- Location: Stockholm, Sweden
- Industry: Distribution
- Number of Stores: 5
- Web site: www.certex.se
Epicor Provides a Lift for Certex
"With the new technology we can search faster and easier, resulting in increased productivity and order processing."
Peter Broberg, IT Manager | Certex
Founded over 100 years ago Certex is a distribution and marketing company specialising in lifting. The company's main products are steel wires but the product ranges are wide and covers more than 7000 items for most lifting requirements, from steel wires to cranes and safety equipment such as harnesses.
Today Certex exists in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Germany, the US, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Russia. Each country runs a local network of service units and service buses with access to a large amount of expertise and experience. Certex products are often tailor- made to a customer's requirements.
In 1999 Certex was using Scala's enterprise resource planning (ERP) system on the Unix platform. They were happy with the system, even if the Unix solution by then had become old-fashioned. With the upcoming event of the millennium shift, Certex was worried about millennium compliancy and took the safe route by upgrading their ERP solution.
Certex Chose Epicor
After searching the market and going through several evaluations Certex chose Epicor's ERP system because of its simple structure and flexible architecture.
Peter Broberg, IT manager for Certex was employed as Epicor expert at the same time as the system was upgraded. He comments: "We were the first to use Microsoft SQL Server 7 and we actually started with Epicor on a beta release."
In 2004 it was time for yet another upgrade. Certex again evaluated the various options available, and again chose Epicor because they had previously realized that the system's bill-of-material module could support the company's complex logistics processes very well. The bill- of-material set up means that Certex can easily match the right components with the right order. This time it was version 2.2 and the implementation went smoothly.
"We upgraded to the new Epicor system over a weekend," says Broberg. "It wasn't a major operation, but for the company it meant zero downtime, which was great. Upgrades like these can take a long time. It's all about good planning and ensuring that everything is done correctly from the beginning."
In 2009 Certex turned over about 1,5 bn SEK. The company delivers a large amount of steel wires and lifting tools worldwide, something that puts high demands on a well functioning ERP system, and in particular smooth and flexible logistics process. Epicor's ERP system is fully integrated with order, invoicing, and accounting processes.
"Our logistics processes are very complicated and we run them in a complex manner too. It's always hard to predict how different companies are going to use an ERP system and I think even more so in our case. For example, we have some chain tools that are sold in batches, something that can cause problems in several systems where the price for each chain disappears. With Epicor's bill-of-material module we don't have to enter a new article number for each order. The module works as a mini-MPS and correct article numbers already exist in the system. Epicor better than most for this," says Broberg.
Broberg explains that he thinks Epicor's ERP system does its job very well when it comes to the complex situations that Certex presents for logistics and accounting. After having worked with the system for such a long time he knows it backwards, which means that Certex requires little support from Epicor. But the knowledge that Epicor's consultants are there if something should happen is good. He says: "Epicor's consultants are very experienced within their skill areas. They are nice to work with and it's good to know where they are in case of a problem."
"Very User Friendly"
Certex's main Epicor contact is in Budapest, where their support is located. Certex decides themselves which order issues and potential bugs should be resolved. When the decision is made the Budapest office will sort the problem fast. Broberg explains that he has full confidence in Epicor's consultants, and it matters less where they are physically located.
According to Broberg, one of the biggest advantages of Epicor's ERP system is that it's so easy to learn how to use. A lot of companies don't want to upgrade or change system because they think the long training process will have a negative impact on the company's productivity.
Today Certex has about 150 Epicor users, but they plan to increase that number during the next year. From a performance perspective Certex can't see a problem with increasing the number of users.
Broberg concludes: "Epicor's ERP system is very user friendly. I can teach anyone how to use it in less than one week. The speed of learning is a big advantage, much faster than any competitor. Epicor outclasses most other ERP system in this area, that's a promise!"
Epicor Software Corporation is a global leader delivering business software solutions to the manufacturing, distribution, retail, and service industries. With more than 40 years of experience, Epicor has more than 20,000 customers in over 150 countries. Epicor solutions enable companies to drive increased efficiency and improve profitability. With a history of innovation, industry expertise and passion for excellence, Epicor inspires customers to build lasting competitive advantage. Epicor provides the single point of accountability that local, regional, and global businesses demand. For more information, visit www.epicor.com.