About the Client:
The client is an Australian company specializing in custom designed imported products including contemporary furniture, lighting, gaming chairs, structural fittings, bar designs, and dining fit-outs. The client directly sources products from manufacturers globally. They provide design services for their customers as well as manage all aspects of direct importing that include manufacturer sourcing, manufacturing QA and manage all aspects of logistics for both exporting from source and importing into Australia to 3 distribution centers.
The Client for many years used very complex manual spreadsheets and email to manage all aspect of this Australian domestic Import business. This included quoting, design file management, first cost quoting, landed cost component variables including CBM, ocean freight rates, import duties, currency exchange rates and warehouse management in three distinct physical locations. The Legacy accounting system had limited integration and rekeying of data from various spreadsheets was the norm. Supply chain visibility for manufacturing status and shipment status was all done manually and shared with customers via excel and Email. The warehouses all ran very simple warehouse receipt and shipment functions held together by manual processes using excel as its foundational processing tool. They also needed to manage a complex manufacturing quality assurance in the factory because finished goods items we assembled from the manufactured bill of materials items. Each Item and final assembly needed to be managed very tightly to ensure the highest quality, the client wanted to own that process in-house. Again the tool of choice was excel and email for this collaborative, detailed and complicated process. Approving and managing many component piece review and approval became more and more challenging. The business continued to expand rapidly and the manual processes became impossible to sustain. Nothing was connected and many aspects of the business became very inefficient and profitability was being challenged via a number of different factors. They knew they needed to automate and get all of these functions operating in a single integrated software solution.
The client initially set out to discover suitable commercial ERP applications and component pieces to solve all the manual processes they created over the years to manage this business. They quickly discovered most solutions were not user-friendly, had very long sales and deployment strategies and had major gaps in solutions that met their specific needs. The final and biggest frustration was the cost of commercial products to get them close to what they needed and felt comfortable using. These types of solutions were not the answer for them.
The client approached the Annexus Solutions team to review all requirements they had with the goal of architecting and deploying an enterprise single platform solution. The team at Annexus proposed building a cloud-based automated order management system on the Azure platform with the tools to manage core things such as quotes, sales orders, purchase orders, Import Logistics, foreign currency management, Manufacturing QA and WMS for receipts, inventory management, and shipments. The Annexus team studied the requirements of the client’s industry and designed a solution that met all the needs regarding scalability, affordability, smart integration of all processes and all order management activities within a single automated system. Below are some more details of some of the key features and process that were built into this platform:
- Full integration with their existing ERP and CRM systems
- Automated processes and integration APIs for shipments and order tracking end to end from the manufacturer, freight forwarders, Ocean carriers, Inland line haul and from their own 2 warehouse locations.
- Complete supply chain visibility end to end for operations and for customers.
- Custom WMS processes to address WIP assembly of the bill of materials as well as put away, pick, pack and ship.
- Auction tools to help move excess inventory that had been aging over certain time periods.
- A centralized system to update product quantities across all selling channels to provide complete inventory visibility and tracking.
- Powerful cataloging and searching system for vendors to find products with vital details like category, dimensions, utility, pricing, cost, availability, freight charges, tax implications, and industry groups.
- Automatically update order status across multiple channels, in real-time
- Automate invoice generation by email and fax
- Complete visibility and capability to update manufacturing QA information on handhelds using Android app for phones and tablets
- Customer and manufacturing interfaces to see the bill of materials orders and sales orders as well as all relevant status information with exception management capabilities.
- Robust business intelligence architecture, dashboards, and reports to help make critical business decisions and manage the business issues as exceptions and business opportunities via better data access and analysis of trends and costs over time. This architecture positions the client for delivering more predictive analytics algorithms as well to help with seeing long-term trends in manufacturing countries, regions, manufacturer performance, labor rate trends and other use case attribute drivers through cloud-based BI tools.
As a result of the automated order management system software developed by Annexus Solutions, the client was better able to make informed business decisions and improve supply chain processes and reduce operational costs throughout operations.
- A smoother, simpler workflow, and a better way to run business
- Ability to analyzing product performance helped to increase inventory turns and top line sales.
- Automate buying and sales process with minimal human intervention reducing man-hours devoted to manual repetitive tasks.
- Better Manufacturing Management performance through better visibility and analytics to quality and on-time delivery metrics.
- Allows associates to drive sales and manage exceptions proactively rather than reactively.
Looking to set up complex ordering process and not finding any solutions? Or are the commercial offering looking way too complex and expensive? Annexus Solutions can help design a customized software solution that satisfies all your requirements at very affordable price points compared to those commercial offerings. Contact us today.