Atlanta Oriental Food Blends East and West With Sage 100 ERP
“In the year since we implemented Sage Mobile Sales, our sales are up by 16 percent.”
John Giczewski, purchasing manager
Remote locations, several retail outlets, rapid growth, and many employees who read only Korean complicated the company’s ambitious automation goals.
Sage 100 ERP with complete suite of financial and distribution modules, including bar-coded and wireless inventory processing, plus multilingual system capabilities.
System speed doubled; warehouse processing cut 30 man-hours a day; sales staff productivity up 10 percent; labeling time reduced by half.
Whether you’re shopping for kimchee, galangal, or sambal oelek, chances are that Atlanta Oriental Food Wholesale Company (AOF) has it. With more than 8,000 different food items from 100 countries, and $60 million in annual revenue, AOF serves as a wholesaler to grocery stores throughout the South and also operates three retail stores.
AOF selected Sage 100 Standard ERP as its financial backbone in the mid-1990s. The company prides itself on using technology for a competitive edge. So when President Harold Shinn learned about the additional functionality in Sage 100 ERP,* the client/server version of Sage 100 Standard ERP, he endorsed an upgrade.
Sage 100 ERP now manages all business and inventory functions at AOF through point-to-point T1 lines, including an inventory database with tens of thousands of items. A dedicated POS system at the three retail outlets handles in-store activity, about 80 percent of AOF’s total volume, and summarizes it for roll-up reporting in Sage 100 ERP. System speed has more than doubled since the conversion. “I continue to be surprised by the capabilities of Sage 100 ERP,” says Shinn.
Mobile Access for Sales Team
Sales reps can now write orders in the field, thanks to an innovative solution by AOF’s reseller. Each time reps leave the office, they load a copy of the inventory database onto their laptops. They write sales orders at the customer’s location, produce a copy on their portable printer, and fax it to the warehouse. Order preparation begins immediately.
“Before, we waited for reps to deliver hard copies of orders at the end of the day,” says Tony Lee, IT manager. “We often worked until eight o’clock to process the orders. With the new system, we get everything out by five, slashing at least 30 man-hours off of every day.
“Our sales reps are easily 10 percent more productive because they generate orders faster,” Lee adds. “Customers like the new system too, because they receive a written confirmation of price and delivery time.”
Bar Code Benefits
Using the Sage 100 ERP Bar Code module, all items are scanned and labeled with a high-speed printer. The module lets AOF utilize original item numbers, UPCs, or aliases, all of which are linked to specific purchase order numbers. “One container might hold 2,000 items,” explains Lee. “It would take forever to mark them all. By reusing existing numbers, we easily reduce our labeling time by half.”
AOF recently implemented Scanco’s radio frequency (RF) unit to further speed inventory processing. The Scanco RF unit integrates with Hightower, Inc.’s Multi-Bin Distribution solution in inventory management. This gives AOF up-to-date inventory figures when items are transferred between bins, for real-time accuracy. “Physical inventory used to take me two days, and we had to close the doors to do it. Now, I can do it in one while we’re still running operations,” says Lee.
To handle walk-up business at its wholesale facility, AOF implemented HighTower’s POS Professional, a third-party point-of-sale module that integrates seamlessly with Sage 100 ERP. AOF uses POS Professional with compatible hardware like cash drawers and receipt printers. Two POS lanes in the warehouse are devoted exclusively to walk-in customers. POS Professional was so easy to set up that within a week it was up and running.
When AOF upgraded to Sage 100 ERP, it standardized its desktops on Windows® 2000 or better, supporting multilingual usage. User-defined fields in the Sage 100 ERP Custom Office module permit Korean-character product descriptions. “About half of our employees read only Korean,” Lee explains. “With Sage 100 ERP they can process sales and purchasing tasks in their native language, and even use Korean characters on the RF unit.”
AOF is always asking its reseller for new ideas on making Sage 100 ERP even better. One result was a Visual Integrator import of cleared checks into the Sage 100 ERP Bank Reconciliation module, eliminating hours of data entry time every day.
“We appreciate the attitudes of Sage and our reseller,” says Lee. “Like Atlanta Oriental Food, they are willing to try new technologies to help a business grow.”
*Sage 100 Advanced ERP was named Sage ERP MAS 200 when Atlanta Oriental Food Wholesale Company initially implemented this solution. The product names have been updated in this case study to reflect current naming