Sage Hones Packaging Company’s Operations

Sage LogoFuture Packaging has embarked on a project to reduce running costs and improve customer services levels, the first of which has been it going live with an integrated business management solution (BMS) from Sage.
The move is just one of many initiatives to bring the benefits of integrated information and communication technology to bear on Future Packaging’s business. And it means the company’s processes are now primarily managed from within the new Windows-based system.
“The Sage Line 500 software acts as our central nervous system; it controls purchasing, sales order processing, inventory management, warehousing, and debtors and creditors control. It has therefore touched many of the significant areas of our business” explains Future Packaging MD, Claus Hennings.
The benefits are significant. Orders logged in the system are received by the warehouse in less than five minutes; sales staff have been empowered and can capture order details when in phone contact with customers; they have instant access to inventory information and inform customers immediately on the availability of stock; and paper processes ( with associated human error) have all been eliminated.
For Hennings it was the integration of the various Sage modules – as well the overall integration with Future Packaging’s existing technologies and proven business processes – that was the paramount importance.
“We’ve been a user of Tetra [a software company purchased by the FTSE-listed Sage Group in 1997] products for some time so it was a natural extension to run with Sage,” he says.
“However, the new system needed to bring all departments and processes together – that’s the recipe for effective business management. So, all our processes have now been integrated and ‘computerised’ with the new BMS”
Addressing Specific Requirements
Using and configuring the underlying technology inherent to the Sage Line 500 system meant that Future Packaging’s specific requirements could be easily addressed.
“We worked with a number of modules for this implementation – ease of configuration being one of the Sage system’s strong points,” explains Paulo Gama, a director of UniSource Software – the Sage business partner responsible for the implementation and support of the software.
“One module ensures that sales margins are enforced when sales are logged in. Another allows staff to track sales made to a particular customer – or group of customers – permitting Future Packaging to proactively adapt its business approach to those customers.”
The potential for BMS to impact positively on Future Packaging’s business is considerable.Hennings and Gama both see possibilities for staff to connect to the system from mobile devices while at customer sites, making the sales process more efficient.
Hennings also believes that, in the packaging business, the faster the product is delivered, the better the quality of service. Future Packaging is therefore planning to enhance its website and integrate it with the BMS using the Sage Web Sales module. This will permit customers to select, place and track orders on-line – thereby streamlining the whole business process.
Ashley Ellington, divisional director for Africa at Sage, believes that business benefits like this can easily be derived from the extended use of the company’s BMS solutions.
“Our software takes a company’s business processes, realigns them and then makes managing them fairly straightforward,” he explains.” In many cases we’ve seen them eradicate common problems like poor inventory management, cumbersome paper trails and the inability to access up-to-the-minute information when dealing with customers.
“In addition, the investment made – and the consulting and business process re-engineering that goes with it – is relatively small, given the returns that can be generated from a business that runs efficiently.”

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