Twinings North America
Specialty Tea Manufacturer Cuts Order Entry Staff By 66% and Reduces 200% of Trade Spend
Clients First helps Twinings North America support rapid growth, effectively manage trade spend, and reinvest resources back into the business with Microsoft Dynamics NAV.
The EDI module for Dynamics NAV has been a tremendous tool for us. It has given us the opportunity to reinvest human resources back into growing the business as opposed to just ticking and tying paperwork.
Faced with rapid growth and market development, specialty tea manufacturer, Twinings North America, was in the market for a new ERP system to support their business needs. Their existing system had been so heavily modified when it was initially installed a decade earlier that it could not be updated and had to be fully replaced.
Throughout the software selection process, Twinings entertained a number of well recognized providers that approached them with the question, “This is what our tool does, how are you going to fit it?” As a business with complex manufacturing and distribution needs, that approach was not going to work. After meeting with Microsoft’s recommended partner, Clients First, they were met with a different approach. “Clients First worked with us to find out how our business worked,” explains Information Systems Manager, Bill Schineller. “They were the right fit because they wanted to help the tool fit our business.”
In addition to an ERP system to manage core business processes, there were two areas of the burgeoning tea business that needed help: manual data entry and managing trade spend. “We were looking to leverage our business processes, grow our business, and reinvest at every opportunity back into the business,” says Bill. Clients First worked with Twinings to implement the EDI module for Dynamics NAV, providing training and delivering a system where they were independently capable of building their own maps and creating relationships with providers, vendors, and customers.
“We took the biggest customers first that had the highest volume of orders and paperwork and would have the greatest impact of freeing up resources,” explains Bill. “We effectively cut our order entry staff by two thirds.” The remaining third of entry staff was then reinvested back into other value-added areas of the business, like EDI and customer satisfaction programs.
Trade spend, on the other hand, was a problem unique to grocery chains and trying to get more product on the shelf. Clients First built a custom trade spend module for Dynamics NAV that allows Twinings to effectively track credits and charges by customers and determine the true profitability of a customer. According to Bill, “We’ve taken over 200% of excess out of the trade spend by effectively managing it with this tool.”
Microsoft Dynamics NAV and Clients First have given Twinings North America the opportunity to save money on process efficiencies and reinvest human resources back into growing and supporting the business. Driving this success was the strong relationship and business alignment between Twinings and Clients First. “I would say the Clients First advantage is their ability to adapt and deliver,” says Bill. “Between the breadth and width of their knowledge, the depth of their skillset, and their ability to backfill and change resources to adapt to the technology I need in my business.”
They have a seasoned staff of senior consultants and business folk that actually know and understand how a business operates and how the tools they provide can help a business protect themselves and grow their business.