, TRI Industries began to hit roadblocks resulting from outdated supply chain processes and procedures. Specifically, the manufacturer kept bumping up against inventory challenges, which stood in the way of proper planning and caused persistent problems with overstocks, replenishment, and accurate lead times for product delivery.

While the company was able to build its own custom inventory replenishment solution, they found the product to be cumbersome—while working slowly and only providing visibility into some areas.

The Solution: Sage 100cloud and Sage Inventory Advisor

Knowing there was a better way to approach the problem, TRI Industries needed a product ready to handle their increasingly complex business challenges. After looking around, they were pointed in the right direction, discovering the Sage 100 ERP system and, specifically, the Sage Inventory Advisor add-on module.

Delivering a user-friendly interface and intelligent sales forecasting and classification, Sage Inventory Advisor can put any business in a better position, but as discussed in the free IDG Guidebook titled Manufacturer’s Guide to ERP, the results for TRI were stunning.

What started with an ability to benchmark turned into an ability to optimize. After collecting the data, TRI had a fill rate of 94% when first implementing the Sage Inventory Advisor system, but it wanted to boost that figure to 96% – a benchmark it eventually exceeded.

Thanks to Sage and Sage Inventory Advisor, they were able to implement a smarter replenishment strategy, cut their formerly half-day replenishment process to a half-hour, and leverage intelligent dashboards to stay ahead of any challenges.

Scaling Distributor Revitalizes Workhorse ERP with Inventory Advisor

Scaling a business is one of the most exciting—and challenging—times for any company. Imagine, “fifteen times more SKUs? Sure. Let’s go for it.”

Increasing SKUs Meant Increasing Challenges

For Warwick Hanger Company, this was exactly what happened. Though the company was no stranger to ERP, this manufacturer and distributor hit a few bumps with its workhorse system as it began to aggressively scale out its inventory of residential and light commercial pipe hangers. Initially working with 60 SKUs, the company was using Sage 100 for decades to handle its growing selection of products.

While the firm was able to successfully manage its distribution operation for decades using the Sage 100 platform, the growing selection of products meant a growing level of complexity.

Scaling without Sacrificing Speed

“We grew from stocking 60 SKUs to 1,000 SKUs, and to ensure we always had adequate stock on hand, we often over-ordered, leaving surplus stock on the shelves for months,” says Mike Ellery, president of Warwick Hanger.

But it wasn’t just the scaling business, Warwick Hanger was ahead of the curve on speed, differentiating itself through its promise to rapid ship. While yes, this helped the company’s customers to keep lean inventory, it also resulted in a lot of issues in handling their own inventory.

Warwick Hanger needed a system capable of handling the complex algorithms that could help optimize its own burgeoning inventory—specifically, keeping the right products in the mix—without overstocking and tying up budgetary resources in unnecessary goods.

How Sage Inventory Advisor Took a Traditional Sage Implementation Further

Much like the earlier-mentioned TRI Industries, Warwick Hanger found value in a hybrid solution—thanks to the cloud-based Sage Inventory Advisor. By adding the cloud-based Sage Inventory Advisor to the Sage 100 ERP platform, Warwick Hanger was able to gain better visibility into inventory data, helping to reduce stockouts, minimize excess inventory, and free up working capital.

The Results? How about a near-doubled fill rate? Prior to implementing Sage Inventory Advisor, Warwick Hanger’s order fill rate was around 50%, and staff often weren’t aware of a stockout situation until warehouse staff went to pick and pack the order. Thanks to the new system, the company’s fill rate is closer to 90%.

Want to learn more? Read the free IDG Report on How Distributors Can Make the Right Choices with Next Generation ERP.

It Only Works with the Right Partner: Kissinger Associates Puts You In Control

ERP projects are an exciting—and risky—time for a business. Will a successful project deliver lasting value and make life easier for both users and executives? Yes. But before you reap the benefits, you have to do the legwork—and before you do the legwork, you need to find a partner committed to your success.

At Kissinger Associates, we’ve been Sage Partners for decades, and we know what goes into a successful Sage 100cloud implementation.

If you’re looking for a hybrid cloud solution that can help you to empower employees, deliver for customers and get the most out of your business, Sage 100cloud delivers. If you’re looking for an honest, reliable, and extremely competent partner who has helped hundreds of businesses find and deploy the right ERP for their needs, look no further than Kissinger Associates.

Get to know more about our team and contact us for a free consultation.

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