Multi-national company Kiilto combines Epicor ERP and iScala to streamline business processes
Industry: Adhesives and detergents
Number of Locations: 10
The family-owned company Kiilto Family Oy started its chemical business in Finland almost 100 years ago. Their main business areas are glues and adhesives, as well as cleaning products, soaps, and detergents. Kiilto’s cleaning and hygiene products are tailored for professional usage—ranging from hospital hygiene products to cleaning products for the paper industry, as well as products developed for household usage—retail products such as skincare, laundry detergent and household cleaning. Today they are a multinational company operating in 10 countries, with the majority of their business in Finland, Russia and the Baltic countries.
Because of numerous mergers and acquisitions over the years, they were working with up to seven different enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions across the business. Managing several different ERP systems cost Kiilto time and money because of extra consolidation work needed to gather all the information stored within the different systems. In order to streamline their processes, they needed one solution for the whole business to give an end-to-end view of processes, data and business insights.
Improving the daily efficiency
Kiilto has been using Epicor ERP as the master database for product data in Finland since 2011. The system is used to manage the Finnish head office business processes, and it has been integrated with the Epicor iScala ERP solution, which they have been using for about 15 years in the businesses in Sweden, Russia and CIS, the Baltic countries, Poland and Ukraine.
“By combining Epicor ERP and iScala as a two-tiered ERP solution, all the information is gathered in one place,” says Ville Kenttä, ICT service manager for Kiilto Family Oy. “This has helped us to meet our business challenges and increase opportunities to grow by unifying data, which has enabled us to set internal benchmarks. For example, if one company has a particularly good process in place, we can easily replicate it across the business. The flexibility of the two-tiered solution has been very valuable to us as we have various options when it comes to reporting on stock and project status.”
“We chose Epicor ERP for our head office because of its innovative architecture and its ease of use concerning integration,” says Kenttä. “We have over 100 integrations into Epicor ERP, with warehouse handling being one of the most valuable features.”
The warehouse handling feature with voice-directed picking, integrated with Optiscan—a voice-based user interface which allows users to communicate with systems—has helped increase the efficiency of the business. The forklift drivers have headsets connected to Epicor ERP and the system sends out a pick list to tell the driver which items they should retrieve. They then get the delivery document printed, the goods are sent out, and the customer receives the invoice the day after.
“The voice-directed picking has improved our day-to-day work immensely. The automation saves us time and administrative office work and thus reduces manual work,” says Kenttä. “With the help of the system, we have increased our growth by improving our lean production and saving money by reducing the amount of errors made whilst picking stock. Another great feature is QlikView, a data visualization and business intelligence tool that is connected to Epicor ERP and iScala. It provides us with up-to-date status reports as well as the various dimensions and viewing options that we need for management reporting.”
High-quality products, R&D, and customer satisfaction
Kenttä describes the market situation in Europe as “fierce.” In order to meet customer demands, the business needs to deliver its products fast.
“If a customer puts in an order today, they will receive the product the same day or the day after at the latest. Whilst this is demanding in terms of logistics, our ERP solution makes this process smooth and easier to manage across locations. It also gives us a competitive advantage and enables us to increase the level of customer satisfaction.”
Kenttä summarises his customer demands as “flexible”—by which he means that demands can shift from one product line to another, from a small to a large quantity, and with variable delivery requirements. Delivering on this flexibility is one of the most important aspects of Kiilto’s business growth. The business provides that flexibility by producing and delivering high-quality products quickly and reliably.
In order to maintain their success in a highly competitive market with businesses that offer similar products, research and development (R&D) has become another vital part of Kiilto’s growth strategy. It is developing and updating its products every third year in order to keep the competitive edge and to continue to meet its customers changing demands.
Epicor ERP has helped Kiilto reduce costs through more efficient production and material planning. Using a forecast system with internal algorithms that projects next month’s sales, Kiilto is able to know exactly how much they need to produce and how much raw materials they need. This provides the entire supply chain with the right information at the right time, which is imperative in helping the business meet customer demand and maximise the business’ capacity.
“The buyers know what the production team needs and can thus buy the raw materials at the right time,” says Kenttä. “The system optimises our production and material planning so that we are not over-buying materials and yet have enough goods in stock to deliver within 24 hours so that we can keep our promise to our customer of a fast, flexible, and reliable delivery.”