Since we’ve gone live, we’ve had much greater visibility and control over every aspect of the business.”
After an in-depth process review, MCS developed a strategy to optimize existing systems and implemented a new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution that
- standardized back-office processes,
- reduced operation costs, and
- gave real-time visibility for better business decisions.
Bearfoot Flooring is an Irish-owned, family-run business that has been supplying high quality wooden and laminate flooring to the Irish market for over 40 years. Their expertise and product range enables them to supply a vast range of customers – from small niche projects to big hardware providers to large-scale builds such as housing estates. Their staff are mostly based at their state-of-the-art showrooms close to the M50 in Dublin, and a sales team works remotely across the island of Ireland.
After 40 years of operation, Bearfoot Flooring had outgrown the software package they used for accounts/finance management and order dispatching. The legacy system was causing a number of problems:
- There was no visibility of pricing, supplier, and customer information.
- There was no way to input detailed information; this resulted in manual notes being taken and back orders being stored as physical paper copies, making control difficult.
- There was no way to enter multiple pricing or cost of goods details.
As a result, multiple reports needed to be run to obtain overall figures for sales and profit and loss reporting. This lack of visibility made it difficult to make accurate and timely business decisions.
MCS reviewed all of Bearfoot’s processes – from the handwritten paper trail to Excel reports to sales staff call logs – in order to determine how to improve this information flow so that it could better inform business planning and decisions.
After this in-depth consultation, which involved talking to all stakeholders, MCS designed a plan to improve the in-house use of Bearfoot’s existing systems, introduce newer industry-standard processes, and integrate these systems to enable real-time visibility across functions and greater control. The plan aimed to
- reduce time wasted running multiple reports, performing manual operations, searching through paperwork, and making phone calls between departments; and
- reduce losses caused by inaccurate system information such as poor margin visibility.
As MCS talked to managers and systems users across departments, it became clear that a lack of visibility of data was the cause of many operational problems. In order to integrate incumbent systems and enable this visibility, we recommended a cost-effective Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution. ERP systems combine all the elements needed to manage a business into one software platform, increasing efficiency, communication, information flows, and reliability.
The ERP solution implemented by MCS resulted in a more flexible system which can store multiple costs with different costing factors. It can integrate multiple pricing and discount structures, allowing scope to have multiple price bands per product.
The implemented ERP system facilitates automated back-to-back ordering, enabling smooth stock replenishment and linked orders, ensuring traceability. It also makes it easy to view back orders or partly fulfilled orders.
Not only does the MCS solution enable simplified, scheduled, and flexible reporting options, it provides the management team with a dashboard which gives them immediate access to company key performance indicators (KPIs) at any given moment in time.
During implementation, MCS enabled different functions and customization techniques as additional functionality requests emerged. For example, we set up an alert system to notify users that customers were due to be invoiced or reminded to pay.
The MCS team provided in-person training to management and all internal system users. We trained staff on how to better use existing systems, helping them understand hidden functionalities, and we provided training and support for the new ERP system for users across the company. In March 2020, this support moved online because of the COVID-19 outbreak; MCS were able to provide flexible in-person remote support whenever Bearfoot needed to tweak their new solution.
I would highly recommend any scaling business to make the move to an ERP system with MCS.”
Real-time access to company information has improved visibility across functions. For example, the management team can now see KPIs at a glance for any given time period without having to run off time consuming reports.
This solution enables better stock control with improved visibility of orders, fulfilment, back orders, purchasing, and inventory. It is also now possible for management to get a better handle on the true cost of goods with FIFO, LIFO, standard, and average accounting tools, resulting in accurate margin assessments.
Streamlined reporting has made planning much easier, but has also improved and automated external reporting functions, such as integrated VAT/Intrastat returns reporting.
The second phase further enhanced functionality across the sales team: mobile sales representatives were given access to the sales system and stock levels through a mobile app, removing the need to call head office to check stock levels and pricing.
“Bearfoot needed our support to help them gain optimal visibility of their data. Bearfoot are always willing to try new things, so they really embraced the ERP system we installed. They constantly use the dashboard and mobile app to make up-to-the-minute business and sales decisions.”
–Paul Daly, Senior Software Analyst, MCS Computers
WHY COMPANIES CHOOSE MCS INTEGRATED SOLUTIONS
Individual businesses have individual technology needs; our strength comes from our close attention to customer requirements combined with 50 years’ experience and expertise in technology design, selection, and implementation. MCS install, implement, and train businesses in ERP solutions which allow for the streamlining of processes in a timeline aligned with business deadlines.