ERP Implementation for Sourcing Company

Introduction

Global Trade Links help companies globally to source and procure items both domestically and overseas. With their offices in the USA, Middle-East and Asia, Global Trade Links have developed distribution agreements and strategic alliances with several manufacturers across the globe. This enables them to supply the products Companies need at the most competitive price & delivery available in the market.

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Source: GTL has multiple offices across different countries

Results

With ERPNext, Global Trade Links has successfully centralised their data and streamlined their operations for Procurement and Expediting/Sales Team. This has also helped them to Maintain data integrity throughout the organisation. Standardize Procurement and Expediting/Sales Cycle.

Implementation of ERPNext has let them to

  1. Improve Sales turnaround time by 50%
  2. Increased Percentage of Bids won by 26%

Overview

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Quote to Cash Cycle Supported by ERPNext

Global Trade Links (GTL) uses economies of scale to its advantage by procuring at scale for Clients across the globe. GTL’s services begin with competitive Quotations for their Client’s needs, coordination for clarifying technical specifications, negotiating the deals for their Clients and Coordinating the Shipment clearance in accordance with Custom Regulations. GTL provides procurement services for Construction and Industrial Supplier and Commodities.

Challenges

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Paperwork can add-up quickly.

Before the Implementation of ERPNext, Global Trade Link had been using traditional spreadsheets in their daily operation from sending Bids to their Customer to manually tracking Delivery Status.

This gradually became a difficult task with huge amounts of data to be processed and edited time and again. With a massive amount of data in multiple spreadsheets, Global Trade Links faced challenges like

  1. Managing Requests: Managing Clients Request for Quotation (R.F.Q.) was a major challenge for Global Trade Links due to the huge volume of R.F.Qs coming in daily. Each R.F.Q. requires a great deal of coordination and attention to have a chance of winning the R.F.Q./Bid
  2. Managing Time: Time was a very important aspect of day-to-day functioning. Turnaround time for floating R.F.Q to Suppliers, getting Quotes from Suppliers and replying to Customer R.F.Qs need to be quick. Delay in these can lead to loss of business
  3. Managing Data: Global Trade Links has numerous suppliers and clients with diverse geographies. Managing multiple opportunities, hundreds of SKUs, suppliers and their geographies was a major task requiring coordination of multiple data points
  4. Dynamic nature of business: Like most businesses, Global Trade Links’ business too is dynamic in nature. Challenges like Attrition of workforce and Clarification or Change of Requirements keep the management and workforce on their toes
  5. Communication across Multiple Continents: Operating across continents, increasing the complexity of communication given multiple time zones and varied culture. For Example, Date format in Britain (dd-mm-yyyy) is different from that in the U.S (mm-dd-yyyy) if this is not taken care of, it can lead to costly errors

Decision-Making Process

Global Trade Links (G.T.L) had approached Fafadia Tech in mid-2019 for an ERP solution. Global Trade Links had the following specific requirements

  1. Cloud-based application: To maintain a centralised source of data and reduce any communication gap between departments Global Trade Links desired an application which can be accessed from any location easily.
  2. Ability to edit Product Description: Since Product description could vary between customer and Manufacturer, Global Trade Link required to highlight some of the essential entities to offset any confusion in the Item description.
  3. Add pictures in Product Description: To ensure clients have complete transparency of information, item description should also support pictorial images.
  4. Multi-level Approval: With the constant change in the price of Item details, GTL wanted a system that could enforce a Multi-Level Approval system to make sure adequate Approval was taken from appropriate people in the organisation before finalising various documents like Purchase Order.
  5. Easy Discount Calculation: Since GTL’s business model involved negotiating best prices for their Clients, they wanted an option to include these discounts easily on Documents like Bids and Supplier Quotations.
  6. Easy Reporting: For keeping a tab on the business reporting of Key Performance Indicators was required.

On understanding G.T.L’s requirements, Fafadia Tech prepared a Proof of Concept (P.O.C) within 2 days which showcased how G.T.L’s requirements would be fulfilled. This POC was demonstrated in detail to GTL over an online meeting. Further to show how user-friendly the solution was, a trial instance was created for GTL to gain some hands-on experience. The trial Instance was tested by GTL managers and received very good feedback for easy to use Interface and on-time support for their queries. This enabled them to take a quick decision based on their first-hand experience.

Solution

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Comprehensive 360 Solution

Fafadia Tech decided to implement ERPNext to fulfill G.T.L’s requirements for the following reasons:

  1. ERPNext is a fully open-source product without any licensing fees compared to SAP or other leading ERP Products.
  2. Most of the modules like Procurement and Sales are available off the shelf which reduces the development Time and Cost.
  3. Since ERPNext is a fully open-source software, it is easy to build any addons required to fulfill Client requirements.
  4. Ability to build customized reports.
  5. Customization of Print Formats can be easily done from its Drag and Drop Interface for Simple Reports.
  6. Availability of Standard Reports like Sales Report, off the shelf reduce development time and cost.

On getting a sign-off on the final requirements, Fafadia Tech started Implementing ERPNext for GTL

Some of the customisations that helped GTL in their business process were as follows

  1. CRM Module: Auto calculating Quoted Price on Bids based on % margin defined on Unit Price Quoted by Supplier in Supplier Quotation
  2. Buying Module
    1. Multi-Level Approval Workflow for Purchase Order
    2. Notification for existing Supplier Quotation for an Item based on Item Code and/or Manufacturer’s Code
    3. Automatically flagging Hazardous Materials as “This item is classified as Hazardous Material for shipment” in the Item Description
    4. Auto generation of Item Description based on Parameters defined in Item Master
    5. Auto-fetch attachments like Data Sheet etc on Purchase Order
    6. Auto fetch Supplier Quoted prices in Purchase Order
  3. Selling Module
    1. Multi-Level Approval Workflow for Quotation
    2. Mainiting two set of Status for Delivery and Shipping Progress
    3. Ability to Mark Repeat Order
    4. Creating Multiple Supplier PO from an single Sales Order

Project Management

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Project Managing ERPNext Implementation

Taking an Agile approach we were able to complete ERP Implementation within a short period of 3 weeks, followed by 1 week of training sessions and 4 weeks of User Acceptance Testing and Parallel Run.

Implementation for GTL included the following steps:

  1. Adding missing Fields based on Gap Analysis
  2. Uploading Master Data like Customer and Supplier Master
  3. Coding Custom Validations like Showing previous RFQs with same Item Code on creation of new RFQ
  4. Setting up Multi-Level Approval Workflow
  5. Editing Print Format of Documents like Purchase Order, Sales Order, Packing Slip and Commercial Invoice
  6. Coding Backend scripts to fetch information from other related documents
  7. Develop Custom Reports

Training

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Training Different Teams including Sourcing & Expediting

Training was provided to users team-wise. Also teams were asked to practice in front of our ERP Consultants to make sure they follow the standard Workflow and don’t get lost in the labyrinth of options an ERP provides. All the training sessions were recorded to make them available for team’s reference.

UAT and Parallel Run

After the training, GTL was asked to use the new system in Parallel with the legacy system. This phase enabled the team members to use the system in a live environment and clear doubts regarding certain scenarios that may have been missed out earlier. Most scenarios were handled in the existing system, except a few which required a few minor tweaks like adding custom fields or scripts.