Established in 1974, Europa primarily supplies to wholesalers, major catalogues and other mainline distributors. It sells components sourced from around the world, as well as combining components to create its own solutions.
The role of ERP
Europa is a high‐volume distributor and its customers demand fast delivery. The business aims to dispatch all orders the same day and for that to work effectively, needs a reliable ERP system which allows all areas of the operation to work in an efficient, streamlined manner.
Europa Managing Director, Sonia Freed, says: “We handle about 300 orders a day and our commitment to same day distribution requires careful stock control and warehouse management. In choosing SYSPRO we were looking for world class product supplied through a reliable partner who could help develop the system to meet our changing needs”.
Europa required a system with comprehensive capabilities, one which could integrate the different parts of the business and improve efficiencies through automation. Criteria included consolidating invoices and allocating payments, managing purchase orders and dealing with a range of different price books and customer rebates.
The biggest impetus for changing system was the need to improve warehouse management. The business had previously wasted time and resources by relying on paper pick notes. Sonia and her team saw the opportunity to improve performance by embracing automation with bar code scanners and digitised processes.
When Europa began its search for a replacement system in 2018, it set itself a tight deadline. The legacy system was holding the business back and preventing it from fulfilling its potential. By the end of the year, Europa had appointed K3 to implement SYSPRO and within just 5 months, the new system went live.
Sonia explains: “After they made their presentation, we went to talk to some of K3’s existing customers and the feedback was very positive. They offered the right solutions and we also felt we could work well together. It was the right cultural fit.”
Implementation gave Europa the tools to transform its processes and better meet the needs of its customers. Initially, the greatest impact was on the performance on the handling of goods‐in.
Previously, a container of goods would arrive, and it would take 3 days for every item to be double checked and booked in before stock was available to pick. By exploiting the capabilities of Orchard, K3’s warehouse management solution, Europa can check goods‐in in bite‐sized quantities and prioritise which items are made available for picking first. The process now takes just half a day.
“Speeding up the process has made a massive difference”, says Sonia. “We’ve replicated the process for handling returns and it’s really improved customer service. The whole warehouse management system now works far more effectively and there’s less room for error.”
The new ERP system also improved the way customer rebates are handled and the Material Requirements Planning (MRP) module will help create realistic production, purchasing and supply transfer schedules. Enhanced data flow and visibility supports better decision making and the business is benefiting from increased automation right across the operation. Along with K3, it has developed a system which automatically reads customer sales orders, whilst digitisation has led to full FedEx integration.
Now that the new system has bedded in, Europa is focusing on system enhancements. The management team are exploring how new features and modules might further enhance their capabilities. These include Inventory Optimiser.
Sonia says: “It’s an ongoing process, and we’ll never stand still. There’s always more that SYSPRO can do for us. K3 is a long‐term partner, and we’ll continue working together to help meet our business goals.”