Emirates Metallic Industries Company Limited (EMIC)

Established in 1989 in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Emirates Metallic Industries Company Limited (EMIC) is a leading manufacturer and supplier of industrial and food packaging solutions—including printed metal cans and drums.

Serving customers in a diverse range of industries—including paint, chemicals and lubricants, and food packing—EMIC has established itself as one of the largest and most progressive can manufacturers in the region. Today, it exports to more than 17 countries across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and Southeast Asia regions.

Poor processes and controls hampered growth ambitions

Committed to the production of high-quality products that help the company stand out from both overseas and local competitors, EMIC had ambitious plans to increase company turnover by 20 percent in just five years.

Building on a strategy of gradual diversification and expansion, EMIC was preparing to consolidate its existing UAE production facilities into a newer, larger, and stateof-the-art facility that would significantly increase its production capabilities. Before making the move to the new facility, EMIC wanted to replace its legacy systems with a modern ERP solution that would improve internal processes and deliver much needed operational efficiencies.

Hampered by multiple locally built systems, each department essentially functioned as an island. These disparate systems resulted in reliance on manual, ad-hoc processes that negatively impacted employee productivity and created unnecessary operational costs and issues with customer order— all of which ultimately hurt the company’s performance.

“Sales would take an order, and the planning department would schedule the order for manufacturing—based on inventory levels in the system. But when the operator on the shop floor went to the physical location to pull the material, they often found that the material in stock did not tally up with the quantity reflected in the system. This delayed production and consequently resulted in an order going out late to the customer,” explained Mohammed Alkolak, ERP manager at EMIC.

With so many disparate systems, it was difficult for the company to automate business processes or information flows across the business.

“Because there was no integration between our accounting and production systems, each time production used materials from inventory and updated their system, an associate in our finance department would have to manually make a corresponding adjustment in the accounting system. The process was not only tedious, but it was also prone to human error and manipulation. This negatively affected our financial reporting and consequently—our bottom line,” continued Mohammed.

Without a robust ERP solution in place, EMIC was also struggling to implement and enforce industry best practices and procedures. For example, rather than having an organization-wide standard process for parts numbering, each department had their own system for coding products. This created confusion and miscommunication between departments. On occasion, customers would receive their products late or receive entirely incorrect products. Also, with no process for shipping customer orders, associates would default to doing what was easiest rather than doing what was right.

Fit, support, and ease—the deciding factors 

The EMIC management team was determined to replace its legacy systems with a modern ERP solution that would provide a strong foundation for future business growth. This would allow the company to make continuous process and quality improvements to boost productivity and customer satisfaction.

“We wanted a solution that is specifically designed to fit the unique needs of the SMB manufacturing sector. Based on my research and discussions with industry peers—including other Epicor customers in the region—I was convinced that Epicor ERP ticked that box,” said Mohammed.

“What really set Epicor apart from the competition was its industry expertise and partner support,” he continued. “Several of the ERP vendors we spoke to struggled to understand our specific business requirements, and the solutions they offered fell short of our expectations—this wasn’t the case with Epicor. With just a quick overview of all our business processes, Epicor and their partner—Knowledge Web Consultancy—understood the challenges we faced, pinpointed areas for process improvement, and then specified a solution to match those needs.”

Working closely with Knowledge Web Consultancy, Mohammed and his team deployed Epicor ERP—including core modules for sales, purchasing, inventory, production, maintenance, and finance— at the company’s two existing facilities in the UAE. The decision to select Epicor ERP began paying dividends during the implementation itself. According to Mohammed, “To ensure that the solution fit was perfect, we wanted to make several customizations to the functionality. I was a little apprehensive about what this might mean for the implementation timeline but was pleasantly surprised by the ease with which we were able to manage this process.”

Implementing industry best practices and controls

With all EMIC stakeholders now using Epicor ERP for every key day-to-day business decision, the EMIC team has been able to standardize procedures across the business and optimize working practices.

“Previously, each department and stakeholder had their own processes and their own ideas for doing things. To complicate matters, they were averse to change. The lack of controls also meant that any user could manipulate data— which compromised management’s ability to make good strategic business decisions. But with Epicor ERP in place, the system drives users and the business,” explained Mohammed.

“This has allowed us to undertake change management across departments and implement standard processes and controls. With every department now speaking the same language, there is no more ambiguity or second guessing, which is having a marked positive impact across our business particularly in operations,” he added.

Having one system with one set of part numbers and a single coding scheme for products has allowed EMIC to significantly improve inventory management. Now, every associate—from sales, to operations, and finance has the same view on material in stock. As a consequence, associates in each department no longer have to manually update their system each time there is an inventory adjustment. This has translated to improved order scheduling and greater delivery accuracy, as well as a reduction in material waste and inventory costs.

Having standard procedures has also enabled EMIC to improve its sales order processing. Previously, if there were several orders from a customer for the same part number, rather than fulfilling the oldest order, associates in shipping would close out the most recent order. This resulted in customers
receiving incorrect product quantities and compromised EMIC’s backlog reporting. Now with Epicor ERP, there are controls in place that ensure associates always fulfill customer orders in the sequence they are received.

With Epicor ERP serving as the backbone of the business, EMIC has also been able to update its ISO certification from ISO 9001:2008 to ISO 9001:2015 and further bolster its reputation for reliability and excellence.

“With their focus on quality and customer satisfaction, the ISO 9001 standards are a must-have for any organization—particularly those in the manufacturing sector. Epicor ERP has allowed us to achieve interoperability and integrity between the various supply chain operations, continuously evaluate and improve all processes, apply controls to minimize user error, improve data accuracy, and monitor all key performance indicators of the business. These improvements enable us to meet the requirements of the latest ISO standards and ensure that we can provide our customers with the highest quality products and customer service,”he concluded.

Overview

  • Location—United Arab Emirates
  • Industry—Metal Packaging Solutions
  • Manufacturing Organization Type—Made to Order (MTO), Made to Stock (MTS)
  • Number of Employees—200+
  • Website—www.emic-uae.com

Challenges

  • Lack of integrated ERP resulted in ad-hoc, error-prone manual processes across departments
  • Poor inventory control caused manufacturing delays and higher inventory costs
  • User ability to manipulate data compromised financial reporting and decision making

Solution

  • Epicor® ERP

Benefits

  • Increased visibility, transparency, and information exchange across the organization
  • Interoperability between supply chain operations boosted production output
  • Provided capabilities to constantly evaluate processes and monitor business KPIs

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