The Challenge: Accurate Information Across North America
QM wanted to maintain much of the functionality of its current accounting system, while improving financial information and controls. Visual Manufacturing, the software they used, relied heavily on capturing manufacturing data such as labour and material. Labour capturing was particularly time consuming and QM needed a simpler process. “The financial modules in our old manufacturing and accounting software were providing us inconsistent information,” said Justin Gu, QM’s Controller, “and the supplier’s remote technical support created problems.”
With five manufacturing and warehousing centres across North America, QM also needed to move data between offices as seamlessly as possible, preferably using QM’s existing Citrix data-sharing infrastructure. The goal was to supply accurate information, both within the company to QM’s sales and production areas, as well as outside to its customers.
The Solution: Sage 100 Software and The Answer Company
QM called on The Answer Company, a Canadian consulting firm with over a decade of experience, to help define its technical needs and customize an accounting system. They also wanted ongoing support after the new system was up and running. Evaluating three alternatives, QM and The Answer Company eventually selected Sage 100 from Sage Software, a customizable accounting, distribution and manufacturing system that includes full financials with multiple currencies, distribution requirements and simplified manufacturing including Bills of Materials with options. “QM’s previous system relied heavily on gathering data on labour and material costs,” said Ian Merkel, Manufacturing Solutions Specialist with The Answer Company.
“To reduce this time-consuming process, we replaced QM’s work order system with a simplified Bill of Material system where the company can more easily capture specific labour on customized products. We also made some simple modifications to make QM’s inventory visible to all five locations, which are maintained as separate business entities.” Some of Sage 100’s other Distribution and Manufacturing modules were also deployed, including sales orders, purchase orders, inventory control, and MRP planning.
The Benefits: More Accurate Financials, Better Inventory Control
Justin Gu quickly saw the effects of the new software, with stronger sales order and inventory control. “We’re quite satisfied with Sage 100 and the customization work The Answer Company did for us,” he said. “Information is easier to retrieve from the system, which means response time to customer inquiries has been reduced. Both our accounting and production departments are now more efficient. The Answer Company’s support and response time has always been quick and their support team is very knowledgeable about the system.” Sage 100 is also optimized for Internet-based networking, which Gu said makes it ideally suited for file and resource sharing over QM’s intra-office wide area network. “Each branch has full online access to its specific areas, while head office can access the entire system.”