SVK

SVK Optimizes its Business Operations with a Fully Integrated ERP System from Organi and Progress Software.

Products:

OpenEdge

SS_SVK

Challenge

Disparate systems limited access to information and impacted employee productivity.

Solution

An integrated ERP system from Organi, based on the Progress® OpenEdge® platform.

Result

Increased efficiency and productivity; improved data flow and control over inventory process; increased executive access to real-time data. 

Story

Challenge

Headquartered in Belgium, SVK has more than 100 years of manufacturing, supply and technical expertise. As one of the largest manufacturers of building materials in Belgium, the company offers a comprehensive portfolio of fiber cement products and bricks. SVK also manages a bookbinding operation.

For SVK, whose business involves manufacturing and distributing cement products and bricks, inventory management is extremely complex. The company had acquired numerous applications to manage key business functions, from administration and finance to inventory and warehouse management. While some were modern, others were 10-15 years old; however, SVK infrastructure limitations ruled out migrating to a more modern application based on new technologies.

“Our IT infrastructure could not scale with our growing business,” explained Walter Verhaert, Director for SVK. “While we could keep up with customer demand and manage our business operations effectively, it took a toll from both a resource and cost perspective. There were numerous operations we knew could be easily managed through automation with an updated system.”

For example, SVK’s process for inventory management required a significant amount of physical counting and controls, making audits painful and putting sales staff at a disadvantage. “It took far more people than it should have to manage that process,” said Verhaert. “And, in the end, we still only had a ‘theoretical’ idea of what our inventory was— after just one order, the numbers changed.”

Verhaert says SVK wanted to streamline operations by giving all employees access to the same system with the same information. With a fully automated system and access to up-to-date, reliable information, sales staff could better serve the customer, productivity would improve, costs would shrink and real-time visibility would enable better informed business decisions.

Solution

Referred by a peer in the same industry, Verhaert’s team contacted Organi, a Progress application provider, also based in Belgium.

“After a demonstration of Progress OpenEdge, we were extremely impressed with Organi’s expertise and technology,” says Verhaert. “We saw tremendous potential in partnering with Organi. They offered impressive solutions, a long list of customers and proven industry success.”

Additionally, having a close relationship with the chosen vendor was important. “In a larger, multinational company, employees are constantly coming and going,” said Verhaert. “With Organi, we were confident we would be working closely with the same people from the beginning of the implementation to the very end. They were truly committed to our success.”

SVK had an immediate need for a bookkeeping application, so that was the first solution implemented. “It was critical from the start to have access to analytical overviews and financial information at our fingertips,” said Verhaert. The second phase of the project involved replacing all of SVK’s existing applications with a single integrated ERP system for managing every aspect of the business, including sales orders, purchase orders, inventory management, warehouse management, compliance management, electronic archiving (EDM), CRM and BI.

Built on the Progress® OpenEdge® platform, SVK’s system is fault-tolerant with built-in failover capabilities in the event of technical interruption or a disaster.

Following a smooth implementation, SVK was able to recover all of its historical data from the previous systems, which included data on more than 5,000 products. The cutover from the old systems to the new integrated system was seamless, causing no interruption to its business.
 

Result

SVK’s new OpenEdge based system provides numerous advantages. Management now has access to real-time reporting and analysis. “With facts in hand, SVK’s executives can make more informed business decisions,” said Verhaert.

Importantly, the company’s inventory process has improved. With access to real-time stock information, sales can be confident that products are in stock, and customers benefit from timely delivery of goods. SVK’s production manager is better able to plan production based on accurate inventory levels. And, unlike previous solutions, the OpenEdge based system imposes business rules and processes on all users, reducing errors and ensuring consistency, while improving efficiency and productivity.

“Employees can now better serve the customer,” said Verrhaert. “We can quickly and easily access account information using fewer screens, and we have direct access to the electronic archive, sales and customer representatives. I believe this system will support our needs for decades to come.” 

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