Sage Line 500 Intergation: Turning Sage Line 500 and Saleslogix into Event-Driven Solutions
The importance of Laybond Products’ IT infrastructure to the success of the company has always been recognised by the management and it was the ethos of continual improvement that drove the initial interest in Codeless Platforms’ BPA Platform. Specifically, Laybond was looking to transform its Sage Line 500 and Saleslogix (Infor CRM) applications into event-driven solutions that would pre-empt any problems and automate those repetitive administrative processes that hindered employees.
“We needed a solution that would transform our ERP and CRM applications into proactive tools. We found that things were happening too late in a process and causing a huge problem later in the chain of events.” Wendy Hill, IT Manager, Laybond Products
Sage Line 500 Integration: Extracting, formatting and delivering information
Laybond Products has been manufacturing and supplying specialist products for the construction industry, for over forty years. The company’s three divisions, Roofing and Building Products, Flooring and Industrial have products and systems specified for new-build and refurbishment projects worldwide.
- Continually improve the IT infrastructure
- Transform the ERP and CRM systems into event-driven solutions
- Remove repetitive administration and free up employee time
- Eliminate manual effort from the report production process
- Provide real-time sales reports to the field representatives
- Implement business process automation software
- Provide real-time data
- Eliminate manual effort from the report production process
- Exception reports created and distributed
- Automated purchase ledger invoice matching
- Removal of repetitive manual tasks
- Time and costs reduced
The Challenge: Sage Line 500 integration and automating CRM processes
The importance of Laybond Products’ IT infrastructure to the success of the company has always been recognised by the management and it is was the ethos of continual improvement that drove the initial interest in Codeless Platforms’ BPA Platform. Specifically, Laybond was looking to transform its Sage Line 500 and Saleslogix applications into event-driven solutions that would pre-empt any problems and automate those repetitive administrative processes that hindered employees.
“We needed a solution that would transform our ERP and CRM applications into proactive tools,” explained Wendy Hill, IT Manager, Laybond Products. “We found that things were happening too late in a process and causing a huge problem later in the chain of events. Yet, if we could pick up on a potential problem earlier we would be able to manage it more effectively and head it off before it develops into a serious issue.”
The Solution: Real-time information for the sales team
The availability of real-time information is critical to all sales forces, regardless of the industry in which they operate. Without real-time information, existing customers can suffer from poor service or representatives may miss out on sales opportunities. The commitment Laybond had to ensuring its sales force had all the information it needed was illustrated by Hill:
“Prior to installing Codeless Platforms’ BPA Platform, we would commit human resources to the construction and distribution of sales reports to our field representatives. Not only was this an internal drain but often the information within these paper-based reports was out of date.”
Once the Report and Document Automation capability was deployed, the benefits of real-time business process automation were immediately evident.
“With Codeless Platforms’ dynamic document delivery capabilities, real-time sales information is automatically identified, formatted and distributed to our field representatives,” explained Hill. “These reports cover important issues such as customer turnover, daily sales orders, orders waiting to be dispatched or invoices processed today. Because these reports are automatically triggered by conditions we define, we now not only have a perfectly informed sales force but we have also dramatically reduced the amount of time and costs associated with this task.”
The Result: Exception reporting added to stock management
The management of stock is an on-going activity for organisations like Laybond. Indeed, with effective stock control having such a considerable impact upon production techniques, such as Just-In-Time (JIT), it was critical that Laybond added exception reporting to its Sage Line 500 application.
“It is important for us to be instantly informed when stock levels fall below a given level,” explained Hill. “Furthermore, it is important for our stock controllers to receive detailed reports on sales orders placed on the system that would push fulfilment stock levels to a negative figure.”
Clearly, having the ability to receive event-driven information on stock levels is something that benefits the entire organisation.
“Having exception-based information delivered to the relevant stock controller is proving to be very important,” revealed Hill. “It enables us to respond more quickly to getting a product on the production plan for manufacture or buying in raw materials.”
“Having exception-based information delivered to the relevant stock controller is proving to be very important” Wendy Hill, IT Manager, Laybond Products
Automation of the purchase ledger process
The procurement of materials is crucial to companies operating within the manufacturing arena. Indeed, with all input costs directly attributing to the cost of the final product, it is crucial that Laybond have stringent procedures regarding purchasing.
“To ensure that all purchases are in line with company agreements we used to manually match any purchase ledger invoices against expected cost. Naturally, this would involve a number of paper chases. Without this activity we could end up purchasing materials above agreed levels.”
The commitment of employee time and the risk of overspend were obviously the key business costs in this particular business process. Yet, the deployment of Codeless
Platforms’ solution simultaneously eradicated all the risk and the manual paper chase associated with this key function.
“Using Codeless Platforms’ BPA Platform we’ve been able to set in place ‘checks’ so that if there is a difference between invoice value and expected cost, an HTML report is automatically created and sent to the management accountant, buyer and purchase ledger department to action an approval,” explained Hill. “The savings in time and risk from incorrect decisions are evident throughout the organisation.”
Laybond has also automated many other business processes including the notification of new accounts entered into Saleslogix, sales order processing or incorrect analysis codes entered for customers, suppliers and stock records.
Laybond’s future plans
“At present, we use it to notify employees when a new product has been entered into Sage Line 500,” said Hill. “However, we would like to take this further and use it for each stage of the product’s approval for manufacture, again adding controls and removing costs.”