“Where we are now is an amazing place – we are a successful business with a successful ERP system and the long list of benefits, such as the ability to buy-in accurately, has changed our business.”
Jason McEvoy, COO, Norman Goodfellows
Norman Goodfellows (NGF) is a third generation, family-owned retail and redistribution business. Established in 1976, the company has been providing the finest wine, spirits, malts, soft drinks, party services and gifts for more than 4 decades. Today, NGF operates retail stores and warehouses in Gauteng, Western Cape and KZN and delivers up to 1,000 deliveries a day.
Prior to implementing SYSPRO, NGF operated a front-end Point of Sale system and a separate finance system. These systems spoke to each other via manual entries from both sides. NGF decided that the only way to have complete control over their business operations, and to manage customer and supplier interactions, was to move from these basic systems to a fully integrated ERP system.
The SYSPRO implementation was a delicate balance between meeting the customer expectation and avoiding the risk of over-architecting the system. The commercial complexity of NGF’s business required constant collaboration, an intimate understanding of processes and systems and a deep dive into the maturity of the different sections of the business. It was also imperative that the ERP implementation did not result in any downtime or delays in customer services.
As a result of this implementation, NGF has complete visibility of their profit per customer, supplier and product. ‘Live’ stock views have improved customer service levels significantly due to decreased stock outages. Additionally, the business now has the ability to buy-in accurately and return their slow-moving stock.
Supporting Fast-paced Retail Logistics
In a fiercely competitive market, NGF takes pride in maintaining a competitive advantage through their exceptional customer service. Offering a same day service for orders placed by 11am, and a willingness to supply single bottles (as opposed to case lots) presents some logistical challenges. “The logistics of getting our product from our warehouse to clubs, pubs, restaurants, hotels and private residences on time, and in the correct quantities, is what allows us to create and maintain trust in our brand,” explains NGF COO, Jason McEvoy.
NGF operates a fleet of over 50 vehicles that service more than 2 000 customers daily from two dedicated warehouses and distribution centres. 62% of these deliveries originate from same day orders. “To give an idea of the pace of our business: on an extremely busy day, we have the capacity to make over 1,000 deliveries, with 500+ deliveries being delivered the same day the order was received,” says McEvoy. “This is very much a commodity-based business and we differentiate ourselves through excellent service, every time.”
From Scraps of Paper to Live Stock
The main business objectives that drove NGF’s ERP journey involved stock optimization and profitability analysis. “Before we implemented SYSPRO, we had no real insight into profitability at a customer, supplier or product level,” says McEvoy. “Another challenge with the old systems arose when a customer placed an order and we had no idea whether or not we had the stock on hand. It was only when the salesperson took a piece of paper indicating the customer order into the warehouse that he could physically confirm stock availability or outage.” Stock losses also plagued NGF. “Alcohol is like cash – it can be sold or consumed anywhere. Theft is, unfortunately, a huge part of our business, both in retail and redistribution. Not having the capability to quantify these losses was frustrating and bad for the bottom line.” With the implementation of SYSPRO ERP, the enhanced visibility of stock has positively impacted many aspects of the business.
“SYSPRO Point of Sale drives our retail business and allows us to transact offline. The Warehouse Management System ensures that anything that moves in any of our warehouses around the country is moved with a matching transaction on SYSPRO so that our stock is always visible in real-time. And B2B Sales Order Integration allows NGF customers to place orders on their side, thereby reducing human error when choosing products, and increasing efficiency.” NGF also operates a fully integrated retail website that reads stock pricing and availability directly from SYSPRO.
Securing an Additional Revenue Stream
On the distribution side, NGF relies heavily on rebates from suppliers. In the absence of a system that could determine and track these figures, the company was reliant on feedback from the suppliers to calculate the rebates that were owed to them. “SYSPRO has put the administration of this process firmly back within our control, we are now able to access what was essentially lost revenue,” says McEvoy.
Once NGF got the basics right, they were excited to lengthen their ERP journey with other products available to them. “We bolted-on QlikView, enabled by SYSPRO. QlikView is a Business Intelligence data discovery product that has been a game changer to our business in terms of our ability to make accurate predictions. A lot of our profitability hinges on smart buying, and before we had accurate sales numbers and stock holdings, these buy-ins were often wrong,” explains McEvoy. “The ease of integrating this product with SYSPRO allowed us to extend the functionality of our ERP system.”