Sage: Cleaning up data and inventory issues

Friday September 16, 2011
Written by Sage
The Company: For more than 60 years, family owned Avmor Ltd. has been manufacturing and distributing quality cleaning products used by industry. Its manufacturing facilities are housed in a 155,000-square-foot, ISO 9001-2008 and ISO 14001:2004 certified plant. The plant includes liquid and powder blending facilities, a reactor for forming acrylic polymer emulsions, complete packaging facilities, and on-site printing capabilities. While most of the company's business is conducted within Canada, it has a growing presence in the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

The Challenge: Avmor requires sophisticated tools to manage its complex operations. The company previously relied on a legacy software system that had exceeded its useful life.

"It wasn't even based on Microsoft Windows," recalls Edith Lauzon, director of finance and operations for Avmor. "It was heavily customized, and that made it expensive to maintain. It also lacked MRP capabilities, and reporting was always a struggle."

Avmor launched a comprehensive search for a new fully integrated advanced manufacturing and distribution enterprise software solution.

"We looked at 15 ERP packages, and after careful analysis, we narrowed the list down to three: Microsoft Dynamics, SAP Business One and Sage ERP X3," Lauzon says. "They are all great solutions, but Sage ERP X3 offered everything we needed in a single, powerful package. The solution also has excellent references and that finalized our decision to select Sage ERP X3."

The Strategy: A local Sage Authorized Partner, referred by Sage, collaborated with Avmor's internal team to implement Sage ERP X3.

"The partner did an excellent job, and the implementation went very well. Our new system went live as scheduled - to the day," notes Lauzon. "Plus, they saved us lots of time by converting our bills of material, with our formulas, into the new system."

The Results: Access to information across departments has dramatically improved since the implementation of Sage ERP X3, says Lauzon. "Information is readily available to everyone who needs it. We can place key metrics right on our desktop to monitor them in real time. Previously, our only option was to print a hard copy of a report. By delivering accurate, up-to-date information to our staff throughout the day, collaboration between departments has increased, as has our ability to make informed business decisions."

Within the software, each member of the management team has access to a customized desktop page that provides the precise information they need to monitor the financial health of the organization.

Inventory management has also benefitted from the transition to Sage ERP X3.

"Our production planning capabilities are greatly improved thanks to the robust MRP capabilities in Sage ERP X3," Lauzon says. "We are notified when we run low on the raw materials necessary to meet our real and projected demands."

Before, the annual inventory costing activity consumed an entire month. But thanks to the efficiencies and improved accuracy provided by Sage ERP X3, now the process takes only two days.

Lot tracking is necessary for monitoring the expiration dates of Avmor's products, and the system automatically generates the coded lot number sequence for each item as each work order is completed.

"We are able to monitor the expiration dates of our products closely with the software," says Lauzon. "This helps us to reduce waste and improve profitability."

Sage ERP X3 holds the formulas for Avmor's 1,000 SKUs and accurately costs each item as the batch is completed. The results of the company's quality testing also are associated with each batch. Working with its business partner, the company plans to implement the software's radio frequency data collection functionality. Then item movement can be efficiently tracked, from purchasing or production to final shipment, using hand-held devices and barcodes.

The web-based architecture of Sage ERP X3 lends itself perfectly to use by Avmor's sales staff who are now able to access the software from anywhere they have Internet access.

"We also plan to offer a similar benefit to our customers," Lauzon says. "They will be able to log in to place orders, perform account inquiries, and check stock of items."

Several of Avmor's customers trade with the company using EDI, a process that is fully supported by Sage ERP X3.

"We are already enjoying the benefits the efficiency and power of the software provides - and we expect the benefits and resulting cost savings to continue to grow," Lauzon concludes.

www.SageNorthAmerica.com

 

A condensed version of this case study ran as part of the 2011 Software Case Study Guide in the September 2011 issue of Manufacturing AUTOMATION.

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