Dolphin Group

Back to Success Stories

Leading Manufacturer Selects Epicor ERP to Digitalize Production and Support Growth.

In business since 1986, Dolphin Group specialises in the design and manufacture of high-performance industrial and automotive thermal products, and they are widely recognised as a leader in this industry in the Middle East. With a corporate office in Ajman, United Arab Emirates (UAE), the Group has established several branches in Sharjah, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Al Ain, Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah, and Oman. 


Continue reading

“Our number one priority was finding a vendor that offered an industry-specific solution with a strong track record of success in the region. This is what really sets Epicor apart from most other vendors in the market."

Arshid Zab, IT manager at Dolphin Group
Company Facts
  • Location-Ajman, United Arab Emirates
  • Industry-Manufacturing
  • Website- www.dolphinheattransfer.com 

Challenges
  • Lack of visibility and transparency across departments
  • Inability to monitor true costs of labor and material
  • Lack of accurate data and real-time reporting

Solution
  • Epicor® ERP

Benefits
  • Increased operator efficiency, enabled higher-quality product, lowered material waste, and improved on-time delivery
  • Allowed company to evaluate legacy pricing with visibility of true costs
  • Integrated platform enabled the organization to add product lines, expand operations, and grow revenue streams

Follow Us

Until as recently as 2014, Dolphin Group relied almost entirely on manual processes to run their business. While they did have a very basic financial system, all other processes-from the moment an order was accepted by an employee in sales to the moment it was shipped to the customer-required employees across all departments to work in close concert with each other. This had a severe impact on data accuracy, employee efficiency, and their ability to make good day-to-day business decisions. For a business that was rapidly expanding both its product offering and operations footprint, the lack of automation and digitilization of processes-particularly in the production environment- was proving to be a major roadblock. As Arshid Zab, IT manager at Dolphin Group explained, “Close to 90 percent of our product offering is built-to-order, and as such, our ability to deliver the highest quality product to our customers-on time, every time-hinges on having best-in-class manufacturing processes. Without an ERP system in place, we couldn't plan our production schedule efficiently or deploy any best practices on the shop floor. There were several instances where we would accept orders and promise a delivery date, only to then realise that we didn't have sufficient stock of a certain part, that there was a backlog on a certain machine, or that we hadn't budgeted for the required manpower on the day. This translated into late deliveries and-in some cases-customers canceling their orders altogether-both undesirable outcomes.” 

He continued, “Also, like with any business, at the end of the day, it is all about the bottom line. Without an ERP system in place, we had very little visibility of our true costs-be those costs of material, manpower, or our assets-and we often relied on a combination of historical data and our experience to make pricing decisions. As we expanded our operations to include trading, after sales-services, and even a consumables division, having this insight in real time was going to be critical to our ability to make good decisions and execute on our growth strategy.”

A fitting solution for manufacturing

Tasked with finding an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution that would allow the company to digitilize and automate their production operations, provide visibility and transparency across departments, and improve day-to-day decision making, Arshid and his team began the process of compiling a request for proposal and vetting out vendors. However, it took Arshid just a couple of preliminary discussions with each vendor to realise that Epicor would be the best fit for meeting all the business' requirements and serve as a platform for Dolphin's future growth. Discussing the two deciding factors that led to the selection of Epicor, Arshid revealed, “Our number one priority was finding a vendor that offered an industry-specific solution with a strong track record of success in the region. This is what really sets Epicor apart from most other vendors in the market. Epicor ERP offers a rich feature set and robust functionality-out-of-the-box-to meet the unique requirements of discrete manufacturers like us. The second reason we decided to partner with Epicor is their sales support and in-house professional services. Based on previous, less-than-ideal experiences with partners, it was essential that the vendor we chose was easy to work with and able to directly manage the entire engagement- from pre-sales, to implementation, to after-sales support.” After a thorough business process review- in which consultants from Epicor worked closely with Dolphin stakeholders from sales, finance, purchasing, and production to map out all requirements, as well as identify gaps for improvement-the team rolled out Epicor ERP across Dolphin's seven companies and 11 facilities in the UAE. Today, morethan 200 Dolphin employees rely on Epicor ERP to conduct almost all their day-to-day tasks.

Positive impact on every department

Since the implementation of Epicor ERP, every department has realised significant improvements. For example, access to real-time data and improved transparency and visibility across all departments means that sales can now review stock levels and production schedules before promising customers a delivery date. Availability of true costs has also allowed the sales department to review all pricing, and they have identified over 100 “low-margin” customers for price negotiation-something that is expected to have a significant positive impact on Dolphin's bottom line. The Epicor supplier relationship management module allows the team in purchasing to closely keep tabs on suppliers via a rating system based on a host of criteria-including on-time delivery (OTD), product quality, and cost. Since all seven Dolphin business units are now on one system, intercompany transactions have been streamlined and are as easy as a few clicks. For finance and management, the rich reporting capabilities available as a standard offering in Epicor ERP allows them to easily generate real-time, customized dashboards and reports that give them a granular view of business health and aid in forecasting and decision making. Finally, moving over to Epicor ERP from the legacy accounting system has allowed the team to close their books at the end of every month-as opposed to just once a year. Arguably, however, no department has benefitted more than production. Modules such as planning and scheduling, production management, service management, warehouse management, and the manufacturing execution system (MES) have allowed Dolphin to deploy several industry best practices across the shop floor. Arshid explained, “Most of what we manufacture is made-to-order, and prior to Epicor, each bill of materials (BOM) was generated manually. This process was not only extremely labour intensive, but it also meant there was greater chance of human error. The in-built product configurator in Epicor ERP has allowed us to completely automate this process. Now, all the operator has to do is put in a top-level part number and the system generates a detailed BOM within just a few seconds. The service management module- with its system-generated alerts-has allowed us to be more proactive than reactive in terms of maintenance schedules for all our machines. Also, with Epicor MES, we are now able to capture all manufacturing data accurately and in real time. The cumulative effect has been a marked improvement in product quality, employee efficiency, OTD, and a substantial reduction in material waste and costs.”

Dolphin Group Planning to move to the cloud

With Epicor fitting all the business' requirements and far exceeding management's expectations for the solution, Arshid is now turning his focus to expanding the relationship-including a move to the cloud and the addition of an eCommerce module. “Given all the benefits of the cloud-particularly the lower total cost of ownership, improved recovery point objective, recovery time objective, and much higher levels of data security-we will be looking to migrate to Epicor Cloud ERP in the coming months. In parallel, in an effort to expand our reach, grow sales, and offer our customers a more consumer-like experience, we plan on opening an online store by leveraging Epicor Commerce Connect-another reason for our move to the cloud.”

True business partner

“One of the hardest parts of any change initiative-particularly one that involves technology-is getting people to buy in. While there were challenges along the way, once employees-everyone from the associate in charge of entering sales orders to the associate dispatching finished goods to customers-experienced the ease of use of Epicor ERP and saw the value in terms of data accuracy, efficiency, and-most importantly- customer satisfaction, it was an easy sell. With Epicor ERP serving as the backbone of our business, I am confident that we will be able to stay true to our core values of adaptability, continuous improvement, entrepreneurship, and teamwork and execute on our ambitious growth strategy,” he concluded.

Epicor solutions are designed around the unique operational needs of manufacturers and are available in the cloud or on premises. Customers can better manage complexity and focus on core growth activities.

Talk to an Expert