Any profitable business understands the importance of effective time management. In today’s world of changing technology, it is no surprise that increasing amounts of once time-consuming, mundane tasks are now automated, freeing valuable hours in the workday to focus on other, more essential business ventures. This is easily accomplished with an advanced, comprehensive and integrated enterprise resource planning (ERP) software solution. Hampered by an outdated and unreliable ERP system, Sheralven Enterprises Ltd. (www.sheralven.com) sought a solution that would complement its need for facilitating effective warehouse management and sales operations.
Founded in 1977, Sheralven Enterprises Ltd. is a one-stop shop for fragrances. The Commack, N.Y.-based company sells, manufactures and distributes a wide variety of brand-name and private-label perfumes, colognes, body lotions and other fragrances, while providing warehousing and logistical services for its customers. Sheralven processes and directly ships items domestically and internationally for national retail chains and independents.
Sheralven encountered numerous problems with its previous ERP software package. First, the system was outdated and unreliable, and therefore hindered the company’s productivity and profitability. Additionally, obsolete electronic data interchange (EDI) capabilities presented connectivity issues and difficulty processing large volumes of orders.
For Sheralven’s warehousing and sales personnel, the older system required tedious, time-consuming and manual order processing procedures. The company’s distribution operations were note-driven – slowing down the accounting process and preventing a timely order fulfillment process. This directly affected customer service. A solution that could handle large volumes of orders, while simultaneously managing an inventory of over 5,000 products was essential.
Sheralven needed a tool that could automate tasks, such as processing orders, tracking shipments and managing an extensive inventory. The distributor also required a solution that could handle greater volumes of orders, allowing the company to expand its customer base to include larger clients and more frequent orders. At the same time, Sheralven needed its ERP solution to be equipped with a reliable, user-friendly EDI interface to enhance communications between its sales and back-end personnel.
Finding the Right Partner
Sheralven had to look no further than VAI (Vormittag Associates, Inc.) (www.vai.net) for an ERP package that fit its business requirements. Sheralven saw VAI as an industry-leading, reputable solutions provider. Sheralven also understood that VAI’s experts could be readily available for technical support. Moreover, VAI’s solution, S2K for Distribution, was both affordable and sophisticated, giving Sheralven the best value.
By selecting VAI, Sheralven also knew that it would receive a better EDI solution from VAI’s partner, EXTOL International, Inc. (www.extol.com). EXTOL is dedicated to providing and supporting business integration applications and services.
VAI and EXTOL worked closely with Sheralven to customize and integrate the right blend of ERP applications into one, comprehensive package. S2K for Distribution includes an EXTOL module—EXTOL Business Integrator (EBI)—seamlessly integrated within the package. The result is a unique solution for organizing and tracking orders, generating financial statements, improving customer relationship management (CRM) capabilities and automatically processing inventory.
Using the Solution to Solve the Problem
VAI’s S2K for Distribution, along with EBI, formed an integrated software package that immediately addressed Sheralven’s business needs. Upon going live with the solution, Sheralven dramatically increased its turn-around time by automating its data management and order processing.
Through EBI, Sheralven’s received orders are automatically entered from Excel spreadsheets into the system, eliminating time-consuming, manual entry and reducing the likelihood of errors.
“From the moment we receive an order, the process flows seamlessly,” said Sandra Parmentier, Controller, Sheralven. “We can upload, transmit and track orders almost instantaneously without wasting valuable time manually entering data or faxing and emailing invoices.”
For Sheralven’s warehousing department, S2K removed the painstaking step of hand counting orders. Now, personnel can use a barcode scanner linked to the system to speed up order verification drastically. As a result, Sheralven can process more orders in a shorter time period, helping to meet customers’ needs.
Furthermore, VAI incorporated an add-on that interfaces with UPS and Fed-Ex websites to provide shipment tracking information and an order summary for the sales team and the customer.
Evaluation-Results and Benefits
S2K for Distribution has yielded significant results and presents countless, ongoing business benefits for Sheralven. Internally, it has streamlined distribution and warehousing operations, reduced labor, increased turn-around times and improved customer service. Additionally, Sheralven is able to solicit more business because it can efficiently handle greater order quantities. By relying on VAI and its S2K solution, Sheralven expects to expand its e-commerce market and predict upcoming business trends.
Sandra Parmentier, Controller, Sheralven, said, “Prior to working with VAI, Sheralven’s internal processes lacked the efficiency needed to manage its growing business. In implementing S2K for Distribution, VAI dedicated countless hours to testing the system and making sure it was the perfect fit for us—and all without a moment of down-time. S2K for Distribution has already proven to be a great asset to our business and our customers.”