- Location: Ireland
- Industry: Corrugated Packaging
- Web site: www.smurfitkappa.ie
"BVP enables us to run our operations as efficiently as possible, allowing us to focus on our mission of creating value for our customers."
John O'Loughlin, CEO | Smurfit Kappa Ireland
Smurfit Kappa Ireland enables multi-plant sales and stock management with corrugated packaging manufacturing software
Smurfit Kappa Ireland (SKI) is a coordinated network of 10 business units in Ireland. A part of the Smurfit Kappa Group, the European leader in paper-based packaging, Smurfit Kappa Ireland has been among the most respected names in Irish Business since 1934, and the leading supplier of packaging solutions in the country.
When the Smurfit Kappa Group underwent a reconstruction of its business units, SKI realized that its dated business software could no longer effectively manage its rapidly growing business. The management team concluded that the implementation of a more efficient software solution was required to effectively handle the business going forward.
After a thorough evaluation of potential systems, Epicor enterprise level corrugated business software, BVP, was chosen for the management of the evolving business needs at SKI. SKI chose to implement a best-of-breed software solution: Epicor estimate-to-cash business software integrated with OM Partners' scheduling software.
Prior to the implementation of BVP, SKI was using a variety of legacy software solutions. Carton AS400, Harvest, and Salesnet to name a few, were no longer sufficient in fulfilling the business needs of SKI. The Carton AS400 system, for example, was close to 30 years old and along with the outdated sales and inventory management systems, required substantial resources to maintain. Harvest, used for inventory tracking, was no longer supported by the vendor.
"We were having challenges maintaining all our legacy systems, and determined that we would not be able to reach our future business goals with the existing infrastructure," says Paul Cash, Head of IT at Smurfit Kappa Ireland. "One of the most important issues that we struggled with was the lack of integration between our numerous plants."
Requirements and Software Selection
A business process review at SKI revealed many requirements for the new software solution:
- A centralized database model
- Route new sales orders to any of the SKI plants for manufacturing
- Manage work from plant to plant, with a consolidated view of all the orders
- Standardized business and management reporting, business procedures and documentation
- Full stock visibility and unit-based tracking
BVP met most of SKI's requirements, and provided a viable software solution to grow its business on. As Cash explains, "BVP came out on top of the evaluation process to best suit our needs. It is a system designed specifically for multi-plant corrugated packaging manufacturers, and has many features and benefits that we knew would satisfy our needs for integrated sales and stock management."
"We were impressed with the way BVP displays open-order data, and the flexibility to move jobs between plants," Cash says. "The software provides us with full visibility of all orders being processed in all plants, across our entire organization, and allows us to establish order routing for cost savings and maximum efficiency."
"BVP enables us to run our operations as efficiently as possible, allowing us to focus on our mission of creating value for our customers" says John O'Loughlin, CEO of Smurfit Kappa Ireland.
SKI's operations run better with BVP's full traceability and audit trail of all inventory, and the ability to share product specifications, customer information and manufactured jobs across all plants.
Two specialty packaging plants in Galway and Arklow went live with BVP in August 2008 and the benefits proved instant.
"The integrated stock aging and valuation reports are a significant improvement," says Cash. "Stock aging can be viewed anytime during the month without any manual intervention. Group rules are strictly applied. Sales can view real-time information on what stock is available at the time when an order is placed. Further, stock taking and the posting of differences can be done much faster, and the system allows for a greater audit trail. BVP makes it easier to reconcile sales to dispatches at month-end, and allows for better stock control, and costing information."
Credit control has become strict in that orders exceeding the credit limit will be processed only after the central credit manager releases them. Further, the returned-goods process has improved remarkably thanks to better controls and information within the system.
SKI also now has powerful business-intelligence dashboards and reports on its key performance indicators (KPIs) available to all management.
Further Implementation of Epicor
With the success of the initial software implementations, SKI now runs the software at ten plants. During the initial install, the cutover of the software from the legacy system took three days, during which the Epicor team moved all open sales and production orders and all inventory details from the legacy system into BVP. Thanks to a successful execution of a rapid transition plan, the implementation of the new software solution occurred with few issues, and was overall a positive experience.
"We were having challenges maintaining all our legacy systems, and determined that we would not be able to reach our future business goals with the existing infrastructure."
Paul Cash, Head of IT
"Epicor provided great on-site help, and support during the golive, which was smoother than many had expected. Feedback from management and users in the plants has been incredibly positive," says Cash. "The entire Epicor team did a fantastic job supporting our operations during the go-live. Their knowledge and on-going help made our life during the go-live mostly stress free."
"Overall, we have been very impressed with all the improvements in our business since we implemented the Epicor system. The bestof- breed approach really works well for us, and we've been able to gain significant benefits in our business with the combination of the two key systems. We have plans to finish the roll-out to a few of the remaining plants, and will continue to utilize the systems to their maximum capacity to keep gaining internal benefits."
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.