Disconnected systems: errors, delays and manual work
In the wake of business growth, Crocodile decided to sharpen its competitive edge by investing in an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. A review of the in-house technology revealed many inefficiencies caused by the disparate systems which Crocodile was using to manage point-of-sale, financial and inventory systems. The systems were not fully integrated, causing errors and time lags. Inventory transaction postings were time-consuming, requiring 20 to 30 minutes for just one transaction. In the event of system failure or power outage, the company often lost precious data. The system was unstable, and frequently took up valuable IT resources for troubleshooting. Crocodile often had to work with outdated stock information because of delayed transaction postings, which did not account for stock in transition. Month-end closings were tedious and frustrating for the staff at Crocodile, who spent much time and effort to verify inventory figures manually against sales orders. The Crocodile management recognized the need for an integrated front-end and back-end system. The company started looking into a scalable, flexible solution with fully integrated Point of Sale (POS), inventory and financials. The new system would also be required to improve business efficiency, enhance management visibility and streamline inventory management and financial reporting.
A new system to increase efficiency
"We required an integrated POS, financial and inventory solution that could cater to the needs of our varied sales channel comprising of wholesale, retail and consignment. The ideal solution should deliver a minimum of 70 to 80 percent of the capabilities we needed, with only minimal customization required. The ability to track detailed stock attributes by color, size, fit etc. was also important,” said Jaslyn Koh, General Manager at Crocodile International. A solution based on Microsoft Dynamics was a natural choice for Crocodile, for several reasons. Microsoft Dynamics ERPs fully support Crocodile’s wholesale, retail and consignment sales modes with minimum customization, making implementation quicker and easier. The reputation of the Microsoft brand, its standards-based technology and proven track record also gave the Crocodile management the assurance they needed. LS Nav, based on Microsoft Dynamics NAV, has provided the company with a scalable platform that will grow with the business, while delivering seamless front- and back-end integration. Crocodile enlisted the expertise of IBIZ Consulting Services Pte Ltd (IBIZ), a local LS Retail partner. IBIZ implemented LS Nav, and also added value with its own stock take solution.
A rapid implementation
“Due to our year-end closing, the new system needed to be up and running in less than three months,” said Jaslyn. Although the implementation times were short, the commitment and hard work of the in-house and IBIZ teams enabled Crocodile to meet their deadline. “The IBIZ consultants impressed us with their dedication. In order to meet our deadline, they often worked into the early hours of the morning, even during the year-end holidays. With their in-depth expertise, they were able to solve the issues that arose during the implementation,” concluded Jaslyn.
A more productive, proactive company
With the new system, POS, inventory and financials are totally integrated at Crocodile International. LS Nav has simplified inventory management and improved reporting. The company can now take proactive merchandizing initiatives. LS Nav’s reliability and performance have delivered a 10-fold increase in system performance, with a consequent enhancement in staff productivity.Seamless financial integration With an integrated financial system, Crocodile staff no longer needs to access different systems to post transactions. The total integration has reduced manual work, relieving the accounts staff who previously had to work overtime up to six days a week. The streamlined financial processes also cut accounts receivables cycles, improving the cash flow planning.Proactive merchandizing One of the key benefits Crocodile has gained from the solution is the ability to manage inventory and track stock attributes. This is made possible by the variance matrix which allows detailed inventory tracking by season, color, size, item category and product range. With LS Nav, Crocodile can also track individual transactions from the POS to the General Ledger, gaining real-time visibility into the sales figures from any of its boutiques and consignment stores. Simplified inventory management Inventory planning and management is a breeze, thanks to the easy filtering capabilities of the solution. LS Nav has increased the company’s flexibility, for example allowing for automated posting at a later date. The enhanced security controls within the solution mean greater control, as different access rights can be set for different employee functions. Tenfold increase in system performance “The solution has indeed delivered on its promise of being reliable and fast,“ says Jaslyn. Posting of each line item, which used to take 20 to 30 minutes, now takes only two to three minutes – that is a 10-fold increase in system performance. The seamless integration between the solution and Microsoft Office also allows for easy retrieval of reports. Timely management reporting Pulling together the information for ad-hoc management reporting used to be a big challenge: the accounts staff had to approach the lean IT team for support to create new fields and column headers. Depending on the workload of the IT team, this often took up to two days. Now reporting is quick and painless. The drill-down functionalities of the new solution provide the Crocodile management with powerful and informative insights into financial data. Extending business success across the globe A scalable and flexible system is a strong foundation that enables Crocodile to be more focused on the business, rather than on teething operational issues. This is a key asset to Crocodile as the company continues to extend its footprint across the globe.