Avon is deploying Sage's X3 ERP across its global divisions
Back in 2008 UK based manufacturer Avon Rubber took on its largest client. After seeing the UK troops in Iraq with better gas protection equipment, the US military asked Avon Rubber to produce the best in breed safety gear for its troops.
To accomodate with this new growth, and focus on Avon Rubber's two main channels - its safety wear and its dairy farming equipment, the business needed to overhaul its five ERP systems and implement a common platform.
Click through to read about the improvements from the factory floor through to sales.
1. Growth strategy
Avon Rubber had five different ERPs across its global divisions including Sage 300, Pix by Sanderson, Infor, Minx and Comshare.
Following a boost in orders thanks to a US military contract following the Iraq war, and increased focus on Avon's main channels - protection masks and its dairy division for farming equipment, it needed one common ERP.
2. Choosing an ERP
Mike De Pasquale, Avon Rubber's group enterprise system manager considered SAP, Microsoft Dynamix and Infor ERP Express.
After cutting it down to two - Sage X3 and Microsoft Dynamix, De Pasquale says that the services integrator Inixion really sealed the deal.
"This is a painful process. No-one puts in an ERP for fun"..."You need to trust your partner".
"I'd never be able to pick up the phone and speak to Microsoft in Washington", he adds.
Avon Rubber's Belcamp, Washington datacentre hosts the entire business which is virtualised. There are primary, secondary and third level lines ready to go in the Melksham department in the UK for emergencies.
4. Automating orders
The factory floor benefits from the ERP as it allows workers to track materials in real-time. Sage will send the correct label to handheld devices so they reach the right boxes in the most efficient way.
5. 24/7 production line
If the factory has a big order to fulfil, production lines, or 'cells' will be working 24-hours a day. On average, the factory can produce 5,000 of a gas mask protection hood in one week.
To ensure time efficieny, Avon is looking at options to connect weighing scales to the ERP system so it can weigh how much material is needed for each order.
6. Increasing production
The main aims? Keeping the headcount down, improving efficiency and focusing on growth, says De Pasquale. As the deployment continues across South Africa and China, the 12-strong IT team hope to add applications to automate processes as much as possible.