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Global Just-in-Time Parts Provider Charges Forward With Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009


S&V Companies replaces MAS 200 system with Microsoft technology to track complex changes in commodity prices and improve efficiency.

REDMOND, Wash. — Microsoft Corp. today announced that S&V Companies has chosen Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 to automatically link rapidly fluctuating commodity surcharges to its accounting system. Microsoft Dynamics NAV is an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system built to help midsize companies streamline their business processes by providing specific functionality based on the needs of individual industries and regions.

S&V is a global supply chain management and marketing company servicing OEMs that are market leaders in their respective business domains. S&V manufactures made-to-order engineered components from plants in low-cost regions, manages the logistics and inventory levels of those components in its U.S. warehouses, and delivers them on a just-in-time basis to the OEM. The OEM benefits from low manufacturing costs, lean logistics and warehousing costs, and tremendous savings in capital allocated to inventory: Typical savings run from 20 percent to 30 percent. With 31 employees, S&V is based in Fairlawn, Ohio, and has offices in Hampton, Va.; India; and China.

S&V’s efficiencies are influenced by how accurately the company can track the flow of the inventory and the associated surcharges. With recent volatility in many of the commodities markets, prices for steel, copper and iron could change significantly daily. S&V needed to be able to track the layers of inventory separately for each crate in its warehouses.

Previously, S&V had used a Sage MAS 200 ERP system, but the process of determining the amount that S&V should charge its customers for products on the warehouse floor or in transit from overseas became immensely complex. “We had to manipulate MAS over a year and a half, and that created massive problems inside of MAS for us,” said Joan Owens, vice president of operations for S&V. “We needed a more robust system.”

Having determined that its Sage MAS 200 system was inadequate for its needs, S&V evaluated alternative technology from Microsoft and SAP AG. “SAP looked very difficult and was not user-friendly whatsoever,” Owens said. “We had collected feedback from clients and others who had used it in the past, and that, at least for our current requirements, deterred us from it.” S&V selected Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 for its user-friendly interface, after determining that it would provide the functionality S&V sought from its ERP, material resource planning and warehousing so that it could buy the right amount of inventory at the right time and control inventory in transit.

“In the former system, we had 6,000 individual item numbers — 4,000 of which were surcharge items — and traceability was very difficult,” Owens said. “With Microsoft Dynamics NAV, we’ll be able to drill right into our inventory levels and costs, and our partner, Wolcott Group, has a specialized solution it’s built for us that magnifies the system’s value.”

Wolcott Group, also based in Fairlawn, will implement Microsoft Dynamics NAV so that all surcharges are linked directly to each item, ensuring that the right amount is billed.

S&V will integrate its Microsoft Dynamics solution with its other Microsoft technology, including Microsoft Dynamics CRM, SharePoint Portal Server and Microsoft Office applications.

S&V is expecting a number of benefits from its Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 solution, including the following:

Improved accuracy. Microsoft Dynamics NAV will automate the process of determining the amount of surcharges for each item in its warehouse, improving both efficiency and productivity through greater cost-tracking accuracy.

Support for company growth. The company could not continue its current growth pace with its previous system, Owens said. Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 will help it keep pace with future demand without adding new employees.

Supply-chain efficiencies. By 2010, S&V expects Microsoft Dynamics NAV to provide a foundation for a solution that will enable the company’s customers to log in through the Web and see S&V’s inventory at any time so they can determine the inventory on which they want to draw. Likewise, S&V’s vendors will be able to view the company’s stock and schedule the appropriate parts for shipment to S&V.

Improved reporting. The warehousing unit tracks employee metrics, such as how long it took an individual to unload a container, to put materials away and to pull it later for shipment. Previously, those metrics were compiled manually. Now it will be automated within Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009.

Better business intelligence. For the first time, managers will be able to choose reports and data they need and transfer them to an Office Excel spreadsheet. They will be able to draw data based on their preferred set of criteria and print a wide variety of reports.

Integration throughout the organization. S&V will use Microsoft Dynamics NAV to integrate data among its four subcompanies as well as among departments.

“At the end of the day, we’re looking for efficiencies inside the work force so that we can grow the business without substantially increasing our labor costs,” Owens said. “We also want to be able to communicate with customers and suppliers via the Web. With Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009, the sky’s the limit, and that’s the beautiful thing about it.”

“By automating business processes and linking production and warehouse transactions directly with the organization’s accounting function, Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 can transform international businesses like S&V Companies,” said David Willis, vice president for the U.S. Microsoft Dynamics business at Microsoft. “Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 is designed from its core for today’s globally executed processes, and it sets complex companies on a simplified course to meet the demands of a volatile world marketplace.”


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