Cloud-based ERP system built on Microsoft Dynamics 365 streamlines product management across 22 branches
For many organisations, the prospect of embracing digital transformation can be daunting. Individual consumers have been quick to adopt the vast improvements in digital products and lifestyle technologies in recent years, but organisations have been slow to change.
Many organisations believe that replacing legacy systems is too time consuming, expensive and risky. They tend to settle for one of two things – they either bolt-on systems that do not integrate with existing systems or they modify legacy systems to gain some incremental improvements.
While this might plaster over an issue, providing only a short-term solution, a lack of investment in the core technology running your businesses could prove costly on the bottom line in the future.
In most cases, the correct business decision is to upgrade your core solution to future proof your business.
This is a decision that was recently made by Ireland’s leading electrical wholesaler, Kellihers Electrical, who implemented a new ERP system built using Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations (F&O). Kellihers Electrical has over 22 branches nationwide and is part of the global Rexel Group.
Since implementation, Kellihers Electrical has improved its overall customer service by increasing business efficiencies. It now has a modern ERP solution with a core financial operating system that is easy to navigate and provides real-time data about the business – such as comprehensive sales and stock information across all of its locations in Ireland.
The business has a real-time view of stock availability, purchasing and pricing
In 2006, Kellihers Electrical became part of Rexel Group, a multi-national distributor of electrical supplies and services, with operations in 26 countries around the world and a network of 2,000 branches and 27,000 employees.
Mindful of the headaches and high costs of maintaining its own on-premises infrastructure – which differed across its numerous sites – Rexel Group set out to take advantage of modern cloud services as well as the latest and best ‘off-the-shelf’ operations software.
A decision was made to standardise ERP systems across Rexel Group’s entire European operation. Microsoft Dynamics 365 F&O was selected as the chosen platform, with Ireland and Kellihers Electrical, to be the first to roll out the new system within the group.
Microsoft Gold Partner, Sysco Software Solutions, were chosen as the Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations implementation partner based on their ERP delivery track record and availability of skilled Finance and Operations staff in Ireland.
A clear competitive advantage for Kellihers Electrical is the large number of ‘special products’ it stocks across its wholesale outlets across the country. To ensure that stocking specialist products remains profitable for the business, it is crucial that staff can easily track exactly what is in stock and in which outlet. Being able to provide this information to customers in real-time is hugely valued, especially for those working on projects with a tight deadline.
Having an ERP system based in the cloud using Microsoft Azure means that all staff have a common real-time view of stock availability, purchasing and pricing across the group.
The new system has significantly improved search functionality for its extensive product listing and provided the flexibility the business needs to process different order types and payment terms, which can vary greatly from customer to customer.
It is now easier for staff to resolve any issues and identify upsell and cross-sell opportunities, as they no longer have to search for different systems to answer questions about billing or products. Having more informed staff has led to new business opportunities and additional revenue.
Speaking about the project, Kevin Hogan, COO at Kellihers Electrical, said: “The single biggest upside of using Dynamics, is its ease of use for our team. It’s extremely easy to navigate around the various modules and to drill down into the core input documents from various parts of the system. Also, we now have much more management data, which allows us to make better – and quicker – management decisions. The ease of use of transferring data from Dynamics to Office products has proved to be useful across our organisation”.
With this new cloud-based setup, Kellihers Electrical has a unified view of its business, and decision makers have current, accurate data on inventory and pricing. Having a more intuitive ERP system with everything on one database has enabled staff to respond more quickly to customers’ needs and resulted in an increase in sales.
Business Group Lead Dynamics