Staud Electronics : Streamlining a distribution business with LISA Distribution WMS
A big reason why we didn’t succeed previously on e-commerce or warehouse management was that the software vendors we engaged were too loosely connected to our legacy provider, resulting in incompatibility between applications. With LISA for SAP, it is totally different because of SAP’s certification program. We selected mainly gold-level partners, which gave us confidence the applications were vetted for compatibility with SAP.
VP Sales and Operations at Staub Electronics
- Wholesale Distribution
- Implement e-commerce and inventory management capabilities
- Improve business software flexibility and scalability
- Automate business processes
- Improve customer service
- Incorporate 3rd-party applications without headaches
- Reduced manual order entry by 15%
- Implemented multilocation warehouse management, increasing inventory visibility
- Reduced cross-dock order processing time by 80%
- Improved visibility of shipment tracking information for customers
- User friendly interface
THE SUCCESS STORY
Established in 1981, Staub has become the trusted distribution partner for home theater and mobile electronic equipment to Canada’s major electronics retail chains, specialty retailers, and custom integrators. Known as the “installer’s choice,” Staub specializes in installer friendly, solution-oriented electronic products.
Legacy Software Limitations
Staub Electronics Ltd., one of Canada’s premier distributors of consumer electronics, was frustrated by the limitations of its legacy business software. Moving to the SAP® Business One application enabled Staub to automate many manual operations, thereby improving customer service while saving labor, and to implement e-commerce and true warehouse management for the first time. “We are head and shoulders above where we were,” says Scott Trotter, Staub’s vice president of sales and operations.
The legacy business software that Staub used in the past imposed many limitations on the business. Manual operations prevailed throughout the firm, especially in the warehouses that are so important to a company whose entire business is distribution. The company wanted to provide better service to its customers, but it was difficult with all the labor intensive steps involved in acknowledging orders, preparing invoices, and issuing advance shipment notifications (ASNs). Electronic data interchange (EDI) is a mandatory element in doing business with large chains that Staub services, but the EDI capability in place was rudimentary and labor intensive.
Staub attempted to automate its warehouses, but there too it faced software obstacles and eventually gave up on the project. This effort, however, proved to be an important catalyst for improvement. “We desperately needed to manage inventories better, and so we started looking for a third-party warehouse management package we could bolt on to our legacy software,” explains Trotter.
A Gold Certified Third-Party Application
Staub spoke with an SAP channel partner that presented SAP Business One. “We always had the impression that SAP software is for Fortune 500–type companies, but they showed us how wrong we were,” says Trotter.
The SAP partner ecosystem was an especially important factor in deciding on SAP Business One, as Trotter explains: “A big reason why we didn’t succeed previously on e-commerce or warehouse management was that the software vendors we engaged were too loosely connected to our legacy provider, resulting in incompatibility between applications. With SAP it is totally different because of its certification program. We selected mainly gold-level partners, which gave us confidence the applications were vetted for compatibility with SAP.”
For its much-needed inventory management solution, Staub chose LISA Distribution from N’ware Technologies, a warehouse wireless management system that provides bin locations and detailed warehouse management functionality using wireless terminals and portable label printers.
A Bright Future
Successful as it has been, Staub is continuing to pursue further process improvements utilizing the robust functionality of SAP software. Next it will automate SKU setup, a process that oversees the incorporation of new products into its line. In another project, the company is planning to extend the reach of SAP Business One to include the remote devices of its many salespeople.
“SAP Business One and LISA Distribution WMS have without question been an incredible success for Staub and a major competitive advantage for our business,” concludes Trotter. “Sometimes I am concerned that our competition will catch on to our formula for success, but then I realize that it doesn’t matter. We have such a head start with Business One and LISA, and we are moving so fast to take even further advantage of it, we’ll remain a step ahead.”