USN Uses Pastel Evolution To Ease International Expansion

USN-LogoJohannesburg – Ultimate Sports Nutrition (USN), South African developer of nutritional supplements designed to foster health and fitness among international athletes and corporate achievers, has implemented Evolution, the enterprise resource planning-based accounting solution from Softline Pastel, to facilitate its international expansion.
With customers that include World Cup Rugby players, international body builders, and Tour de France stage winners, USN works with a global team of scientists to develop products using ingredients that are sourced from all over the world. The products are mixed in pharmaceutical laboratories in South Africa, Europe, and Australia.
“It’s a complex business, with raw materials having to be moved around the world and USN stock being held by different manufacturers in different countries,” says USN Managing Director, Johan Visagie. “We therefore needed an accounting system that could not only track our stock both in our own warehouses and those of our suppliers, but integrate inventory in a way that would give us realtime visibility into the pipeline.
“At the same time, we had moved from using third party distributors to setting up our own operations in Europe. Our main support and administrative infrastructure is here in South Africa, however. So we wanted a single accounting system that would cater for all our operations and ensure that everyone, wherever they were in the world, would be working with the same data.
“Pastel Evolution gave us those capabilities with an absolute minimum of customisation. Using a terminal server, our international staff can now log in at any time and see exactly what we see on the system. And if they have any difficulties, our head office staff can go in and assist them without delay.
“What was particularly impressive was that all this was achieved in a very short space of time.”
Eddie Wentzel, director of Unisource, USN’s implementation partner, says that Evolution’s flexibility enabled the implementation process – including business process analysis, data migration, and training – to be kept down to two months.
“That’s quite an achievement considering that USN wanted full integration of all processes from procurement to sales, with the cost of each step in those processes being added as it is incurred. We also had to accommodate USN’s unique pricing processes, which vary not only from country to country, but outlet to outlet.
“Then again, our experience with Evolution is that it is a 90% fit for most businesses. And its software development kit makes it easy to create functionality for the additional 10% of requirements, which are usually business or industry specific anyway.”
USN will use Evolution to drive continuous performance improvements for the business. “Having got a stable, robust business platform in place, we intend using Pastel’s Business Intelligence Centre (BIC) to exhaustively interrogate our data so as to better understand our business and, accordingly, improve our strategic decision making,” Visagie says.
“In the process, we’ll better understand the system itself – finding out how to exploit it further to keep driving business value for the company.”
One of the first technology enhancements to USN’s Evolution system will be outbound scanning, geared to improving the accuracy of inventory data and streamlining logistics.
“By first bedding down their system and then ensuring that they knew precisely what information they wanted from their BIC reports, USN positioned themselves to get immediate extra value out of any add-ons,” Wentzel says. “That’s because each new technology will have a specific, targeted purpose – and that will mean that the picture of the business that the overall system gives USN will come into sharper and sharper focus even though the detail continuously deepens.
”You can’t ask for more in an age when information is competitive advantage.”

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