Apollo Bikes has achieved a ‘dramatic’ improvement in inventory levels after migrating to MYOB Exo Business from a tier-one ERP product, calling its experience of the two systems ‘like chalk and cheese’.
Leading Australian bike designer and manufacturer Apollo Bikes was running an expensive tier-one ERP system that was causing pain. Only two people in the company had the expertise to produce reports, resulting in bottlenecks. No internal staff could adapt the system, making every change costly. Apollo found it hard to extract information so reporting was basic and information silos were entrenched. The information
that could be extracted was suitable for accountants - but difficult to read for sales and production staff.
An expensive upgrade improved functionality just enough to continue running the business but did not move it forward. Meantime, company requirements were growing with the business: Apollo needed an e-commerce system to offer 24-hour ordering to its dealer network.
Apollo Bikes chose Enprise and a transfer to MYOB Exo Business. The lesser cost of Exo compared to ECi M1 enabled the purchase and implementation of a fully integrated business-to-business
e-commerce solution at no additional cost to Apollo.
Enprise created a test site for Apollo to use as part of its evaluation process.
Once Apollo had chosen Exo, Enprise guided Apollo through data preparation prior to go-live. Enprise compared and reconciled data on the old and new systems including profit and loss, stock files, creditor and debtor ledgers.
Enprise then managed the migration, creating extra fields within Exo to hold all of Apollo’s data. Enprise designed reports to pick up the extra fields so that the new reports looked familiar enough to be comfortable for Apollo’s managers and staff.
One year on, information is flowing freely around the company says Brian Bird, Financial Controller at Apollo Bikes.
“So many more staff use the Exo system, it’s highly distributed around the company and has improved our bottom line,” he says.
“For example, product managers have easy access to inventory reports. This has led to a dramatic improvement in inventory levels. We now add a stock reorder report to the historical sales report to produce a double check when making purchase orders. They used to simply order regular amounts on a regular basis. We have improved our understanding.”
Apollo used to get a daily sales report but would have good analysis for only the last few days of each month. The company now takes a couple of minutes to run a standard stock report each day. That standard stock report contains all key metrics including cost of sales, gross margin, gross profit, and profit as a percentage of turnover.
Apollo’s chief executive makes daily use of a dashboard, configured for him, that includes margins.
“He can keep an eye on margins every day, he has constant information at his fingertips – it’s brilliant,” Brian Bird says.
“The boss has actually tracked a drop in margin to a single invoice. He called the dealer and told him his invoice was incorrect, and it was. The dealer corrected the invoice and margins returned to normal. It’s hard to put a dollar value on that. There are many efficiencies and production benefits like that that we can’t put a dollar value on.”
Apollo chose StraightSell for its e-commerce system. StraightSell has a big market in Australia and has well established integration points with Exo. The integration needed is so standardised that Enprise only charges customers for customised features, such as adding extra fields. Implementation is well underway and will allow dealers to see the availability of Apollo product and place orders at any time of the day or night.
“We need to be out there for our dealers,” says Brian Bird.
“They need to be able to place orders 24/7 without having to call us. Dealers want to do their ordering or purchasing at the end of the day, in the evening - any time.”
Apollo will continue to gain even more value from Exo, Brian Bird says.
“Our productivity has increased because we’re able to answer queries more quickly. It’s wonderful what information you can get out, and it’s like chalk and cheese compared to where we were. It’s been a dramatic change and I’m sold on it from the point of view of benefits to Apollo.”
Apollo Bikes threw out an ‘expensive, inflexible’ tier-one ERP system in favour of MYOB EXO Business implemented by Enprise. Apollo describes its experience of the two different systems as ‘like chalk and cheese’. In sharp contrast to the old tier-one system, Apollo staff now access MYOB EXO in large numbers. They say MYOB EXO is much easier to use and that they value the ability to get information rapidly. This fresh flow of information around the company has produced bottom line benefits that include a ‘dramatic’ improvement in inventory levels. Apollo says the speed at which it can now answer queries has lifted the company’s productivity.
A year after the MYOB EXO go-live Enprise added e-commerce functionality by deploying a StraightSell website. This allows Apollo’s dealer network to place orders with Apollo at any time, 24 hours a day. From an MYOB EXO perspective StraightSell is so easy to integrate that Enprise only charges customers for customised features, such as extra fields where required. Apollo’s financial controller says Apollo can get plenty more value out of MYOB EXO yet, and that he’s ‘sold on MYOB EXO’ in terms of the benefits realised by his company.
- Daily dashboard serves up key metrics fresh each day
- Staff can ‘self-serve’ relevant reports
- No information bottlenecks
- Close monitoring of margins
- All analysis available in real time.
- 'Dramatic’ improvement in inventory levels
- Increased productivity
- 24/7 ordering for dealers
- Further gains to come.
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