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Cincom ERP solution helps Mills Display turn dreams of business growth into reality

  • 13 November, 2003 17:16

<p>November 13, 2003</p>
<p>Reduction in business costs and expected growth in revenues to deliver ROI within two years</p>
<p>(Sydney, Australia) -- Mills Display, a leading manufacturer and supplier of display and point-of-sale solutions, is implementing Cincom’s Priority ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solution to help it grow its manufacturing business and halve the steps needed to process an order.</p>
<p>“By complementing our ready-made items with custom-built products and by reducing our ordering and fulfilment process, we should be able to expand our business and reduce costs at the same time,” said Robert Mills, Founder and Managing Director of Mills Display. “With this combined benefit we expect to see a return on our investment in the Cincom Priority system within two years.”</p>
<p>Established in 1985, Mills Display has 40 personnel, office and warehouse facilities in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane and a network of distributors throughout Australia. The company stocks more than 1,500 products covering areas such as point-of-sale solutions, scan stripping, food display, display accessories, electronic labelling solutions, retail support, acrylic manufacture and signage. These are a mixture of imported products, locally made products and custom-made solutions manufactured by Mills itself. Mills Display wants to increase the number of products it manufactures and provide more customised solutions for its retail customers.</p>
<p>“Our goal is to take ownership of the products and develop many in-house,” said Mills. “The ability to manufacture custom-made solutions to meet our customers’ individual requirements is an important differentiator for our business.</p>
<p>“Our business includes wholesale, retail, showroom, import and manufacturing operations so it is a complex business,” Mills said. “To be successful, we need to streamline the process from order taking to manufacturing and delivery we and our customers need to be confident that the right product has been ordered, that it is being manufactured to specification and will be delivered on time. Many of our competitors can’t tell what’s in stock and what’s available and we want to build on that competitive advantage. Cincom will allow us to meet our specific industry demands.”</p>
<p>Mills Display was using a DOS-based financial package and a range of Microsoft applications to support its business. Most of the IT systems in its various departments were not connected so staff could not easily share information.</p>
<p>“We had more than 11 different systems involved in our administrative processes,” Mills said. “We needed a solution that would bring all the business process information under one roof so we could share it across the different departments and cut down on the double-entry of information and potential for errors. There’ll be significant savings for us in streamlining processes and we’ve calculated this to result in a 10-15% reduction in processing costs.</p>
<p>“Our business plan commits to doubling the percentage of revenue contribution from manufacturing within five years, which means a four-fold increase in manufacturing volume. It is just not feasible to do this with a manual production system.”</p>
<p>Mills Display evaluated nine systems including SSA Max, Epicor Vantage and Pronto, before opting for Cincom’s Priority. The selection process was managed by Mills Display's IT Manager, John Webster, in association with Julian Josem, Affable Technology Services, who have been contracted by Mills Display to assist in the evaluation, selection and implementation processes.</p>
<p>Cincom’s Priority solution covers all aspects of a manufacturer’s business including sales, customer relationship management, planning and scheduling, engineering, purchasing, inventory control, production, project management, human resources, costing and financial management. It is easy to use and maintain, affordable, flexible and maximises electronic trading and purchasing opportunities with its web-based interface.</p>
<p>Cincom recently celebrated 35 years as a provider of business software. Its solutions are installed in thousands of companies around the world. Cincom’s Priority ERP solution is particularly designed for small-to-medium-sized organisations.</p>
<p>“We chose Cincom because the company best understood what we needed and knew how the software could meet those needs,” Mills said. “Cincom knows the manufacturing environment and can offer active, expert help in developing that side of our business, as opposed to just providing software. The industry experience of their people means they are able to suggest improvements to business processes and new ideas and already they have been pro-active in doing this.</p>
<p>“The Priority interface was more user-friendly than the others, which is important when people with different levels of technical skills will be entering information into the system. Also, Cincom provides far more customising out of the box than other solutions which means we avoid the cost of custom programming. All the general features, such as queries, shortcuts, data input methods and interfaces, can truly be customised to suit our needs. The end result is a product built for Mills, not for anyone else.”</p>
<p>Priority’s web interface is also particularly important to Mills Display. Customer service operators at each office can simply use the Priority system to call up an image, pricing or other product details for a customer and ultimately will then be able to email the customer the relevant information on the product, again from the same system.</p>
<p>“Any staff member answering a customer’s query will be able to provide the correct information and follow up as needed, without having to use multiple applications or passing the query on to another staff member, so the process will be quicker and less training is required for the staff,” Mills said. “The new system also makes it much easier to create and implement pricing structures for different categories of customers and products, which was becoming a real challenge for us.”</p>
<p>Mills Display has begun to transfer information from its financial system and various customer relationship management packages across to Priority. “We wanted the Priority system to go live all at once, rather than in stages,” Mills said. “We are managing the integration of our systems and information around our busy periods and developing new capabilities such as pricing structures, order tracking and automatic notification to customers of their order status. This means a comfortable implementation which will go live in April 2004.</p>
<p>“We want to make manufacturing a bigger part of our overall business so we can focus on making our products unique,” Mills said. “We want to produce our own customised kits rather than just have off-the-shelf products. We needed an ERP system to manage that type of manufacturing and supply environment.”</p>
<p>Images are available for download from our website:</p>
<p>About Cincom
Cincom is the world's most experienced software company, now spanning five decades with solutions to help customers simplify complex business processes and transform corporate information into competitive advantage. Our software products include manufacturing control systems, contact centre and customer relationship management systems, databases, document management, sales knowledge systems and e-business solutions. Cincom serves over 5,000 clients in 93 countries, including Alcatel, Citibank, Federal Express, Nationwide, Siemens and Trane. For more information about Cincom's products and services, visit the company’s world wide website at</p>
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<p>Further information:
Helen Everett
Ph: 02 9411 9300
<p>Hannah Watterson
Watterson Marketing Communications
Ph: 02 9437 6122
<p>CINCOM is registered trademark of Cincom Systems Inc.
Priority is a trademark of Eshbel Technologies, Inc.
All other trademarks belong to their respective companies.</p>

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