ABES Technoseal lays R1.5m enterprise backbone with ACS-Embrace
ABES Technoseal, one of the country`s top importers and distributors of oil and hydraulic seals, has implemented ACS-Embrace as its core financial and business system to streamline its operations, improve the level of service to its customers, and Web-enable its business. The implementation was part of a R1.5 million IT upgrade undertaken by the company.
A company in the Hudaco group, ABES Technoseal distributes rotary shaft seals, hydraulic and pneumatic seals, O-rings and related products across all industries in the country. With a staff complement of around 50, the company supplies manufacturers throughout the country from its office in Elandsfontein, Johannesburg, and through the Hudaco branch network.
"Prior to Embrace we had two separate programs running our financial and warehousing systems," says David Allman, ABES Technoseal MD. "We now have a complete, integrated system that incorporates all aspects of our business. This has boosted our ability to meet the diverse needs of our customers and resulted in cost savings for us through improved business processes."
The ACS-Embrace ERP suite, developed by Associated Computer Solutions (ACS), a company in the JSE Securities Exchange-listed Global Technology group, replaced ABES`s legacy Unix system which had been in operation since 1980.
"When we were informed that our old system would no longer be supported, we tried to move to another ERP solution, but that was a total failure because the vendor had no understanding of our unique business requirements," says Allman.
"With hindsight we began to investigate other systems on the market. We went to ACS with our own figures and product descriptions and the demonstration proved that Embrace was able to deliver exactly to our requirements. There were cheaper options, but we would have had to buy several add-ons to arrive at a system that would cover all aspects of our business. We now have one fully integrated ERP suite, supported by one vendor."
ABES Technoseal imports its products from around the world. Once they arrive in Johannesburg, the shipments are consolidated. The company then adds value by packaging and barcoding products according to each customer`s requirements. All customer part numbers are entered onto the system to facilitate the re-ordering process. An integrated electronic shuttle warehousing system enhances the speed with which the picking and packing of customer orders are processed.
Embrace provides the company with the functionality to enhance communications and transaction flow with suppliers and customers through e-commerce, fax and e-mail.
The solution also provides integrated and flexible support throughout ABES`s entire logistics chain. Parameter-driven set-up allows the software to reflect the organisational flow and to be adapted as the needs of the company change.
ABES Technoseal is ISO 9001-certified and operates according to a set of standards that, says Allman, will be easier to maintain with the new system. "Among the many standards we have to adhere to, we are bound to ensure that the products despatched to our customers are the products they ordered, that our contractual delivery dates are not jeopardised by late delivery from our suppliers, and that we can meet our commitments to our customers. By facilitating logistics, warehouse management and distribution, Embrace helps us to ensure we can deliver on our business promises."
Allman says the software`s ability to scale as the company grows was also an important consideration. "Our business has grown steadily over the years, and we are supplying products to large players in all industries. With the support of the new system, we can enhance and extend our efforts considerably."
"ACS-Embrace addresses the strategic functions that are critical to ABES Technoseal`s distribution environment," says Kevin O`Donoghue, ACS-Embrace project director. "It provides the company`s management with up-to-the-minute information, thus enabling them to make business decisions with confidence."
ABES`s system supports 30 users and is running on a Windows platform. O`Donoghue says Embrace`s desktop technology makes e-business a reality in distribution and manufacturing enterprises, with a single, consistent IP architecture allowing users to operate in browser, graphical and character modes.
"Embrace offers highly sophisticated functionality yet is simple and easy to use," adds O`Donoghue. "It allows easy access to information through an intuitive user interface. Its uniform screen structure and design methodology make it easy to learn and speed the transition to competitive advantage."
Allman notes that ease of use was one of the major reasons for the success of the project, which took nine months from inception to implementation. The total buy in from all staff members clearly helped the change process.
The move to Embrace was project managed by IT services company SpecIT. "It was a textbook implementation," says Allman. "Because expectations on both sides were managed by a third-party, the implementation ran smoothly."
Allman says the new system has long-term benefits for ABES as it will enable the company to meet its customers` increasingly sophisticated requirements in terms of technology and business-to-business transactions. "Our customers are running advanced enterprise systems. Embrace places us on an equal footing and means that we can lock our customers into our business, ensuring long-term partnerships."
Global Technology acquired ACS with the intention of creating a world-class banking ERP solution that integrates with the GLOBUS banking system.