When Austpaper decided to replace its aging Solemate ERP system, the company went looking for a more modern, integrated ERP package and a partner who could handle the unusual requirements of its industry. They chose Microsoft Dynamics NAV and Fenwick Software.
Austpaper reduced costs and improved product profitability using Microsoft Dynamics NAV with Fenwick Gold modules
Austpaper is a privately owned Australian company that has been in operation under the same ownership since 1990. The Campbellfield based company is a leading supplier to the Art & Craft, Educational, Commercial and Retail industries and has a comprehensive range of products across all of these areas. Austpaper is an industry leader in the field of paper product supply.
Austpaper had operated for many years using Solemate, a system originally written for the shoe industry. It was chosen because it was capable of handling vast ranges of size and colour, a requirement for Austpaper’s paper products. Although Solemate had proven to be a good stepping stone for Austpaper, by 2012 the system wasn’t meeting the needs of the company. It wasn’t integrated with Financials and couldn’t handle Austpaper’s product ordering, shipping and warehousing requirements. The company went in search of an integrated ERP with the ability to meet the company’s ordering, import and warehousing needs, as well as comprehensive reporting of sales and product profitability. Austpaper also required a rapid implementation within tight budget constraints.
The lead time from the time that Austpaper places an order for material to stock receipt is normally six to twelve weeks, although for cover paper the lead time can be as long as nine months. An order to a supplier involves one or more base papers over many finished items. This means calculating and juggling the order quantities of finished products to ensure that the whole of the base paper is consumed. To minimise shipping costs, full container loads must be achieved using either twenty or forty foot containers. This requires calculating the products’ space requirements to optimise the use of the containers. Austpaper imports two hundred containers each year.
We looked at a number of companies before we chose Fenwick. We were impressed that they didn’t have sales people. We dealt with people who had a sound knowledge of business and the NAV product. We made a good choice.Robert Lane, GM, Austpaper
Austpaper chose Fenwick Software and Microsoft Dynamics NAV. Three Fenwick Gold modules provided some of the key functionality that Austpaper was looking for:
Overseas Imports provided import tracking, and handled Austpaper’s ownership of the product from the time it reached the wharf in the country of export.
Advanced Budgeting & Forecasting allowed for predictions based on actual sales to be fed into NAV’s Run Requisition Worksheet to assist with decisions about what products should be ordered, when.
NAV Advanced Sales Analysis Reports provided the level of sales reporting required by Austpaper plus the ability to open charts and graphs; drill down using the role tailored feature; and the automatic emailing of reports.
The Ingredients of Success
One of the key ingredients for the success of this project was Austpaper’s commitment and their delivery of the tasks that they committed to. The tight budget meant that they agreed to take on specified tasks, which they completed as agreed. This allowed Fenwick to concentrate on the lean and timely implementation of NAV and the Gold modules.
“It was a shared effort and a shared success,” Fenwick Project Manager Dave Love said. “For a number of reasons we wanted to be very involved in the project. We wanted our people to be committed to the system, to understand it. We brought our staff into the workshops and involved them. They embraced the system which made for an easier transition. We wanted to control costs and achieve a timely implementation. I think we achieved all that,” said Austpaper General Manager, Robert Lane.
A Step by Step Approach
Austpaper had a three stage approach to the system. Stage 1 got the integrated system in, removing redundant data entry and minimising manual processes. The handling of stock from supplier to the warehouse was a big step forward. Stage 2 is EDI. Austpaper has implemented EDI and is now working with its customers to take advantage of this. Stage 3 will include scan packing and receipting of goods.