Manufacturing AUTOMATION

Features Software Technology
SAP: Lighting distributor looks to a bright future


September 11, 2009
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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THE COMPANY: Toronto-based Mercor Lighting Group distributes lighting products for residential, industrial, retail and commercial customers in Canada and the United States. The company has annual revenues of approximately $20 million and currently employs 40 people. Mercor is the result of a merger between Mercury Lighting of Toronto and Eclairage Corlite of Montreal.

THE CHALLENGE: Following the merger of Toronto’s Mercury Lighting of Toronto and Montreal’s Éclairage Corlite in 2002, Mercor has enjoyed an increase in market share. Given this rapid growth and the competitive nature of its industry, Mercor needed to standardize business processes, and consolidate inventory management and go-to-market strategies across its organization. The company also aimed to increase precision of managing inventory and enhance client and supplier relationships to ensure continued success and profitability. In addition, Mercor wanted to improve its ability to support growth, as it looked to further expand across Canada through organic growth and future acquisitions.”

THE STRATEGY: Mercor decided to integrate its IT systems to increase visibility across its supply chain and enable better decision-making. The company partnered with Implanciel (now known as Fortsum Business Solutions) and SAP Canada to implement the SAP Business One application, which helps small businesses to streamline operations and manage their entire business, including financials, sales, customer relationships and inventory using a single solution. It can be tailored to meet industry-specific requirements and is scalable to support changing needs as businesses grow. Using a phased approach, Mercor implemented the software in Montreal and then moved to Toronto.

THE RESULTS:
Since implementing SAP, Mercor has improved inventory visibility, reduced data entry errors and simplified transfers between locations–reducing annual inventory costs by 10 percent. The company has also optimized its procurement processes and improved its ability to audit suppliers to choose the most suitable one at any given time. This enables Mercor to fulfill orders quickly and effectively, which in turn has improved customer satisfaction and retention.

Mercor has streamlined its financial and reporting processes and reduced invoicing costs by approximately $8,000 per year. The company has also improved its sales management and has seen a significant increase in profitability. In addition, Mercor has increased efficiency in its IT systems without increasing support costs and established a platform that can support future expansion and integrate acquisitions more easily. “SAP software has become the backbone of our company, providing IT stability and support for our critical business processes,” Mercor owner Eric Tordjman said.