BUSINESS TRANSFORMATION: Technogaja
Technogaja is a dynamically growing Lithuanian manufacturer of air filters, including EPA and HEPA filters, used in cleaning equipment, air-conditioning and ventilation systems as well as in many other solutions. For some years the company has been very rapidly expanding, and along with the arrival of the pandemic, its business got an additional boost – the demand for air filters steeply increased.
The company was aware since quite time that their legacy business management system, despite covering many functional areas, was becoming a constraint on continuing its growth. Technogaja wanted a new system that would right on day one allow a big technology leap versus the old one. This is why they have prepared for its replacement extensively and produced a detailed list of requirements that were analysed at the sales stage with Mindbox .
The project has revolutionised customer’s business. Implementing Epicor ERP allowed boosting revenues and profits and providing Technogaja’s customers with a new level of service and a totally new experience.
One of Technogaja’s biggest challenges is the huge diversity of its offering. The product catalogue contains over 30 thousand product codes. This means that products are to a large extent configurable and customers have a huge choice and possibilities to tailor the products to their particular needs. Earlier on this work had to be done by the salespeople manually for every ordered article. This was very tedious – every product required selecting even up to 30 parameters and there were dozens of new orders coming in every day. The implementation of Epicor allowed for the automation of the process that commences the moment products are chosen and configured and ends with issuing an order and production planning. The Configurator included in the Epicor ERP system freed the salespeople from thinking about how the product is to be produced. All it took was to call up the Configurator, define the parameters and a moment later the production order was generated and could be planned for execution.
Finally, the production preparation process was sped up by 25%. However, just the speeding up was not the biggest benefit – this was the ability to rapidly provide customers with proposals. The automation of this process allows instantly producing proposals in response to incoming orders. Moreover, salespeople now can not only price the product but also propose the production schedule. This translates not only into an increase in customer satisfaction but also provides better control over the margins. With a complete set of information in the system it is far easier to precisely forecast the costs. Previously the company had to rely only on rough estimates. Due to the quality of data used in the calculations, errors often crept in, resulting in the company never being sure how much profit it will make on an order, or if there will be any profit at all, actually.
The success of this project was a result of the huge commitment of the company management. The General Manager of Technogaja was involved in the work of the project team. Such a strong support from the top-management level had a very positive impact.
The implementation of Epicor ERP has started a completely new chapter for Technogaja. The system supports rapid growth, streamlines the operations and speeds up the processes. The company’s idea right from the start was to make the use of all the possibilities offered by the system. This was to ensure a maximum improvement of operations and speeding up processes. At the same time, a decision was made to use Epicor as the source of know-how and best practices that would improve the business operations. This is why Technogaja implemented all the Epicor ERP modules except for the Service Management.
Customisation and integration
However, this did not mean the company decided to totally adapt to the system, without customising it to its unique needs. The customisation was the true differentiator of this project – in contrast to most other projects, the number of hours spent on these tasks was greater than the time spent on the standard implementations.
An excellent example of a customisation and at the same time a deep integration with an external system is the interface that automates the transmission of shipment data and the organisation of dispatches. Epicor ERP was integrated with the system of Venipak, one of the biggest courier companies in the Baltic States. It allows the produced goods outward employee to order a transport service and receive all the documents and the bill directly in the ERP. Using the ERP system, the warehouse employees print the labels, stick them on and wait for the courier to pick up the shipment. The solution looks as if it has been part of the Epicor ERP out of the box. The interface is operated entirely by customisation and the BPM, bypassing the Service Connect. It works in real time, dispatching messages to the Venipak’s system. The employees get an instant feedback if the order was accepted or requires corrections.
The open architecture of Epicor has allowed a very quick delivery of this complex project at an express pace. The system was commissioned into production within merely 8 months of the commencement of work. Considering the number of functions used by Technogaja, this is a record result.
The successfully completed Epicor ERP implementation at Technogaja was a project also exceptional because due to the pandemic, lockdowns, cancelled flights and closed borders, it was delivered remotely by an international team of consultants including specialists from Poland, Romania and India. The first talks with the customer were held already in 2019. This is when the first of the two visits at customer’s headquarters took place. The second took place in February 2020, just before the lockdowns(announced 11th march 2020 in Poland) that paralysed Europe, and was used for a more in-depth analysis. The project contract was signed already remotely, in April 2020. At the time, no one was actually aware that the entire project will have to be delivered this way. Just like everyone else, both Technogaja and ourselves expected that after a short-lasting lockdown everything would return to the pre-pandemic state. We were assuming that in the key moments when the supplier has to be with the customer – during trainings or tests – we will be at Technogaja’s office in Lithuania. Ultimately, this turned out to be impossible and practically the entire project, save for the two initial visits, was delivered remotely online.