Omdia has published a case study about the implementation of Priority ERP at Trutex. It is one of the market-leading independent schoolwear providers in the UK. It also has locations in Shanghai, Sri Lanka, Canada, and Bangladesh, and a joint venture in the Middle East. The case study is named: “Using ERP to Increase Process Efficiency: How Trutex used Priority Software to improve stock control and business processes.” It looks at the deployment, benefits and lessons learnt from the implementation.
Trutex selected Priority alongside its partner Medatech UK in 2006 to solve some challenges it faced as a fast-growing business. It had three sales channels and needed to coordinate its inventory better. It sells direct to customers, via eCommerce or mail order, through large retailers such as M&S and John Lewis and through smaller specific school uniform outfitters and school uniform stores. Without a centralised stock system, it struggled to maintain supply through all channels, sometimes running out of stock in one channel and with no easy way of resolving, except sometimes through overproduction.
It implemented Priority in 2007. In 2018 decided up to implement the Priority Warehouse Management Software to improve its stock management. It now uses handheld devices to scan stock and out of the warehouse, significantly increasing efficiency. Medatech helped Trutex with both implementations. It has also helped Trutex to configure the solution to ensure that they can make business process improvements specific to their business.
Trutex is now looking to further improve the use of its Priority applications. John Hogan, Group Supply Chain Director at Trutex commented: “Trutex plans to use Priority to develop a more robust stock-forecasting system, further integrate Priority into our procurement planning process, and we’re now considering Priority’s cloud and mobile ERP, to support the surge in remote working, and our off-site operations.”
The case study highlights some of the improvement that Trutex made. However, it is light on detail in terms of actual financial benefits. Trutex has seen efficiency improvements for as invoicing, ordering, statements, and order/shipping confirmations. It now takes just 30 minutes to order confirmation from the time the order was placed. It did not say how much of an improvement this was.
The system has enabled faster dispatching of orders with orders shipped in as little as an hour, a process that used to take days. This, combined with a single view of inventory has enabled Trutex to control its supply chain better. Since installing the solution Trutex, with the help of Medatech, has also added several integrations to couriers. With these in place, shipment labels are automatically produced. Further reducing shipping time and courier information is emailed to customers which has helped improve customer satisfaction.
Hogan concluded: “Priority helped us simplify our complex processes, with better visibility of demand across the board, and minimizing stock movements from our global factories, by moving stock only when needed. Tighter inventory control and demand forecasting helped us efficiently price our products, resulting in significant cost savings.”
The author of the case study, Tim Jennings, Chief Analyst, Enterprise IT, Omdia pulled out five recommendations from his analysis. He noted that enterprises should plan ERP implementations carefully. They should engage an experienced implementation partner that can help to control and customisations that they may wish to include. This ensures that the best practises baked into ERP solutions such as Priority are reviewed before deciding to customise a solution based familiar but potential inefficient one. For vendors, Jennings calls out the value of experienced and knowledgable partners who can implement ERP solutions from a position of experience and expertise.
Jennings also highlights three lessons that enterprises should take away from his review of the Trutex implementations.
- Think: Clearly define requirements at the outset
- Focus: Make sure you can instil process discipline that people will stick to
- Review: Regularly review the business alignment and value of core applications
Jenning commented: “Before implementing an ERP system, it’s important to map out requirements and understand what the software needs to do. Planning and testing upfront is vital. Because Priority is a flexible ERP system, it can be customized to meet an enterprise’s bespoke requirements, so that after implementation, it can adapt to changing business requirements.”
Enterprise Times: What does this mean
The case study is well written. Though it lacks numerical and financial detail around the benefits that Priority ERP has delivered to Trutex since 2007. This demonstrates the importance of benchmarking earlier in the implementation process to better understand and measure improvements in processes.
Priority is able to deliver its solution either on-premise or in the cloud. The case study reveals that Medatech took the basic solution and customised it without compromising the integrity of upgrades. Trutex is now considering a move to the cloud as well.
David Greenlees, Managing Director, Priority Software UK & Ireland commented: “Priority delivers end-to-end ERP solutions for leading manufacturers like Trutex, so they can streamline business processes as they grow,” said “We believe that ERP systems should be open and flexible, where customers can focus on delivering superior products, with the confidence that their system will meet their business needs today, and well into the future. We are pleased to have achieved this with Trutex.”
Medatech is not the only partner that Priority has in the UK. It is its largest and longest-serving though. Last month, Priority Software announced the addition of FinQ to its channel ecosystem. With at least five partners now in the UK it is hoping to grow its footprint. Hopefully, it will soon have some more recent customer stories.