AT A GLANCE
- Upgrade a financial accounting solution to cope with inventory, e-commerce and service functions
- Jiwa 7 ERP from Jiwa Financials (along with Straighshell e-commerce TBD).
- Accurate inventory with ‘delivered in full’ orders up 60 percent
- Full invoicing of all inventory dispatched out of both warehouse and vans
- Elimination of paper, meaning better customer service
- Accurate landed costing and margin anlysis
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Melbourne-based NC Technologies is a leading provider of both new and refurbished CNC profiling machines and related services. A certified supplier of the Hypertherm brand of plasma cutting machinery, NC Technologies has been in business for more than 30 years.
Around 20 people are employed, including a mobile team who carry out sales, repairs and service for the company’s 100-plus customers. In total NC Technologies handles over 16,000 product line items.
“The small business accounting system we’d been using did some things well, other things not so well”, said Jason Byron, Managing Director and owner of NC Technologies. “What we needed was a new, more advanced system – one that could better handle inventory control, job costing, landed cost and multi-currency. We also required a system that could interface seamlessly with the e-commerce program we were looking to acquire as part of our web sales strategy.”
Byron devoted considerable time evaluating the options available before finally deciding on Jiwa 7. “Before deciding on Jiwa we made sure that it could perform all the functions we required. Compared with the others we looked at, Jiwa proved exceptional both in terms of capability and affordability.”
There are six people at NC Technologies who use Jiwa on a daily basis. The system runs all the company’s accounts; it also manages all sales, administration, inventory and warehousing processes as well as generating its business activity statements. Jiwa even provides some basic CRM functions.
One of the benefits NC Technologies is experiencing from Jiwa for the first time is tight control over inventory, as Byron explains: “Prior to installing Jiwa we couldn’t be sure whether we had sufficient stock or whether we were back-ordering supplies. Nowadays when a customer places an order with us we’re confident being able to fulfil it in one go. Our ability to deliver on that has probably increased by about 60 percent.” This has also had a knock-on effect with reduced customer freight.
“We used to have a big problem with stock that was unaccounted for,” said Byron. “In many cases items would get shipped but would not get invoiced – a situation that was obviously intolerable, particularly as spare parts and consumables are a big part of our business. Adding to the problem was that a lot of our goods are shipped by our mobile service technicians who operate out of vans, where the system for ensuring goods move from the van to the customer, and get invoiced accordingly, was less than wholly reliable.
“If we need to sharpen the pencil we know how much to sharpen it by before it eats into our bottom line.”
Jason Byron, Managing Director and owner of NC Technologies
“We’re now able to conduct regular audits which reveal what products left our warehouse, were shipped by our technicians but were not invoiced. No longer do parts and consumables simply disappear into the ether.”
Another challenge for service-based businesses is accurate end-to-end tracking of interactions with customers who expect enquiries to be handled by a team that has access to their full customer history.
“Jiwa has greatly streamlined our processes for handling enquiries and managing sales orders”, says Byron. “Prior to Jiwa, we relied on paper-based record keeping to track what was happening for every customer. There was no easy way for one person to track the history of an order, so customers would often have to repeat themselves when they called in to check the progress of their purchase request.
“But now, when a purchase order comes in via email, for example, rather than print it out it gets electronically tagged to their sales order in Jiwa. So at a moment’s notice we can be talking to a customer and pull up that purchase order and any correspondence they’ve sent us pertaining to that order. And we do the same thing when we dispatch the order – once the consignment is dispatched it’s automatically tagged to the sale. Apart from the benefits in customer service, it’s also helping us achieve our goal of a paperless office.”
“When it comes time to collect money from customers, Jiwa tells us everything we need to know to finalise the payment”, said Byron. “All the information we need is held in Jiwa and attached to that sale. If there’s any confusion as to what the customer received, who got what or who asked for it, we can sort it out quickly because it’s all there at our fingertips. Resolving such matters is a one-call conversation rather than a ‘Let me find that information and get back to you’ type of scenario.”
Knowing the true cost of inventory is critical for any business that sells products, but for a lot of businesses, working out the landed cost of incoming goods can be tricky. There are often a number of variables to consider, each of which will influence the final price a customer will be charged for a product.
“We’ve gained a much better understanding of our true landed cost of parts coming into our store”, said Byron. “Previously we used Excel spreadsheets to calculate what we believe our landed costs to be. Using Jiwa’s capabilities in this area, we can perform landed cost calculations quickly and with far greater accuracy. This helps us a lot with our pricing and keeps us competitive. If we need to sharpen the pencil we know how much to sharpen it by before it eats into our bottom line.”
The e-commerce solution is Straightsell, a platform that integrates with Jiwa. Once deployed, Straightsell will pull product information, stock level data, order placements and customer invoices directly from Jiwa. The tight integration of the two systems will ensure inventory items, pricing and shipment information are all updated seamlessly.
It wasn’t long after deploying Jiwa 7 that NC Technologies started to see a genuine return on its ERP technology investment. The company now runs more productively and efficiently, and Jiwa is doing its bit to help reduce day-to-day operational costs.
“The Jiwa solution does everything we expected it to”, said Byron. “For businesses that have outgrown their accounting and business management system, I’d encourage them to take a good look at Jiwa.”
Source: This article was originally sourced from Jiwa Financials