The Answer Company & Sage X3: Danica scales in style, growing operations during the pandemic
Danica’s in-house team of product developers and designers create unique seasonal ranges of kitchenware and home furnishings with inimitable style. Products are manufactured abroad, imported to Canada, and then sold through North American retailers of all sizes. When the global economic and health crisis hit, Danica was able to push ahead and actually streamline its operations, putting itself in a position of strength.
Older Technology Limits Growth
When Danica recognized the time was right to revamp its technology platform it turned to its long-time partner, The Answer Company, for assistance. “We were growing, hiring and expanding our product lineup, but our older ERP system couldn’t keep up,” explains Sushil Arora, CEO of Danica. “We were lacking visibility into our operations and missing the deep distribution and multinational functionality required to scale.”
Partner with Integrity
Danica evaluated two new solutions, Sage X3 and Syspro. While Arora says that likely either solution could serve the company well, Danica selected Sage X3. The main reason we selected Sage X3 is because of the trust we have in The Answer Company. They’ve demonstrated their integrity over the course of our relationship, and we know they will do right by us.
”Not long after the implementation was completed, the pandemic struck. Danica was fortunate. Orders continued to flow in as consumers turned their focus homeward. The company’s supply chain was disrupted with all the uncertainty, but the ability for cross-border exports to continue without delays was encouraging. “With Sage X3 up and running, we were in really good shape, although some parts of our business was down, we were actually growing in other parts during the downturn,” says Arora.
Danica distributes to both Canada and the United States. Products are first shipped to Canada and then exported to the U.S as needed. The Canadian government supports a duty drawback program allowing companies to reclaim some of the duty paid on imports if those imports are ultimately shipped out of Canada.
In order to capitalize on this program, Danica must trace products throughout their lifecycle. The Answer Company created a report in Sage X3 that reveals products’ and containers’ route to sale, demonstrating proof of export, and allowing Danica to efficiently claim a significant rebate. “We didn’t have this capability before,” says Arora. “We had to track this information in multiple spreadsheets.”
Improve Forecasting and Allocation
Shipped from China and India, Danica’s products come with long lead times. In order to ensure there is sufficient quantity on hand to meet demand, the company must make early, informed decisions about how much and when to order. Sage X3 supports that decision making with crucial visibility into current demand and prior sales history. Furthermore, Sage X3 allows the company to respond quickly to changes in demand, accurately allocating and reallocating products based on quantities in stock or in transit — keeping its customers happy and its revenues flowing.
Data Guides Business Strategies
While Sage X3 provides the company with the robust supply chain management functionality the dynamic distributor needs, Arora says the main benefit of the software is something slightly more tangible. “We now have the data we need to inform and guide our business strategies. There is certainly a place in business for experience and gut instincts, but ultimately, we have to trust the data. We have to get that data into the hands of those who can use it.” Arora credits The Answer Company and Sage X3 for its ability to leverage and share data more effectively and efficiently than ever before. “We can access and analyze that data in ways that make it stronger, richer, and more revealing,” he says. “It allows us to speak with confidence, and to question and push the status quo.”
Using the Sage Enterprise Intelligence module, Danica’s employees are able to access the data they need in user-friendly ways. Arora recounts an instance when a younger, newer employee came to a meeting armed with data and valuable insights surrounding that data. “They were able to query the database on their own, asking questions, getting answers, and then share what they learned,” he says. “That’s the kind of collaboration I love to see — it makes us a better company.”
Scale With Confidence
With online consumer spending on the rise due to coronavirus, Danica recently launched a new direct to consumer channel, sold on multiple platforms . The Answer Company is clearing the path for this new initiative by implementing integrations between Sage X3, Shopify, and Amazon. Real-time order and inventory integration streamline and simplify operations, ensuring Danica can process orders quickly and accurately. With no manual intervention required, productivity will get a boost, and allows the company to scale this part of the business exponentially. Armed with leading technology and a dedicated partner, Arora has confidence in its ability to successfully scale into the future. “I often think of The Answer Company as a strategic partner rather than a vendor. Their knowledge of both Sage X3 and our company give us tremendous confidence going forward.”