The Company: About Carson Home Accents
Carson Home Accents is a recognized leader in the wholesale manufacturing and distribution of gift, garden, and home décor products to specialty retail stores nationwide. With over 2,500 products and 7,500 customers, the company has consistently proven the enduring appeal of its products. While its business model has changed and its product offering has grown, it remains family-owned and completely committed to exceptional service.
The Situation: Business Management
When the company looked to upgrade its business management solution, one solution met the exacting requirements of Carson Home Accents — Sage Enterprise Management. “We will not make a change to our operations without absolute confidence in its success,” says John Hill, vice president of administration for Carson Home Accents. “We performed an extensive search for an ERP solution to meet our needs today and to adapt to tomorrow’s requirements.”
The Solution: Sage X3 ERP
Sage ERP X3 ( Enterprise Management) was selected above the competitors for its broad functionality, flexibility, scalability, and ease of use. “Our business processes constantly evolve,” adds Hill. “We are constantly working to improve the way we operate to stay competitive and to reinforce our value to our customers. The flexibility present in Sage works in our favor; it adapts easily as our needs change.”
The Results: Sage X3 ERP Implementation Benefits
Flexibility to Meet Complex Requirements
One of the company’s requirements for its new business management software was the ability to handle a complex inventory allocation model. “The configurable allocation rules within Sage Enterprise Management really stood out,” says Hill. “It offers the most comprehensive tool set.” Carson Home Accents works with 20 overseas suppliers and the long lead times involved can complicate the company’s goal of optimizing its inventory levels while also ensuring it maintains an adequate supply to meet customer orders. “We strive to ship most orders 100 percent complete, as it saves us money and provides a better level of service to our customers,” explains Hill. “The allocation logic in Sage Enterprise Management helps us optimize our fulfillment process, by finding and selecting the orders that we can ship complete based on the stock we have on hand.” Hill adds, “We prioritize our orders based on a number of factors, such as customer type, or product line. Setting up the allocation logic is very straightforward in Sage Enterprise Management.
It is quick to make the changes we need and even very complex logic is supported.” Before implementing Sage Enterprise Management, selecting orders to fill and printing the picking lists required all of a full-time employee’s time. “Now this process is done as part of our workflow and takes no more than 30 minutes a day,” notes Hill.
Streamlined Credit Card Processing
Carson Home Accents has noticed a significant upward trend in the number of customers using credit cards to pay their invoices. To streamline and facilitate the processing tasks, the company turned to Sage Payment Solutions, an integrated credit card processing solution that tightly integrates with Sage Enterprise Management. “Currently about 20 percent of our revenues are processed from customers using credit cards,” says Hill. “Therefore, adding an integrated credit card processing component to our Sage Enterprise Management information system was a smart business decision.” By eliminating separate and manual processing tasks, the company saves approximately 20 hours per week. Recent regulation changes have magnified the value of Sage Payment Solutions. “It is PCI compliant,” notes Hill. “These regulations can be difficult and costly for smaller companies like Carson Home Accents. We are thankful Sage offered an affordable solution.”
Increasing Customer Satisfaction
With improvements to the order fulfillment process, Carson Home Accents is receiving many positive comments. In fact, the company was recently cited for excellence in customer service in an industry trade publication. Customers approve of the invoices generated by Sage Enterprise Management. “Our customers are saying ‘thank you for the new and improved invoice’. Anytime a customer thanks you for an invoice, you know it is a good thing,” says Hill.
Measurable Return on Investment
Carson Home Accents makes a conscious effort to achieve a measurable return on investment for any improvements the company considers. “It is more than a formula on a spreadsheet,” says Hill. “We have very high expectations for both our employees and our information systems. When an employee leaves or we find ourselves challenged to keep up with new business, we first look at how we can reorganize the workflow to become more efficient and make better use of the features in Sage Enterprise Management.” The solution is paying dividends. Since its Sage Enterprise Management implementation, the company has not needed to replace four positions that became vacant. “We are very pleased with where we are, but we are not stopping here,” Hill concludes. “We continue to look for opportunities to improve, and we are confident that Sage Enterprise Management will continue to help us in our efforts.”
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