For nearly 15 years, KDV Label used a custom-built enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. But, as the market grew and KDV expanded its diverse product portfolio, the pieced-together ERP system's limitations had a growing, negative impact. KDV recognized the negative impact its aging custom system was having on its ability to stay lean, informed and responsive.
"We were experiencing increased duplicate entry of information and had an increasing reliance on external programs to fill in the holes left by our aging ERP system," says Steve McBride, IT manager and customer service representative at KDV Label.
With segmented data and little integration available to promote the flow of information, data management was becoming a burden on the company. "With our old system, we were fixing it and working on things pretty much every day. We relied heavily on one person and when that person was no longer with the company, there was a big drop off in information," said McBride.
Data that was available was static and day-old when everything was working properly, which greatly impaired the company's ability to manage proactively and respond to changes on the fly. "The system updated itself at night and wasn't ready until about 7:00 a.m. the next day," says McBride, "so we had to wait a full day before seeing
what had happened the day before."
At that point, management's decision making was based heavily on feel and with limited information, dealing with rush orders and last minute requests was becoming an increasing struggle. "We realized that we needed to find a new solution that was going to last and keep us going for years to come," according to McBride.
During a thorough comparison of a number of ERP systems, KDV found that EFI Radius was the best fit. "The system really fit the different users' needs based on their job responsibilities," McBride says. "We saw that they would be able to continue doing what they needed to do."
The software's industry fit also played a major role in KDV's confidence in moving forward with the system. McBride says, "Other ERP vendors really seemed to be lacking people who understood our industry. Radius knew all our industry terms, which were deeply incorporated into the ERP system. The Radius consultants clearly understood what we were trying to do as a printing company."
As KDV moved into the implementation, it worked closely with the Radius professionals, who explained what should be expected during the process and presented a detailed plan for transitioning to the Radius system. "They really
knew where everything needed to be when we went live. The process was very streamlined," says McBride.
KDV officials took their time with the project in order to get everything exactly how they wanted it and as soon as they went live on EFI Radius, they hit the ground running. "When we hit the go-live, it was very smooth," says McBride. "We had two Radius consultants on site for the go-live and they ended up leaving early that day because everything worked out so well."
Using EFI Radius, KDV Label has seen a refreshing number of benefits from the software, realizing many of their expectations. "The system basically runs itself," says McBride. "We are no longer spending a lot of time working on the software, like we were with our previous system." Along with this hands-off maintenance, one of the biggest business benefits has been in the area of available, real-time information.
"With Radius, we can actually see what is going on as it is happening," McBride explains. "Our customer service representatives have a lot more visibility into what is going on in the shop with specific jobs and items." Radius has also allowed KDV to extend visibility to its customers with the 24/7 customer portal, which allows them internet access to view information about their orders. "The portal has definitely enhanced our level of customer service and at the same time, has opened up more time internally to focus on other areas," McBride says.
Radius has also allowed KDV to become a leaner organization. The system has removed the tedious, error-prone duplicated entry of information, which has greatly streamlined front office operations. "With EFI Radius we enter data once, and this has been crucial to our ability to keep our costs low," says McBride. "Over the last ten years, we have doubled our business but haven't come anywhere close to doubling the number of people we need to keep up with that growth."
The availability of shared information has also allowed the company to become highly flexible when it comes to accommodating customer expectations and rush orders. "It is inevitable to have last minute changes to orders, or to have a customer tell us they need something urgently. Since information is so readily available, we can easily see what we have in inventory and if needed, quickly understand the affects changes will have on other scheduled jobs," McBride explains. "We can shift jobs around and still know that we are working with an optimized schedule."
Because of the Business Intelligence (BI) module in EFI Radius, KDV's management team has been able to take a more proactive approach to decision making. "BI is showing us exactly where we need to improve. It is letting us look ahead to better understand our business and how we can address issues before problems arise."
Partnering with EFI
McBride values the benefits that come with working with EFI, the industry leader in print and packaging ERP software. "EFI's support system is great and has the necessary resources available to keep moving the industry forward. They have people working on fixes and product enhancements and integrations around the clock. You're not going to get that with a smaller company."
The Radius user group and annual EFI Connect user conference have been additional positive outcomes from KDV's decision to partner with EFI Radius. "At the user conference, I can walk up to the software developers and tell them how I think things can be improved in the system. I have seen the group's ideas implemented into new releases and it really shows me that they listen and that the users are having a direct influence on the future of the product."