Dorcy International Case Study by S2K Enterprise ERP Software
About The Company
Dorcy International, headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, is a global distributor of flashlights and batteries. The company’s Special Markets Division offers promotional printing on select products. Dorcy employs 100 individuals and has annual revenues of about $50 million.
Finding product in the warehouse often was a game of hide and seek. There were no bins or barcode labels of any kind, and no systematic approach guided product placement. Product movements were sporadically recorded in handwritten logs. To locate items, personnel relied on recollections or time-consuming physical searches. Shipment delays were common.
Many of Dorcy’s customers required EDI (electronic data interface) ordering as a prerequisite to doing business. Setting up customer accounts typically took three to four weeks in order to comply with each firm’s unique labeling and data requirements. Dorcy developed a two-part process to accommodate this requirement, but it was inefficient and frequently resulted in chargeback penalties for incorrect shipments and missing or inaccurate EDI documents, such as Advanced Shipping Notices (ASNs). Further, Dorcy could not print forms on laser printers. Multi-part invoices were difficult to generate, and the firm was spending a fortune on pre-printed forms that staff completed. Keying errors and other mistakes were common.
Dorcy purchased VAI’s S2K Enterprise Software, including the financial, warehousing, purchasing, and inventory modules, as well as an EDI integrator from VAI business partner EXTOL. VAI software is equipped with built-in adapters that interface directly with this product. Dorcy also upgraded to an IBM System i5 model 520.
Implementation included a total revamping of the three warehouses. VAI formulated a bin system, helped install barcode labels and incorporated RF (radio frequency) scanners. After the system went live, all warehouse shipments were completed by 3 p.m. Further, the learning curve for personnel across the organization’s many departments was almost nonexistent. According to Lorie Guerin, VAI Project Manager, “The implementation was a true team effort with Dorcy and VAI working side by side. Dorcy’s staff had a clear vision of where they wanted to be, and the resident in-house IT knowledge was most impressive. There was project buy-in at the highest levels of management as well, which primed the corporate culture to accept this dramatic change in day-to-day business operations.”
Using the Solution to Solve the Problem
VAI software increased supply chain efficiencies for Dorcy across every facet of the firm’s business operations. Shipments from Taiwan, China and Korea track with well-documented inventory needs, and stock is maintained at optimal levels with the assistance of S2K reports such as Suggested Purchase Ordering. Real-time information is available, and RF devices track warehouse product movement; personnel know precisely where to look for items and the precise quantity they will find when they arrive at the bin.
According to Macy Bergoon, Director of Supply Chain, Dorcy, “The combination of real-time inventory, cycle counting and RF devices has yielded negligible inventory variances. We dropped from a $170,000 variance to less than $5,000 in one year.” Bergoon also estimates that VAI’s S2K has reaped accounting staff time savings of over 50%.
Bergoon has plans to utilize additional functionality available within the S2K Enterprise modules to enhance business operations. He explains, “We’re going to extend our order entry capabilities to the Internet, giving our sales force Web self-service whereby they can enter orders directly instead of calling an 800 number. This portal will give them access to customer account information as well as inventory levels. We’re also contemplating a Web store where individual customers can buy Dorcy items directly.” Craddock advises, “We’re so pleased with what S2K has done for our business, we’re planning to perform the Web integration before year’s end. When we do, we will upgrade to the latest version of S2K to allow its updated functionality to streamline our supply chain even more.”
According to Dorcy’s IT Director Mark Craddock, “Our customers are reaping benefits from the EDI upgrade and interface. It takes us half as much time to add a new customer, and compliance