Established in the year 1966, Company manufactures a wide variety of paper based stationery products used by students in schools and colleges and also used generally in offices, commercial establishments and homes. At present exercise books constitute over 90% of the turnover of the company and will continue to be the core business of the company. Company has established brand leadership for its two brands of products mainly KASUKU and CROWNBIRD. In fact KASUKU exercise books are a household name in Kenya, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania and Uganda. Over 40% of the production of exercise books is exported. Company has been exporting to the neighboring countries regularly for the past 20 years and has won awards for export performances from the Kenyan Government.
Objectives of ERP
Company was running on Sun Systems prior to the adoption of ebizframe ERP software in the year 2003-04. Sun Systems used to manage all the financial aspects of the organization. However, as the company would like to introduce more accurate costing mechanisms by streamlining the production processes, Sun Systems did not have an answer to this (and recommended to have third-party add ons for manufacturing software). However, the management had decided to go for single integrated software which could keep abreast to their growth plan with features of web-enablement. ebizframe offered them a single window to manage their entire business practices across the various modules integrated with financials such as Production, Planning, Costing and Maintenance modules; which are all stitched together with a top level view (with drill down option) with Executive Information Systems.
Company was looking for migrating out of Sun Systems for quite some time. They had evaluated other contemporary packages such as Orion from 3i InfoTech (then known as ICICI InfoTech), Oracle Apps, Sage etc. However, they had zeroed on ebizframe after done their due diligence in the market, which also included the market feedback from the other ebizframe users in Kenya. The entire evaluation process took more than one year, as Company wanted to see the consistency of the proposed solution provider in the market in terms of their approach to the market.
Company focuses on the adopting the standard best practices available in the ebizframe non-manufacturing modules such as Sales, Purchase, Inventory, Finance and HR Payroll Module within first six months of the commencement of the project. The basic approach was to Go-Live with AS IS approach. After the Go-Live of these modules, Company’s management focuses on the enhancements to the package through the onsite technical resource deployed by ESS.
The major changes were requested by Company in the modules, such as Production, Planning, Maintenance and Costing to meet their exact process flows and machineries in place. Their job works are including completely manual systems to semi automated to completely automated systems. Hence, the costing as well as output for each process-line was different. So the major challenge used to be creating the right production planning mix was based on the Economic Quantity for each production/process-line.
- Costing Module: What-If analysis (to simulate the changes in price to raw material) to see profit margins/ production cost etc
- Production Module: Multiple Job Cards (Master Job Card and Sub-Job Cards concept with their linkage into the systems)
- Maintenance Module: In-house Maintenance team and allocation of jobs / Costing etc
- EIS Module: Drill down of the job card to the production batch and drill downs
- Inventory Module: GRN to production issue tracking for raw materials
- Sales Module: Product-wise / Customer-wise Profitability Report
- More than 200 invoices are processed per day including the local and export sales, seamlessly integrated with Inventory and Financial Modules
- Accurate Order tracking for special orders from Ordering Stage to Production Advice to Production Planning to Manufacturing to Delivery to Invoicing to Collection cycle
- Multiple Currency transactions to address the sales to both various currency options. (and the related automated voucher posting in the finance module)
- Production operations and HR Payroll activities are now tracked online and the effectiveness of machines and human resources are measured online
- Costing of each product line has been optimized and the deviation is monitored more closely on a proactive basis
- The top management has more control over the entire operation through the Executive Information System (EIS) module, so that they can quickly identify any deviation to the standard norms and drill-down to the source of the problem
- All the historical data are available to track the trend analysis for better forecasting
- Operating Systems: Windows 2008 (Server) and Windows XP (PCs),Windows 7 (PC’s)
- Oracle Version: Oracle 11G Standard Edition
- Server Specification: HP Proliant DL380 (Generation 5) Server with Dual Processor
- Number of PCs: 45+
- Number of Users: Approximately 45 users
ebizframe was deployed at Company in the year 2004. Since then a lot of changes in the software standards (in terms of new releases in the Operating Systems as well as the Database Management Systems and Migration to 11g ) have taken place. In order to adhere it to the contemporary technologies, they have made the following immediate plans to execute:
- Migration of the current software to Oracle 10g platform (which includes both Database as well as Application Migration from Developer 6i to 10g)
- Introduction of Bar Code Systems to track down the inventory from Raw Material Stage to Production and finally Finished Goods delivery; to incorporate end-to-end tracking of stocks
Apart from these immediate investment plans for the software, Company is also looking forward to incorporating the following:
- Introduction of Online Work-flow management through Portal Management
- Incorporation of Management Dash Board practices
- Planning to incorporate/customize the software to manage their Space Management to have accurate capacity planning (to hold the raw materials as well as finished goods)