Location: Manama, Bahrain
With a manufacturing facility in Bahrain and offices throughout the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) including KSA, Kuwait, Qatar, and the UAE; Havelock AHI specialises in interior fit-outs and manufacturing of high-quality furniture, joinery, and shop fittings. Customers include international hotels, renowned retail stores, supermarkets and hypermarkets, corporate offices, banks, and palaces.
Manual processes hindering growth
Up until the late 2000s, Havelock AHI relied on a home-grown solution to run their business. While the solution was effective, it was far from efficient, in part because of the system architecture. The existing solution was essentially two disparate systems—one of which was used to manage the manufacturing and contracting portion of the business (e.g., order entry, manufacturing work orders, etc.) and the second for accounting and finance. For an organisation whose value proposition is offering customers bespoke solutions, the old system raised several challenges.
Aiman Mahmoud, senior IT manager explains, “In our business, agility, flexibility, and on-time-delivery (OTD) are critical success factors. Being able to offer our customers a completely customised offering and deliver it in a timely manner is what sets us apart from the competition. This requires tight integration of all processes from tendering and order entry, to engineering and purchasing, and manufacturing and delivery. Working with two separate systems meant that we lacked critical visibility and transparency across departments, which translated to lost productivity and efficiency—and potentially lost business. If that wasn’t bad enough, the system was still very manual, a problem that made each month-end closing a marathon process as a result of having to move all operational data from the manufacturing system to the accounting system, and then navigate the several layers of validation to make sure there were no errors.”
Need for a modern ERP system
Faced with these challenges, the team at Havelock AHI realised that replacing their home-grown solution with a modern, thirdparty ERP solution would allow the organisation to have visibility and transparency across all departments, and streamline and automate processes. They recognized a new solution was key to business growth.
When compiling the list of “must-haves” for the new ERP solution, number one on the list was the need for the system to be industry-specific and have a high degree of customisation, right out of the box. Aiman says, “Because our core business is offering bespoke solutions, it was only natural that we would expect the same from our ERP system. We needed a system that could be customised to meet the needs of both the manufacturing and contracting pieces of our business without incurring significant costs or long implementation delays. We also wanted a solution that could be scaled easily to meet the demands of our growing business.”
It was for precisely these reasons—the ease of customisation and rich, industry-specific feature set—that Havelock AHI decided to work with Epicor as their ERP partner.
“The decision to select Epicor ERP began to pay dividends during the implementation stage itself,” says Aiman. “The Epicor ERP solution architecture is extremely user friendly and requires very little technical knowledge. So unlike most other IT implementations that require the involvement of the vendor and partners, we managed the entire implementation in-house. The only module that we did consult with the Epicor team on was accounting, since this is one of the critical modules that ties everything else together.” The Epicor team were equally impressed with the technical know-how of the Havelock team, and in 2014 recognized Havelock with the prestigious “Achieving Last Mile and Leveraging Epicor Framework” enduser award.
Facilitating business growth
With anywhere between 75–80 users accessing the system across the six Havelock locations in the GCC at any time, one of the biggest benefits has been the improved visibility and transparency across all departments. Citing a recent example of an order of cashier counters for Mothercare, Aiman explains, “The sales cycle of every single customer from tender to fulfilment is unique. Flawless execution hinges on tight integration and coordination between our associates in sales, engineering, purchasing, manufacturing, shipping, and accounting. Deploying Epicor ERP has allowed us to rely on systems rather than manual processes, improve communication between departments, streamline operations, and ultimately ensure that we deliver the highest quality product and service to our customers.”
With the Epicor ERP system now serving as the backbone of their business, Aiman and his team are beginning to benefit from its rich functionality—specifically its reporting features—to improve business operations and aid management decisionmaking. “We are currently working on building customised reports for each department. For example, our associates in purchasing now have granular visibility of purchase orders which ultimately contributes to an improved OTD, arguably one of the most important manufacturing metrics. In addition to departmental reports, we are also working on developing data rich reports and dashboards for our senior management team that will give them a clear snapshot of the health of the business and allow them to make more informed business decisions.”
Aiman concludes, “At Havelock AHI, our core values are offering our customers outstanding quality, service, and value; attention to detail, and continuous improvement. We are also committed to providing our associates with an exciting and rewarding work environment. Choosing to partner with Epicor has provided us the platform we need to stay true to our values and at the same time grow our business.”
Epicor Software Corporation drives business growth. We provide flexible, industry-specific software that is designed around the needs of our manufacturing, distribution, retail, and service industry customers. More than 40 years of experience with our customers’ unique business processes and operational requirements is built into every solution—in the cloud or on premises. With a deep understanding of your industry, Epicor solutions spur growth while managing complexity. The result is powerful solutions that free your resources so you can grow your business. For more information, connect with Epicor or visit www.epicor.com.