How One Distributor Cut Their Order Processing in Half

“It used to take us 24 hours to get a new order out the door. Now our orders ship the same day they are received.”

-Liesje Smith, financial coordinator GCI Outdoor

 

When outdoor enthusiasts are ready to relax, they turn to GCI Outdoor. This successful ten-year-old company designs, manufactures, and distributes a variety of outdoor chairs, including its best-selling Everywhere Chair® that adjusts to balance on hillside terrain. In addition to making chairs that balance, GCI Outdoors is now efficiently balancing its supply and demand with Sage 100 ERP.*

As GCI Outdoor grew, its entry-level QuickBooks accounting software became a limiting factor. “We couldn’t track future orders,” explains Liesje Smith, financial coordinator at GCI Outdoor. “As soon as an order was created, QuickBooks considered it a sale.” In addition, the company needed sophisticated inventory-control features such as multiple warehouse and material requirements planning (MRP) functionality. “We were relying on dozens of spreadsheets to track sales and stock levels—it was becoming unmanageable,” recalls Smith.

 

Sage 100 ERP Rises to Meet the Challenge

After a comprehensive review of available mid-market solutions, including Icode Everest, Microsoft Dynamics GP, and Oak Street, GCI Outdoor decided on Sage 100 ERP. “Sage 100 ERP offered the best value for the money and has the flexibility to add additional modules as our company grows and our needs change,” says Smith.

GCI Outdoor’s Sage business partner imported the company’s customer database, general ledger data, and open invoices from QuickBooks into Sage 100 ERP. “The entire process went very smoothly and we had the historical data we needed to run the business from the onset,” says Smith.

 

Order Processing Time Halved

Sage 100 ERP has enabled GCI Outdoor to cut its order processing time in half. Under the old system, salespeople would write their orders by hand and pass them to accounting for data entry. Now, salespeople enter their own orders into the Sales Order module, and have the benefit of real-time available-item quantity information that they can share with their customers. “Too often, in the past, we’d have to call a customer and apologize for promising an item we didn’t really have in stock,” recalls Smith. “No more—now we know exactly what we’ve got all the time.”

Warehouse personnel work in the Shipping Data Entry screen, scanning a bar-coded order number to recall the order details and record the quantity shipped of each item. The shipping process generates an invoice for each order, meaning the accounting department simply reviews the day’s orders, prints the invoices, and posts them. “It used to take us 24 hours to get a new order out the door. Now our orders ship the same day they are received,” says Smith.

 

Return Processing Streamlined

Return processing used to be a cumbersome manual process
involving three-ring binders and much paper shuffling. The Sage 100 ERP Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA) module has not only streamlined the process, but through its ability to assign a Reason Code to each return, GCI Outdoor has a tool for measuring its product quality and identifying potential manufacturing defects.

“Returns are inevitable,” says Smith, “yet Sage 100 ERP automates much of the process, automatically creating a credit memo for returns and a new sales order for replacements.”

 

Mastering Sales Projections

The Sage 100 ERP MRP module helps GCI Outdoor produce monthly sales projections as well as generate supply and demand estimates from the Sales Order, Purchase Order, and Inventory Management modules and allocate incoming products to its open orders. “It used to take a collection of spreadsheets and way too much time to do what the MRP module does for us automatically,” says Smith.

Demand increases for the company’s outdoor products during the summer season. The ability to review sales numbers from the same period of the prior year enables GCI Outdoor to make smart ordering and manufacturing decisions to support this seasonal demand fluctuation. As a result, there are fewer out-of-stock situations that might jeopardize sales.

 

Delivering Strategic Business Information

Sage 100 ERP gives GCI Outdoor the tools and information it needs to make strategic decisions about its sales efforts and its products. Reports and inquiry screens identify which products are selling best—and who is buying them. “Before we knew sales were up, but couldn’t easily identify where those new sales were coming from,” says Smith. “With Sage 100 ERP we can look at our inventory and sales history from many angles and decide where to focus our efforts.”

 

Integration With Contact Management

GCI Outdoor has used the Sage ACT! contact management solution for several years to help manage its marketing efforts. Smith is thrilled about new ACT! Integration that supports twoway data exchange between the Sage 100 ERP and Sage ACT! solutions. “We’re gearing up to implement ACT! Integration now. It will allow our customer service and sales staff to do all their work within Sage ACT!, with access to the accounting data they need to help our customers.”

Sage 100 ERP provides GCI Outdoor with the tools and the data it needs to operate efficiently while delivering excellent customer service.

 

Challenge

GCI Outdoor’s entry-level QuickBooks accounting software lacked the sophisticated inventory-control functionality needed to manage the company’s growth.

 

Solution

Sage 100 ERP provides an end-to-end solution to manage GCI Outdoor’s growing sales and distribution operation, meeting today’s needs and providing growth potential for tomorrow.

 

Results

Order processing time has been halved—orders now ship the same day they are received. The RMA module streamlines returns and enables the company to monitor potential manufacturing defects. MRP provides accurate supply and demand data for lean operation.

*Sage 100 ERP was named Sage ERP MAS 200 when GCI Outdoor initially implemented this solution. The product names have been updated in this case study to reflect current naming.

 

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