AT A GLANCE
- Future Products Group (FPG)
- Store Improvement Solutions
- Lack of communication between existing business applications
- Manual data entry
- Lack of customisation to cater for new products and processes
- Epicor ERP
- Strong growth in revenue
- Improved business and operational processes
- ERP solution with strong manufacturing functionality to support lean initiatives
- Customisation catering to innovation, new products and processes
FOR MORE INFORMATION
P: +61 2 9927 6200
F: +61 2 9927 6298
About Future Products Group
Future Products Group (FPG) is Australasia’s leading provider of store improvement solutions.
A specialist in the supermarket, convenience and food service segments, FPG is the only company in Australasia with the in-house capability to provide retailers with a full suite of services, thanks to its provision of store design, manufacturing of shop fittings, facilities management and project management services.
Helping a dynamic industry offer greater choice
Around the world, consumers are faced with more and more choice every day.
That proliferation of choice is especially important to retailers, who must constantly improve the presentation of their stores and the products they carry to meet consumer expectations.
FPG tries to help retailers cope with these demands.
“Our guiding principle is to understand our clients’ customers and what drives them to buy,” explains Robert Darroch, Managing Director, Future Products Group. “We have an ongoing commitment to research and development and a belief that nothing is impossible,” both signs of the company’s commitment to innovation.
A need for finer controls
In 2002, the company was finding its ability to innovate was hampered by business applications that did not easily communicate with each other.
“We had a high administration overhead and data was not always accurate,” Jared Vaughan, Financial Controller, Future Products Group recalls. “Information capture and processing was manual.”
Employees, lacking tools that helped them to participate in pre-defined processes, performed inconsistently, while manual re-entry of data was a common chore because the extant applications could not share data.
Worse still, the few systems that did exist could not easily be changed or customised as FPG created new products or required new processes to meet its customers’ needs.
Since implementing Epicor ERP, FPG has enjoyed many benefits, reflected in the 400% revenue growth the company has experienced since 2002.
“Epicor ERP means our business rules are supported and followed,” Vaughan says. “It has brought discipline to our organisation and forced maturity of process that has changed our culture from doing things the easy way to doing things the right way.
“We are now following strict rules for ordering, which makes it easier to collect debts because there is a signed customer purchase order with specification. “
“Information is easier to get at with Epicor ERP. It is in one central location. Pulling together ad hoc information is much easier.”
“And Epicor ERP works. We have had two system crashes since implementing Epicor ERP in 2002. We have never had to restore data.”
Developing structured manufacturing capability
Since adopting Epicor ERP, FPG has also noted other improvements, including 95% on time delivery with most products ready two days before customer due date in their cabinetry line.
Epicor ERP for the future
Epicor ERP is also assisting with the implementation of lean initiatives across the company’s plant.
FPG is now planning to upgrade to the latest version of Epicor ERP, to take advantage of new features such as the ability to “backflush” multi-level bills of materials.
Those features will also help FPG to create new products that retailers are already beginning to demand.
“In the future intelligent cabinetry will ‘phone home’ with data about their vital statistics and state of health” says Darroch.
Epicor ERP will be the tool the company uses to create these and other future products, making it critical part of FPG’s business and its ongoing innovation mission.
Advice for other ERP users
Vaughan gave the following advice when asked what he would want to say to a business contemplating putting in an integrated ERP system for the first time.
“Going live is only the beginning,” he says. “It’s really only another milestone in our business lives.
Too much is made of go live and after the go live party everyone goes back to their work and forgets to allow for some internal extra capacity to be the product champion.”
“That person’s job should be to be thinking at how to use the system better and to be looking for what’s in the latest release or upgrade.”