Case Study: Satellite Industries
Solution: Sage X3 ERP
Industry: Manufacturing/Wholesale Distribution
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
About The Comnpany
With more than 50 years of experience, Satellite Industries, Inc. is the number one supplier of portable sanitation equipment in the world. The company currently operates in 75 countries with sales offices located in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium, France, Spain, Poland, and China. Satellite Industries, is a model of operational efficiency, and to support its worldwide operations, the company relies on a single ERP solution–Sage ERP X3.
Situation, Solution & Results
For many years, the company had been running a homegrown software system, with several disconnected processes. Data was stored in spreadsheets, database applications, and the legacy system. Organic growth and multiple acquisitions led the company to seek a powerful, integrated ERP solution to enable it to better meet the needs of its growing operation.
Sage ERP X3 was selected from a field of nearly 40 competing software systems. “Other packages claimed to offer the capabilities to manage all aspects of our complex business,” says John Babcock, vice president of Satellite Industries. “However, we learned quickly that when other vendors used the word flexible, what it meant was overly complex and expensive. Only Sage ERP X3 was able to deliver the functionality we needed—along with real flexibility—at a price point that made sense.”
Satellite Industries’ President and CEO Todd Hilde agrees, “It was important for us to find a system that would allow us to effectively collaborate with our suppliers and provide complete supply chain visibility and control. Sage ERP X3 met our supply chain, customer management, and multi-national requirements, and we were confident that our Sage partnership would result in meeting our business objective of serving our customers better.” Babcock reports that the implementation was well-planned, well-executed, and rapid. “The ease of implementation of Sage ERP X3 was a key factor in the success of our project.”
Supply Chain Visibility
Supply chain collaboration was a vital component in the system selection process. With Sage ERP X3, the company was able to bring its business partners into their processing environment from day one by establishing a self-service portal for its vendors and its customers. “Now our business partners can access our systems and have full and immediate visibility into orders and are able to plan their workloads accordingly,” Babcock says. “Similarly, customers can log on and enter their own orders. It is a highly efficient system that facilitates our ability to do a large volume of business with a very lean staff.”
Just three months after implementation, Hurricane Katrina struck, spiking demand for the company’s products. Satellite Industries successfully handled the equivalent of six months of business in just 30 days. “We would not have been able to accomplish this using our previous system,”Babcock. Satellite Industries has achieved greater inventory visibility, and now, movement of prodsays ucts from a warehouse in one country to another is managed by a simple inventory transfer as opposed to a buy/sell transaction. And sales offices can issue one sales order for multiple countries instead of creating one for each individual country.
A Single View of the Customer
In addition to the accounting, manufacturing, and distribution components of Sage ERP X3, Satellite Industries is successfully using the CRM module. Previously, customer information had been distributed across multiple systems resulting in re-keying of data, information redundancies, paper-based backups, and an overall lack of cohesiveness in accessing information when talking to or meeting with customers. Using the CRM module, the company has been able to consolidate customer information from all of its offices and as a result it is enjoying improved communications and enhanced sales activities. Global visibility into all customer data related to credit, collections, customer service, sales, quality assurance, and contracts drives efficiency and promotes a healthy cash flow.
Efficient Global Operations
Babcock notes that one of the benefits the company enjoys is the ability to effectively and efficiently operate in a global, mobile environment. “I can sit here at my desk in Minnesota and quote a customer in Germany, and send off that quote in German with the amounts in Euros. Even better—I can perform the same task, just as effectively, from my iPad at the coffee shop,” he says. “Sage ERP X3 eliminates many of the hurdles of doing business internationally.” Multi-language and multi-currency functionality is thoroughly integrated. Using Sage ERP X3, Satellite Industries is able to run its international business more efficiently with better global visibility, from the front office to the back office.
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