27 September 2011
Marshalls transforms stone into gold with Dynamics AX
£323 million natural stone and landscaping products manufacturer Marshalls reckons it has cut costs, standardised finance and improved sales productivity, since going live with Microsoft Dynamics AX software.
Paul Thomas, group IS director at Marshalls, says that, with the help of implementation partner eBECS, the organisation now has good visibility across all group companies and departments. That, he says, has already enabled the firm to assess common suppliers and customers, and so negotiate better deals, through economies of scale.
As for finance, he states that, standardisation has been the order of the day, and, with consolidation of data from multiple disparate systems now a thing of the past, reporting timescales and accuracy are vastly better.
And it's a similar story with sales productivity. Since Dynamics AX integrates with Microsoft's Business Intelligence software, Thomas says the firm is now able both to track and plan products with greatest margin, and also, at the day-to-day level, convert quotes directly into orders, without human intervention.
Beyond that, Thomas also enthuses about transformations in terms of e-commerce and documentation.
Commenting on e-commerce, he says the firm was able to put together a web company within AX.
"We built a front-end, using Microsoft.Net, and integrated the two so that pricing, stock, product descriptions and catalogues are all driven in real-time from Dynamics AX," states Thomas.
"It automatically does all the confirmations, delivery notes and picking notes, without any manual keying," he adds.
Meanwhile, on the document management side, he explains that, since all content is now held electronically, users have direct business-wide access. Similarly, with templated forms available from Dynamics AX central files, the back end of administration has been streamlined.
"[Microsoft Dynamics AX] provides a flexible solution that can be adapted to meet the individual needs of your business. I would recommend it to anyone,"concludes Thomas.
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