Sporting goods and apparel manufacturer/distributor, Russell Corporation manages three of Australia’s leading sporting brands including Spalding (goods, shoes and clothing), Sherrin (makers of AFL footballs), and Russell Athletics (clothing).

Their warehouse in Melbourne manages over 10,000 SKU items, distributing products made in Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Taiwan as well as North and South America.

The Challenge: Replace a Slow and Complicated Reporting System

Russell-Athletic-Logo_(2)-1Being such a large and diverse business managing a complex range of products and relationships, Russell Corp needed a business intelligence software tool to help quickly identify sales opportunities and improve reporting efficiency.

Jackie Read, Russell Corp Operations Manager, comments:

“We use Microsoft AX for our transactional ERP system. The reporting that comes with AX is so complex our staff would need a university degree to manage data out of it. A previous reporting tool would take forever to generate the tables and reports that we needed. We went to market to find a solution that would make things much easier.”

The Solution: Phocas BI Up and Running in Four Weeks

After evaluating a wide variety of solutions, including numerous options from AX partners, Russell Corporation selected Phocas BI due to its ease-of-use and speed to implement. It took just under four weeks for Russell to have their new reporting system up and running.

Russell Corporation were truly impressed by the professionalism and expertise of the people they dealt with from Phocas. Read recalls that “at the very first sales meeting, Gary Warner, Operations Director for Phocas, understood our requirements instantly. In a matter of hours he had built a database and presented our own information back to us. From that point on we recognised the value Phocas would bring to our organisation.”

Read explains that “we had made a number of customisations to our AX implementation which needed to be reflected in our reporting, particularly with our apparel matrix to track product style, colour and size with only one SKU code. A t-shirt may come in red blue and green and come in five different sizes for a particular product. We have one SKU code for the style then a matrix for whether it’s small, medium or large or if it is red, green, blue or yellow.”

The Benefits: Efficiency and Business Visibility Improved 100%

“In terms of efficiency and visibility into our business the improvements so far have been 100 per cent. Reports that use to take hours now take minutes”. says Read. Russell Corporation operates as an indent business where their customers pre-book all their orders for delivery in six months. Russell Corporation then orders the products to be manufactured and shipped from the various factories.

“The types of reports that I and the sales team look at”, says Read, “include sales and invoicing reports as well as back order and forward order reports. We look at all our sales by customer group, by territory, by item groups and market segments, and product types. We look at these reports to identify opportunities or missed sales. We also check outstanding orders, identifying delays or missed orders from the warehouse before they become a problem.”

Phocas = A Popular Solution

Almost everyone from the warehouse to the Managing Director and National Sales Manager use Phocas, and Read has observed, “The Managing Director loves it. Not being a technical person he now has an easy tool to pursue a particular train of thought or line of investigation, analysing whatever data he wants when he wants to.”

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Tags: Case Study, Industry - Manufacturing, ERP - Microsoft Dynamics AX, Industry - Wholesale Distribution

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