Ultra recently worked with a $100 million company in the consumer products industry.
The company manufactures and distributes products that are sold to retail chains and distributors in the sporting goods and hardware industries.
Over the last decade, the company’s business model has shifted from solely manufacturing to a combination of manufacturing and distribution. In fact, a majority of their business is now distribution.
This business shift pushed company leaders to explore an organizational change management process.
ERP and Change Management
The change in business models brought this company significant growth in the consumer products industry. Over the last four years, while most manufacturing companies were fighting to stay alive, our client achieved an impressive 35% growth in sales.
Our client implemented their current ERP system, related hardware, and supporting procedures in 1995. While many modifications have been made to their system and procedures since then, the related hardware has not significantly changed and cannot be updated. The risk of obsolescence and complete breakdown of the current system related hardware is very real.
4 Ways We Knew It Was Time to Update
The 4 factors below were some of the strong indications our client was in need of a change.
1. Age and vulnerability of the existing system
The system was outdated and unable to appropriately service both internal and external customers. In addition, the current systems were unable to scale in order to handle the increase in business and personnel.
2. Paper-based systems
Many of the company’s current processes relied heavily on the movement of paper, which can lead to errors, inefficiencies and delays. Many processes are manual and redundant, contributing to inefficiencies in productivity and communication.
3. Lack of access to information
The company produces a lot of data but has very little information. Dozens of reports with data are produced, but most are of little use without hours of review and preparation of manual Excel reports.
Currently, users do not have quick, flexible access to information in order to make good business decisions. The use of multiple systems complicates reporting, reducing key data visibility and compromising data integrity.
4. Business change
When the company acquired its current information system, it was exclusively a manufacturer. Over the last decade much of the manufacturing processes have moved off shore. Our client is pursuing a modern comprehensive distribution software system with built-in capabilities for planning and reporting.
Consumer Products Industry Commitments
While the risks inherent in running on an antiquated system initiated the research of a modern enterprise software system, our client also realized an opportunity to evaluate their current business processes.
A commitment from management to pull together a team of their top resources and a capital budget allocation led to a one-year plan to transform business processes and integrate a supporting and modern enterprise software system.
These commitments, including educating employees and implementing industry best practices, are geared to help drive business performance improvements that will allow a company that was already prospering during a very difficult period in manufacturing to grow at a greater rate and generate more profit.
To learn more about how Ultra can help your company, contact us today.