Do you often find that ERP systems don’t contain the right features for your needs?
Is it getting more difficult to find the right ERP system?
Are you having trouble narrowing down your options?
Like many businesses, organization can be the main game changer. The bottom line is; if you don’t know when and where your distribution is going, you’re in trouble. CRP Industries was faced with a similar problem. Too many of the ERP systems they were considering were too complex and actually had too much to offer. Their options were not suiting their needs. Sage ERP X3; a simple, easy-to-use solution, can turn your struggles into opportunities and success. With complete customization, Sage ERP X3 is fit to tailor to the needs that you desire, only. Don’t get lost in your ERP system, and don’t settle for an ERP that isn’t small or big enough for your operations. Sage ERP X3 continues to display the ability to reflect the business it is working for.
CRP Industries is an importer and high-volume distributor of automotive and industrial products in Carteret, New Jersey. Its extensive product line spans markets covering automotive replacement parts, high-speed motors, and industrial hoses. The automotive replacement segment is a core business of CRP, servicing customers such as BMW of North America and Volkswagen of America.
Although 90 percent of CRP’s business involves importing and distribution, the company also houses automotive and industrial hose shops where extensive kitting and value-added activities are conducted, as well as a motor repair shop. Finished goods are sourced from warehouses in Carteret, Fremont, CA, and Puebla, Mexico.
Prior to Sage ERP X3, the company had been using a homegrown software system for more than 20 years. “Our legacy application wasn’t allowing us to keep inventory and service rates in balance, particularly as part numbers and sales volumes increased over the years,” says Daniel Schildge, vice president of CRP. “We decided to replace it with a packaged solution.”
The business drivers for change centered on the company’s desire to: improve inventory fill rates while reducing inventory levels; ship orders faster and with greater accuracy; and reduce costs and streamline operations by automating more processes, particularly in the finished goods warehouses.
“We first conducted a bottom-up needs analysis and then reviewed which software packages best fit our needs,” explains Schildge. “We immediately discovered that, for most offerings, there was a mismatch in what the standard ERP packages offered and what we really needed to improve efficiencies in our warehouses.”
System deficiencies were especially apparent in warehouse activities requiring radio frequency-directed operations for palletized picks, shipping confirmation, and labor tracking. CRP considered using a best-of-breed approach and bolting a third-party WMS onto its new ERP system, but most of these specialized packages contained far too many bells and whistles than what was needed for its mid-sized operation.
“Our top priority was to manage inventory better,” says Schildge. “But while we considered employing a best-of-breed approach, we felt that working with a single vendor would be more cost effective.”
Kitting was another key business activity that CRP needed to get a handle on. “Although our business is primarily distribution, we’re increasingly doing light manufacturing activities that produce finished goods according to customer-specific needs,” explains Schildge. “For example, we produce repair kits, taking several components and packaging them together prior to delivery. We also cut hoses to different lengths and add a variety of fittings. We can either make-to-order or to-stock.”
One enterprise software vendor had more to offer in both the WMS and assembly areas than the others?Sage. In addition to providing robust order fulfillment capabilities across sales, picking, shipping, invoicing, and procurement, Sage ERP X3 had already built in comprehensive warehouse location management features and automated data collection capabilities into its core Sage ERP X3 Distribution system that supported key transactions such as physical counts and inventory receipts right out of the box. Sage ERP X3 also provided production capabilities that were readily scalable to the level of light assembly operations that CRP Industries required.
“Sage ERP X3 provided a solid entry point in the warehousing area, was reasonably priced, and we felt we could be fully operational in a quick timeframe,” explains Schildge. “Its broad functionality base and ability to be configured for our size of operations made it an attractive selection.”
“Order cycle times are much improved with orders going out the same day or next. We can now allocate inventory regardless of whether it’s against on-hand stock, backorders, or receipts coming in from overseas,” says Schildge. “With improved visibility into real-time information comes the ability to manage exceptions better and adjust quickly to changing customer needs.”
Through the new labor-tracking capabilities, visibility into labor costs for each warehouse has enabled CRP to determine its “true” profit for orders. “With our legacy system, we couldn’t easily assess the financial impact of the manpower it took to fulfill orders,” notes Schildge. “Knowing these costs has helped us identify cost improvement areas.”
Future planned actions include the ability for CRP Industries to extend its improved internal efficiencies and access to information out to its supply chain. “We feel communication throughout the supply chain is another important way to balance inventory and service,” observes Schildge. “Combining forecast information from our customers with our own forecasting and planning functions will help take our ability to manage inventory to the next level.”
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