Reference case: ERP for Wholesale Distributers
Capi Europe maximises efficiency with an integral system
Capi Europe provides around 2,500 different garden items to customers in 45 different countries. The dynamic market places stringent demands on production, sales, logistics and, in particular, stock management. In order to meet these demands, an integrated ERP system has been implemented, including a complete warehouse-management and BI solution. According to Toine Van De Ven, General Manager of Capi Europe, the initial benefit that this system provides will be a significant increase in efficiency.
Anticipating rapidly changing trends
Capi Europe is a renowned brand name in the garden furniture, pottery and decorative accessories sector. The business, established in Tilburg, has production locations in China, Vietnam and Indonesia, all of which are run by highly experienced Capi Europe professionals. In the Netherlands, the company’s modern products are supplied to, amongst others, garden centres such as Intratuin, specialist garden-furniture stores and hardware stores. Van De Ven: “Our turnover has been rising for the last ten years, and significantly so in the Netherlands. Our country is a trend-setter in the garden sector. Nowhere else in the world is the garden so highly regarded. In the Netherlands, the garden is seen an extension of the living room. Our market is noted for its rapidly changing trends which have to be immediately integrated into our production and stock-management operations. For this and other reasons, we needed a new, robust system that integrally covers all of our business activities.
Selection process based on an audit
Cadran was selected from a shortlist that included ten other providers. Van De Ven: “An external firm developed the selection process, which consisted of an audit. The potential suppliers each had a week to familiarise themselves with our processes before proposing a solution and a method. In the end, we had the most faith in the proposal made by Cadran. Anybody can make promises, but we had the feeling that Cadran truly understood our needs. The deciding factor was how Cadran immersed themselves in our business to a much more extensive degree than the other candidates. Furthermore, they offered a tried and tested solution that could be implemented within a very short time.
Three seamlessly integrated systems
Cadran’s solution consists of three components. Van De Ven: “JD Edwards EnterpriseOne 9.0 covers finances, purchasing, sales and customer relationship management. For the purposes of stock management and delivery, we use Ceyenne WMS software, specially developed by Diract-IT in conjunction with Cadran. Employees in the warehouses use scanners, and walking routes, replenishment from bulk storage and cycle counting is controlled via the WMS. Finally, Ceyenne BI provides information for the purposes of operational management and management decisions. The Ceyenne software is fully integrated with JD Edwards. Cadran had already demonstrated the effectiveness of this integration at other companies.
Ready to use within three months
The project began at the beginning of October 2010, and the system was up and running as soon as 1 January 2011. The super-fast delivery can be put down to two factors. Van De Ven: “Firstly, Cadran made use of Oracle Accelerate, a formula that preconfigures ERP systems according to the processes in a particular sector. As a result, you need define far fewer parameters. Furthermore, an implementation environment was immediately set up on a Cadran Virtual Machine, which enabled us start the implementation straight away.
In collaboration with the Capi Europe team, Cadran then carried out fit/gap analysis with regard to the processes and system layout. The system was then further configured based on these results. The software had to be tailored to suit our processes, such as order picking and sales orders, in addition to packing slips and other documents. Employees and consultants at our location were able to participate in the fine-tuning process via an online connection with the Cadran server in Hoevelaken. We also discovered that the processes in JD Edwards were sometimes better configured than our own. Naturally, we took full advantage of this knowledge.”
High level of involvement during implementation
“What struck me the most during the implementation is that Cadran’s employees always ensured that their responsibilities were fulfilled in their entirety”, said Van De Ven. “They kept going until everything was perfect. This was not only the case during the design of the system, but also in all other phases, such as user guidance. We are a young company with a positive attitude, so there was little resistance to switching to a new system. However, the accelerated implementation meant that we had very little time to train users of the new system. Cadran arranged for the warehouse manager of one of their other clients to make regular visits to our business to demonstrate to our workers how to conduct special functions, such as order crediting.
Results: increased insight and efficiency
Van De Ven: “We can now view current stock levels at any given moment. There is no longer any difference between the numbers in the system and the numbers in the warehouse. It is even possible to sell items that at that moment are still in transit from Asia. Furthermore, the items are no longer spread across countless different locations in the warehouse. We supply around 2,500 products that vary in size from 10cm to 2m. The turnover rate of these items can fluctuate greatly. The system constantly calculates the best place in the warehouse to store the items for the purposes of order picking and bulk storage. For example, if the order frequency of an item stored at the back of a high shelf increases, then an automatic order is given to move it to a more easily accessible location. These automatic orders are sent to warehouse operatives via their scanners. All of this allows us to work far more efficiently.”
The benefits at a glance
- Constant access to all information about current stock levels.
- The system constantly places items in the most suitable location in the warehouse.
- The delivery processes are faster, less prone to error, and can be carried out by fewer employees.
- The information provided offers the management a firm basis for operational and strategic decision-making.
“We have only been using the solution for a couple of months, but the benefits are already clearly visible. In the next few years, we will be able to increase the level of insight and efficiency even further.” – Toine Van De Ven, General Manager of Capi Europe