How switching to SAP has meant that storage company Nerak are completing orders that used to take weeks in just a few days.
Scott Amber is the director of Nerak, a company that has specialised in designing and manufacturing conveyor systems and lifts since 1969. They’re great when it comes to moving packages and pallets but were having a harder time moving their business forward.
Scott was running the whole business from an outdated Sage 50 and spreadsheets-based system. It just wasn’t supporting their ambitions as a business.
Controlling all of their inventory in Sage 50 was difficult and, as a result, the business had become reliant on spreadsheets for everything from BOMs through to the majority of their reporting requirements. There was also heavy use of Word templates for quotations and even paper-based processes within some departments.
Stuck in an endless pile of documents and inefficient admin, Scott was searching for a better solution.
One big thing that needed to change at Nerak was transparency across all departments. Teams would find themselves hopping in and out of multiple systems, servers, spreadsheets and local drives. Data gathering was a very inefficient process which meant prolonged response times for their customers. All of these factors combined were slowing the growth of the company.
Scott knew that Nerak needed to move their information from multiple systems to one easy-to-access place.
On top of this, without an integrated order management system, a lot of time was being wasted by reactively identifying shortfalls in component requirements, often leading to last-minute and urgent purchasing requirements.
With the team dealing with so many suppliers and customers as part of their day-to-day, Nerak are not a fan of the ‘hard sell’. From the start, it was clear that with Thinc they could build a working relationship with a partner that would listen instead of pitch and advise instead of dictate. Building a long-term partnership based on a true understanding of their business needs was the decider in why Nerak chose Thinc.
We met up with Scott and, after really getting to know Nerak’s business inside out, we decided that SAP Business One, as an end-to-end platform would be the best fit.
There was uncertainty however, as this was Nerak’s first cloud-based ERP solution, and with the implementation coinciding with COVID lockdown rules, the entire project needed to be implemented remotely. This was very much a step into the unknown.
With any software project, there are a lot of decisions that need to be made. Whether they’re decisions on best practice, new processes, data migration, configuration or training, there’s a lot of things to consider as a business goes through change. Scott liked the approach that Thinc took – always taking the time to guide them through their available options so that they could make informed decisions about the project at every stage.
Despite being delivered completely remotely, the project was a success, and with the added benefit of all training sessions being recorded, Nerak now have a set of internal training resources for existing team members as well as new starters too.
Some of the biggest wins for Nerak include how quickly they’re now able to produce quotations for spare part requirements, as well as the time they save themselves using SAP’s MRP (Material Requirements Planning) wizard to identify potential shortfalls and automate their purchasing activity. Previously, Nerak would have to plan production runs on an order-by-order basis to match up to their component requirements, but, with better planning, they can now consolidate multiple sales orders into a single production run to improve efficiency, reduce lead times and cost.
As the team at Nerak builds more data within SAP, they will look towards developing more accurate forecasting models to predict seasonal demand. With more data, Nerak will also be able to make more strategic decisions on opportunities for expansion.
Here at Thinc, we’re excited to keep working with Nerak to help support them reach their goals.
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