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Guhring

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Two years into its journey, Guhring Ltd, the U.K. subsidiary of the German-based cutting tool manufacturer, is gaining greater efficiencies after taking control of its stock management processes. Today, the company can assess the benefits of moving to a single, fully integrated IT infrastructure. Previously, managing accounts and writing reports was a time-consuming, error-prone process.With three different software systems in use to operate various arms of the business, getting a clear and consistent view of stock production volumes was nearly impossible. With only 58 people in the U.K., the subsidiary required a system that was easy to adapt and customise, as well as being cost-efficient. The U.K. operation chose to implement Microsoft Dynamics NAV as it met all of these requirements.

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                                      Manufacturer at Cutting Edge
                                      with Streamlined Stock
                                      Handling Operations


                                                                                                      Fast Facts
Too much or too little inventory can dam-         bility of customer information was ex-
                                                                                                      Customer: Guhring
age a manufacturer’s business.                    tremely limited. Because of this, the three
                                                                                                      Web site: www.guhring.co.uk
Manufacturers constantly strive to overcome       different departments involved in the order life-
                                                                                                      Partner: Metaphorix
issues such as erratic output, wasted time, and   cycle worked independently of each other. The
                                                                                                      Country: U.K.
excess costs across the production cycle. In      accounts team used SunSystems, the sales
                                                                                                      Industry: Manufacturing and Dis-
many instances, this can be attributed to run-    order processing teams relied on DataEase,
                                                                                                      tribution
ning disparate systems to manage the              and the commercial production department
production process, from order input to order     used Filemaker to trace orders.
                                                                                                      Customer Profile:
delivery. In this environment, key challenges
                                                                                                      Guhring Ltd is the U.K. subsidiary
are to manage stock efficiently, keep produc-     “We had to import everything from
                                                                                                      of the German-based manufacturer
tion running, and generate a profit. To achieve   DataEase into SunSystems using a pre-
                                                                                                      and is a leading supplier of high-
this, efficiency must be optimised across stock   dominantly manual process. A lot of the time
                                                                                                      quality, advanced-design cutting
handling processes.                               this resulted in data errors that we had to find
                                                                                                      tools.
                                                  and correct, which was quite time-consuming.
While using a single information system to im-    We could take an order on one system, only to
prove stock control is something that looks       find that the account was on hold on another,”
great on paper, managers need proof that this     says Clune.
kind of software solution will meet their com-
plex supply chain requirements.                   Streamlining Order Management
                                                  More and more customers require proof that
Two years into its journey, Guhring Ltd, the      manufacturers are well organised and able to
U.K. subsidiary of the German-based cut-          meet their demands. ISO9001, a series of
ting tool manufacturer, is gaining greater        quality management standards main-
efficiencies after taking control of its stock    tained by the International
management processes. Today, the company          Organisation for Standardisation,
                                                                                           “We had to import every-
can assess the benefits of moving to a single,    helps them demonstrate their produc-     thing from DataEase into
fully integrated IT infrastructure.               tion capabilities. In 2004, Guhring      SunSystems using a pre-
                                                  made a commitment to comply with         dominantly manual
Previously, managing accounts and writing         ISO9001 standards and certify that       process. A lot of the time
reports was a time-consuming, error-prone         consistent manufacturing processes
                                                                                           this resulted in data er-
process. Yvonne Clune, Accounts Manager at        are in place across the organisation.
Guhring, says: “We had massive data dupli-        The certification ensures that
                                                                                           rors that we had to find
cation issues across the whole business           Guhring‟s team follows simple docu-      and correct.”
and no holistic view of our customer infor-       mented processes and creates
mation. With three different software systems     products in line with exacting stan-
in use to operate various arms of the business,   dards. Mike Dinsdale, Managing
                                                                                           Yvonne Clune, Accounts
getting a clear and consistent view of stock      Director of Guhring, explains how        Manager, Guhring
production volumes was nearly impossible.         achieving this standard was important
                                                  for the company. He says: "A suc-
The three systems—DataEase, SunSystems,           cessful operation demands
and Filemaker—were not integrated, so visi-       superior performance right from the factory
floor through to sales order processing.             The solution supported Guhring group‟s vision
The right software solution is critical to realis-   of standardised operations for its subsidi-
ing this goal.”                                      aries and helped improve information
                                                     sharing across the organisation. Dinsdale
To achieve ISO9001 compliance, Guhring               says: “For the last 30 years we‟ve done our
needed to track products more effectively            own thing in the U.K. As a result, we had only
across the business. It also needed to stream-       limited access to our German counterpart‟s
line order management, requiring a new               system and could not share information easily.
system that would support end-to-end supply          The team in Germany evaluated our Microsoft
chain processes.                                     Dynamics NAV implementation and found that
                                                     similar solutions could deliver benefits in a
Dinsdale says: “The three systems that we had        number of other subsidiaries around the world.
were so inflexible that our computer systems,        These have been implementing the same sys-
rather than our people, dictated the way the         tem over the last two years.”
business was run. Guhring Ltd was, practically
speaking, three companies, rather than one           Guhring engaged Metaphorix Ltd, a Micro-
functional operation. This impacted negatively       soft Certified Gold Partner, to provide
on customer service as we couldn‟t provide a         optimum system support and deploy Mi-
single view of customer orders. It also meant        crosoft Dynamics NAV. Working with a
we couldn‟t transfer workload around the vari-       supportive partner was particularly important to
ous departments. Sometimes, individual               the company because it had an ambitious de-
departments were overloaded with work while          ployment deadline of just three months.
others had the capacity to help out. The in-
flexible three-system operation was ruining the      Solution Smoothes Stock Handling Proc-
business.”                                           ess
                                                     Since deploying Microsoft Dynamics NAV,
Recognising these issues, the Guhring group          Guhring Ltd has experienced a number of
in Germany made a decision to replace the            stock-handling benefits.
existing software infrastructure at its subsidiar-
ies. After extensive evaluation of SAP and           Clune says: “We have reduced our             “The three systems that
Microsoft® Dynamics™ NAV, Guhring Ltd con-           stock holding by more than 5,000             we had were so inflexi-
cluded that SAP was too „cumbersome‟ for its         items since implementing Microsoft
                                                                                                  ble that our computer
operation. With only 58 people in the U.K., the      Dynamics NAV by identifying slow and
subsidiary required a system that was easy to        non-moving items quickly and effi-
                                                                                                  systems, rather than our
adapt and customise, as well as being cost-          ciently. When you carry more than            people, dictated the way
efficient. The U.K. operation chose to im-           35,000 items, accuracy is critical.          the business was run.”
plement Microsoft Dynamics NAV as it met             Guhring now produces regular „special
all of these requirements.                           offer‟ reports from the system. We send
                                                     these to our distributors to promote slow    Mike Dinsdale, Managing Di-
Dinsdale felt Microsoft Dynamics NAV would           moving goods and reduce unnecessary          rector, Guhring
give Guhring improved visibility and report-         inventory overheads. We are also able
ing accuracy and allow it to connect in real         to formulate levels and quantities based
time to its parent company, manufacturers,           on sales, and reduce our stock holding,
and customers. The company wanted a clear            which puts money back into the bank
forecast of customer demand. It was also a           rather than collecting dust on the
key aim to improve long-term demand visibility       shelves.”
through collaboration between supply chain
leaders and sales and marketing departments.         Solution Touches all Departments
                                                     The shop floor has also benefited from a single
integrated solution. All work in progress can      In addition, if there is a problem with an order,
now be checked in real time. Chris Weston,         a department can very easily trace the root
Production Manager at Guhring, says: “Previ-       cause of the issue, even down to an individual
ously, a work in progress report could take        user. This helps address problems very quickly
hours to produce. By the time it was ready, it     and identify where users can benefit from
was already out of date. The same report can       training.
now be generated in less than five minutes.
This offers us the ability to tell customers       Freeing the Employee from Manual Tasks
where products are in the manufacturing cycle      Employees find the new system much easier
and the time required to get it to them. Using     to use. Clune says: “We thought Microsoft
the previous system, we had to visit the shop      Dynamics NAV did exactly the same as
floor to check on production status.”              SAP, at a greatly reduced cost. More impor-
                                                   tantly, it is much more flexible and far less
Similarly, the order processing department         complex to use.”
can now track the status of every quote
and order efficiently. Quotes can be instantly     Previously, reporting was a slow, manually in-
converted to orders, allowing Guhring manag-       tensive process that often kept employees at
ers to easily monitor conversion rates. Today,     work after hours. Now, it is much easier. Clune
any member of staff can take an order and in-      says: “We used the three systems for so long
put it directly from their PCs. This eliminates    that I had got used to working around the diffi-
the need to use time-consuming paper forms         culties. Now that we‟ve implemented Microsoft
and re-key data at a later date. Paperwork has     Dynamics NAV, I can see how cumbersome
been significantly reduced. This is because        the previous solution was. The new technology
barcoding is used to book stock in and out and     has freed up a lot more time for me, so I can
multi-part copies have now been replaced by        be a lot more proactive in providing in-depth
single part laser outputs. These serve as com-     analysis and richer information to managers.”
bined delivery notes and the labels. By making
these changes, Guhring has achieved a 50 per       Clune is utilising this free time to focus on
cent time saving when booking stock in and         producing reports that are more central to
out of the warehouse.                              Guhring’s business growth and decision
                                                   making processes. The drill down features
While taking orders, Guhring can see the           within the solution provide her with a level of
status of customer accounts on the system. If      information not previously available. It has        “We have reduced our
there is a problem with the account, customers     also helped strengthen information sharing
                                                                                                       stock holding by more
can be informed immediately, working with          with the German parent company. Rather
them to rectify the situation. This vastly im-     than supporting users with day-to-day               than 5,000 items since
proves debtor days and customer relationship       transactional issues, Clune can use the so-         implementing Microsoft
management.                                        lution to create reports that provide senior        Dynamics NAV.”
                                                   managers with true business insight.
Complex orders are far easier to process
on the new system. They are saved in               “Users are no longer just „data input‟ people.      Yvonne Clune, Accounts
comprehensive detail, eliminating the need         Instead, they are responsible for resolving         Manager, Guhring
to re-key entries. This also helps when order-     issues themselves because the system is
ing stock from the parent company because          so easy to navigate. We can write reports
the information built up in the order processing   quicker and conduct minor system changes
system automatically produces the requisition      far easier than we could before. We can
worksheets. Previously, this often took more       also customise the system ourselves and
than an hour per day to produce. It now takes      avoid the costs of engaging consultants for
less than 10 minutes.
simple modification work.”                          with Microsoft Dynamics NAV. We have mi-
                                                    grated three systems to just one quickly and
Immediate Impact on Bottom-Line                     effectively and began enjoying the benefits
Migrating data from all three systems to a sin-     from day one.”
gle, integrated solution has given the company
a holistic view of its information. This yielded    As a result of this transformation, Guhring
immediate stock valuation benefits for              has achieved its ISO9001 certification—a
Guhring.                                            requirement for an efficient manufacturing
                                                    business. Using Microsoft Dynamic NAV to
Clune says: “The DataEase program had an            streamline its supply chain ordering and
error that caused problems with stock valua-        billing processes, the company can easily
tion. When our stock is incorrect, our              follow the creed of ISO9001: “Do what you
profitability is affected. As this had been hap-    document and document what you do”.
pening for a number of years, we‟d
underestimated our profits. We didn’t know          Dinsdale says: “We wouldn‟t have easily
the scale of the inaccuracy until we im-            achieved ISO9001 without Microsoft Dynamics
ported the files into Microsoft Dynamics            NAV and Metaphorix, which resulted in the in-
NAV. It turned out to be more than £40,000          tegration of all of our processes in a single
(U.S. $74,538) over a three year period. Now        system. These technologies really helped us
our stock figures are 100 per cent accurate         when it came to documenting our procedures
and all related data is stored in a central data-   and this alone has justified our decision to de-
base. Stock valuation is now accurate and           ploy them.”
instant.”

Success through Business Transformation
The new system, which was easy to install,
has delivered significant benefits. Dinsdale
says: “In my experience, it can take months to

migrate data to new systems and deliver re-
quired training to end-users. This isn‟t the case



                                                                                                       “We wouldn’t have easi-
                                                                                                       ly achieved ISO9001
                                                                                                       without Microsoft Dy-
                                                                                                       namics NAV and
                                                                                                       Metaphorix, which re-
                                                                                                       sulted in the integration
                                                                                                       of all of our processes in
                                                                                                       a single system.”
                                                                                                       Mike Dinsdale, Managing Di-
                                                                                                       rector, Guhring,
For More Information

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www.microsoft.com/uk/dynamics/products/nav/




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This document is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.
Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. The names of actual companies and prod-
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