Gardasoft achieve payback in less than 12 months with SYSPRO ERP
A progressive, Cambridge based Technology SME recently undertook the implementation of a new SYSPRO ERP system in order to address its need for improved efficiency and control.
Gardasoft began as a start-up in 1999 supplying high precision lighting control technology for Machine Vision systems in Manufacturing. The business successfully developed from a small company to a leader in the fast developing LED technology sector – doubling its workforce along the way. Its innovation, responsiveness to the market and high degree of customer focus are at the heart of the business.
Improved Reporting and Stock Control
Gardasoft’s senior team realised the need to implement an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system to provide it with the correct platform to take the business to the next stage. The challenge was to make these important changes, while still enabling the agility and essence of the business to continue to successfully evolve.
K3 Syspro accepted the challenge with their SYSPRO ERP solution. As a result Gardasoft has an improved reporting and stock control system, reduction in administration time, and improved efficiency in sales and order processes. Gardasoft’s Supply Chain Manager Sergei Using said: “We needed a system which was fast and affordable. K3 fitted into that. We narrowed the choice down to two or three candidates, but really we knew there was only one which fitted what we needed – K3.”
During its early growth phase, Gardasoft began with spreadsheets, which is typical for a small business. At the time, with just a dozen employees, this worked for a while. But as the company began to grow, it became more time-consuming and less effective. Information could not easily be shared and traceability, while doable, was not as efficient as it needed to be. From accounts to stock control, the system needed bringing into line to allow the company to keep pace with advancements in technology and especially as businesses start to embrace Industry 4.0. And with an inventory of 250,000 items, staff simply didn’t have the tools to respond to customers as quickly as they would like.
Single solution across all departments
The senior management team decided to look for a supplier who could provide them with a single database solution across all the departments from accounts and sales to manufacturing. The company had grown to 24 employees, and half of the business was customisation in one form or another. It was vital for staff to be able to trace the process through from sales to production and delivery.
Gardasoft designs and manufactures high intensity LED illuminators and high performance pulse/strobe controllers for LED lighting – providing unique solutions to the global Machine Vision, Intelligent Traffic (ANPR – Automatic Number Plate Recognition and ALPR – Automated License Plate Recognition) and Security (CCTV) markets.
Mr Using said “as manufacturers, traceability was vital. Gardasoft use Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) involving hundreds of different components. Being able to pinpoint one tiny part throughout the manufacturing process was essential.”
Mr Using continued: “We needed a system which could manage our models. These are quite complicated and consist of lots of assemblies. SYSPRO allows us to do that. For us it is about risk management more than anything else. Recalls are expensive in terms of time and money and we want to minimise that risk by being able to trace the process and the parts.”
The company is currently moving ahead to gain certification to the ISO 9001:2015 standard. It plans to have this in place by March this year. Having the K3 system in place is helping them move towards this.
Mr Using said: “The certification is important in terms of not just having quality management systems but being able to prove we have them. It is a way of showing we manage our business effectively and put in place best practice methodology. Quite simply, SYSPRO has enabled us to be more competitive.”
As an expanding business, Gardasoft was also looking for a supplier who could provide a system which would grow with them. The modular model offered by K3 works well.
Mr Using said: “We simply could not afford the cost and disruption of implementing everything in one go. So, working closely with K3 Syspro, we took the approach of phasing the implementation. We wanted to ensure that the features and functionality were available but we also had to factor in the change of culture. Our staff are important to us and we wanted to ensure they were comfortable with the changes and felt confident to handle.
The fact that it is modular means we have been able to maintain our core business while it has been put in place. The key people were trained up while the business continued and we have been able to spread this across to our subsidiary in the USA and to our engineers.”
Managing Director Hilary Briggs said: “We had good support from K3 who understood that we were not a big organisation, which means that we don’t have the benefit of the in-house IT expertise that a larger company might have. But this wasn’t a problem for K3, and the trainers provided us with the same bespoke and flexible service.
This was very helpful to us as we had already made the decision we wouldn’t stick to a hard and fast date for the changeover. It was more important to us that everything was formatted in the right way, than anything else. I had anticipated having to put in a lot more out-of-hours during the implementation, but in the end there was only one night when I had to stay behind in the office.
We are really pleased with the support we have had from K3 Syspro. When K3 Syspro realised we needed extra help they were keen to provide it and worked with us to ensure the changeover was a success.”
Gardasoft said the new system has helped them in a number of ways with the main benefits being with their ROI because of staff time saved and analytics reporting and data collection:
- Improved reporting and analysis for Sales and Financial management
- Improved efficiency of whole SOP (Sales & Order Process) process, including traceability
- Improved reporting by all data running off a single database
- Improved stock management – accuracy, reduce the need for stock takes, minimise stock shortages
- Improved production planning – speeding up fulfilment of customer orders
- Easier to train up staff
- Reduction in administration time (SOP, Intrastat reporting, Financial Reporting and so on).
Mr Using added: “As a business you work on a certain cost model and certain cost assumptions. We can now process all our labour costs and parts much more accurately. We can make better business decisions because of the data we are now collecting. This means enquiries coming in can be dealt with more quickly, prices are to hand and we can be more accurate.
From the accounting point of view, the analysis helps us with sales and reporting. All the information is there. We report into our group offices in Japan every month and we now have all the information at our fingertips. We don’t have to spend a long time pulling it all together. It has become a useful time and money saving resource.
We are able to streamline across borders too as we also have a site in the USA. This has saved us money on administration costs which can all be merged and available on one system across admin, sales and customers. Overall, we’ve achieved a payback in less than 12 months. The time we have created for ourselves, we have used to help us further develop the business so that we continue to remain competitive in a rapidly changing global marketplace.”