Leading Garments Manufacturer Increases Productivity by Implementing an ERP Solution
“Because of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 and Porini’s Apparel and Textile vertical solution, we can produce and deliver orders to our customers much faster than ever before. This is a game changer for the company.”
Ahmed Ellawindy, IT Manager, Arafa Holding
Catering to a blue-chip clientele, and backed by its more than 20 years of experience in the apparel and textile industry, Arafa Holding manufactures formal and casual attire for some of the world’s largest retailers and brand names. The company is also a prominent clothing retailer and wholesaler in Egypt and the UK. In order to maximize value and future prospects for the firm, management’s strategy is to form three independent but integrated business lines – catering to a particular market sector: luxury, formal and casual wear.
For the company, being able to deliver the ordered goods in time to their customers is critical. This is due to the nature of the garment industry where the period to sell a certain clothing line can be short – primarily influenced by fashion trends, season and fabric availability. In this regard, Arafa Holding was facing several challenges. First of all, the company was having difficulty in getting an overall picture of customer demand since it did not have an integrated ERP solution.
“We were using different IT solutions that were not integrated with each other. For example, we used Microsoft Dynamics AX version 3.0 for our warehouse management and production. We also used several third-party solutions to handle our business processes such as material requirements planning (MRP), costing as well as financial accounting and control. Furthermore, we relied on internal documentation as well as emails to get further information. On top of that, we had to have several meetings to ensure that we were looking at the same data and were in complete alignment with what needed to be done. We spent a lot of time double-checking our data and this had a negative impact on our productivity,”
says IT Manager Ahmed Ellawindy.
The company’s management realized that it needed a single and integrated ERP solution that would cover its business needs, provide a solid platform, enhance security and be able to quickly create reports. The firm also wanted to take advantage of new functionality by upgrading to Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009. It was also looking for a third-party vertical solution that would provide more functionality as well as seamlessly integrate with Microsoft Dynamics 2009.
“We were looking for a comprehensive solution that would enable the company to automate and streamline our business processes, have better control over our supply chain, costing, warehouse management, among others. This would enable us to respond quickly to changes in the market and provide a shorter time-to-market period for our customer’s orders.”
To ensure a successful and smooth implementation, Arafa Holding engaged the services of two Microsoft Partners – EMEIT and Porini.
“We chose these two consulting companies as our implementing partners due to their extensive experience, expertise and excellent track records.”
EMEIT, an Egyptian-based Microsoft Partner, was responsible for implementing Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 at the company. It was also tasked with ensuring that modules pertain to financial accounting and control, complied with Egyptian laws and regulations.
Porini, with its more than 40 years of expertise in the apparel and textile industry, enhanced the capability of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 through its Apparel and Textile vertical solution. This allowed the company to be able to have a more comprehensive overview and control over its bill of materials, production orders, raw materials and warehouses.
To ensure a proper fit with the needs of the business and minimize errors, Porini was given the task of overseeing the project and worked closely with both EMEIT and the IT department of the company. The project was successfully completed according to the agreed scope, time and budget.
“This was a significant improvement, since we no longer had to spend a lot of time in finding out information that we needed and double checking its accuracy. This allowed us to focus more on our customers and the business.”
Ahmed Ellawindy, IT Manager, Arafa Holding
The implementation has proven to be a resounding success for the company.
Integrated ERP Solution
Previously, management and employees had to find the same information from several sources. By having an integrated ERP solution, the firm only needed to look at a single set of master and transactional data.
“This was a significant improvement, since we no longer had to spend a lot of time in finding out information that we needed and double checking its accuracy. This allowed us to focus more on our customers and the business. “
Extensive Costing Functionality
Formerly, the company had difficulty order costing whenever it received an order from a customer. This limitation no longer exists. This is due to the new features of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009, including Porini’s vertical solution.
The company is now able to determine the profit margin for a particular order, based on comparing the price difference in acquiring the raw materials and cost of production.
“Before, we had to perform a lot of manual calculations to determine how much money we would make for a specific order. Because of the costing functionality, not only can we see how much profit we would make for a particular order, but more importantly; it provided management with a tool to determine if whether it made business sense for the company to accept the order at all.”
Efficient Supply Chain Management
The ability to have a common set of data has given the company a complete picture of its production capacity, inventory, material, and resource availability. This has given the firm the ability to optimize their supply chain.
“In the past, it would take us at least 15 minutes to issue raw materials per production order, and we were handling between 300 – 400 production orders per month. Now, we can do it in a matter of seconds. Not only that, we have also shortened the lead time in procuring materials. This means that we can produce and deliver orders to our customers much faster than ever before. This is a game changer for the company,” says Ahmed Ellawindy happily.
Flexibility and Integration with Microsoft Products
Being able to seamlessly integrate Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 with the company’s existing Microsoft infrastructure and solutions has given a high level of flexibility in delivering a synergy effect which has proven to be highly advantageous to the firm. For example, being able to export data from Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 to Microsoft Office Excel is a tremendous help for the business when it has to create reports.
“The project has been challenging by all means but the success and the smoothness of the go-live process was one of our greatest satisfactions. Arafa Holding, Porini and EMEIT did a wonderful job together and showed a great cooperation mood.”
Giuseppe Ghisoni, Partner Manager, Porini International
Apparel & Textile 4 AX