AT A GLANCE
- Warehousing, Distribution, Trade Services
- Replace an ageing accounting system
- Inventory & warehouse management
- Manage kitting and dis-assembly
- Jiwa 7 implemented by AustLink Plus
- Integrated order and inventory management
- Improved customer order confirmation
- Customisations have tailored user experience
- Analytics and Service Management enablement
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Micron Alarms is wholesale supplier of electronic security equipment ranging from intrusion detection, alarm systems, CCTV, security keypad and home technology products. These are sourced from the best manufacturers around the world.
Based in Sydney since 1983, Micron always prided itself on high quality customer service from sales through to after-sales service and technical support to its many customers. As a result, it has seen substantial growth.
Micron recently extended its presence into Brisbane, and this was the impetus to review its accounting and business management system needs.
Micron faced several limitations with its system at the time. It had no inventory management, stock control, landed cost or warehouse management capabilities. A further limitation was the system’s inability to handle kit disassembly. A large proportion of products ordered by Micron come in the form of kits. If they are not later sold as complete kits to Micron’s customers they are disassembled and sold as individual components. Micron recognised it could benefit from a solution that could automate the kit disassembly process.
Additionally, Micron’s accounting system had no functionality through which it could manage stock transfers between its Sydney headquarters and the soon-to-be opened Brisbane office.
After considerable online research into the options available in the ERP solutions market, Simon Jabour, Director of Micron Alarms, decided on Jiwa 7.
“Soon after I hit upon Jiwa I arranged for a product demonstration and was immediately impressed by its comprehensive and easy-to-use functionality,” said Jabour. “It didn’t take me long to determine that Jiwa was the right solution for Micron.”
The demo and installation was handled by Austlink Plus, a Jiwa business partner, and immediately produced a number of improvements in the day-to-day operation and management of Micron.
Jiwa has, for example, taken the guesswork out of inventory management.
“Prior to Jiwa we had to estimate what our stock levels and stock values were and, while we were pretty good at it, we had no way of knowing how accurate we were,” said Jabour. “Now we have all that information in the Jiwa system – we have a complete grasp on stock coming in, stock moving out and the stock levels in our warehouse. This allows us to know when we need to order new stock, and what to order, while also enabling us to meet customer demands quickly and efficiently.”
As with any other customer-focused business, Micron cannot afford to be tripped up by disputes and misunderstandings with customers. These have been greatly reduced with the Jiwa system emailing all product and pricing quotes to customers – error-prone verbal quotes have been eliminated.
“Previously, our sales staff would provide verbal quotes which didn’t necessarily match up with the subsequent product invoice, leading to the occasional customer dispute,” said Jabour. “But now every quote is generated and emailed to the customer from within Jiwa. Upon receiving the customer’s agreement the quote is converted into a sales order. When the product gets dispatched, the invoice is automatically matched to the original quote. Our quoting/order delivery process is now fully automated and completely foolproof. There are no verbal quotes, no re-keying of data and no need to print out order documentation. Not only is this far more efficient, it has also improved our ability to deliver the best possible customer service.”
The ability to customise the system to meet specific user needs has also been appreciated by the team at Micron. Austlink created a number of plug-ins that enhanced ease-of-use and improved the user experience. These included customisation of the Jiwa interface so that users did not see screens and fields that were not relevant to them. For the benefit of Micron’s sales staff, Austlink also arranged for the automatic loading of their most commonly-used screens.
“The modifications made by Austlink have helped us become more efficient and productive”, said Jabour. “Rather than opening up Jiwa then selecting the sales order entry screen, that screen opens up automatically when the user logs on to the system, which saves time and effort. Austlink also modified particular screens to make them less cluttered and less complex, thereby further enhancing ease-of-use.
“Another add-on that’s proven useful is one that automatically disassembles, at the receipt stage, product kits that we’ve ordered from suppliers. This not only saves time but also enables us to be more accurate in the allocation and tracking of kit equipment.”
Global search functionality, a new out of box feature in Jiwa 7, is also widely used at Micron.
“We use global search quite extensively,” said Jabour. “If we want to look for an invoice we don’t have to go to an invoice search screen – we simply key the invoice number into the global search box and Jiwa will access everything to do with that invoice number, returning the information to us in an easy-to-decipher grid-based format.”
Jiwa’s reporting functionality is also helping Micron in a number of ways.
“Reporting at our company is now far better since the installation of Jiwa,” said Jabour. “For example we do a lot of margin analysis reporting which, using Jiwa, is a simple and straightforward process that allows us to better manage our pricing and make better decisions when it comes to determining margins. We also have an improved understanding of our import costings, which is critical in maintaining our competitiveness.”
Looking towards the immediate future, Micron intends to expand its use of the Jiwa solution, in particular Jiwa’s Business Intelligence (BI) module.
“Now that we have Jiwa bedded down we want to explore additional capabilities within the system,” said Jabour. “Soon we will be using Jiwa’s BI module for sales reporting and for the creation of custom reports where we’ll filter the data we need. This will allow us to analyse our sales data in ways that are over and above what’s already provided out of the box. The insights we gain will help us arrive at the best possible decisions when it comes to product acquisition, pricing and distribution.”
Jiwa’s Service Manager module provides the tools to effectively manage the service operations for companies such as Micron.
“Product service is an important part of our operations and our plan is to have our service jobs managed via Service Manager,” said Jabour. “Service Manager will enable us to track the items that are coming in for servicing, what repairs are being done, which products fall under warranty and what are service fees should be. By leveraging the capabilities of Service Manager our service department will become more efficient and streamlined, in turn leading to improved customer service.”
Jiwa 7 has delivered Micron a transformation in way it carries out its business.
“While we knew early on that Jiwa would meet our needs on a number of levels, it wasn’t until the solution was fully installed that we began to realise the full range of benefits it could bring to our company. From sales through to inventory management, accounts, purchasing and reporting, Jiwa has brought our company into the 21st century, and we experience the benefits of that every day.”
“Jiwa has brought our company into the 21st century, and we experience the benefits of that every day.”
Source: This article was originally sourced from Jiwa Financials