In this Acceleration Case Study, learn how a fireworks supply company implemented an ERP solution to manage rapid growth. Superior Fireworks ships its wide range of products to end-consumers across the United States. Recently, the company experienced significant growth with resellers that have their own fireworks stands and stores throughout the country. Read how Superior Fireworks was able to meet the needs of this growing demand with the help of ArcherPoint.
Business Challenge – Finding an ERP Solution to Handle Growth
Since opening in 2001, Superior Fireworks rapidly grew their business. They accomplished this by building strong relations with suppliers while providing high-quality products. Because of its accelerated growth, the company was able to build a brand new warehouse in China. Additionally, they were able to move to a spacious 25,000 square foot distribution center that included a 5,000 square foot retail store.
One of Superior’s main challenges was the company’s rapid growth. However, the company wasn’t equipped to handle the much bigger stand-alone retail store without making changes. The number of container imports was also increasing, which required even more robust supply chain management.
Using QuickBooks was no longer an option for managing financial requirements. It wasn’t integrated within the order management system. This made the process of handling orders rather time-consuming. Because the warehouse system wasn’t able to support multiple locations, inventory had to be manually added.
Essentially, the company did not have a system that provided flexibility in supporting its rapid growth and expansion. They aimed to find a solution that integrates with its website while making it easier to efficiently manage each business division within the company.
Finding a system to easily streamline workflows and business processes was crucial to help make employee tasks easier. Improving efficiency is especially important for a business that always builds strong relations with each customer.
Locating an end-to-end solution that offers all of these features would significantly enhance visibility throughout the entire company. A software solution that’s robust enough to handle rapid growth was critical. The company didn’t want to go through this whole process again in a few years.
Software Solution – Implementing an ERP Solution: Microsoft Dynamics NAV
Superior Fireworks evaluated several different ERP solutions, including NetSuite, Dynamics NAV, and Dynamics GP. However, NetSuite didn’t allow the company to keep its existing websites on the platform. Microsoft Dynamics GP provided more functionality, but it didn’t feel as cohesive as Microsoft Dynamics NAV. This was due to everything being built within the core system. Ultimately, this was the deciding factor. It provided the ability to create a holistic solution, which was precisely what Superior was looking for in a software solution.
Partnering with ArcherPoint
The next step was finding a partner to help implement the ERP solution. Superior had already engaged with one partner. However, they soon realized the partnership wouldn’t work, as the project’s scope included a more considerable retail component. Eventually, Superior decided to partner with ArcherPoint. They made this decision due to ArcherPoint already having retail expertise and decades of experience using Dynamics and other products for managing distribution, manufacturing, and financials.
ArcherPoint recommended for Superior Fireworks to use additional products for creating a holistic solution:
- LS Retail for Dynamics NAV
- Channel Sales Manager for eCommerce Integration
- ChargeLogic for Credit Card Processing
- Landham’s E-Ship & Bill of Lading Solutions
These different products are already integrated within Dynamics NAV, as they are often considered standard for the industry. The ArcherPoint team played an active role by describing the functions of each product and identifying how they could meet the unique needs of Superior. ArcherPoint focused on finding the perfect balance between integrating item management workflow and NAV sales orders. Meanwhile, they also focused on providing the necessary separation for managing website data and listings independently. Maintaining an optimal balance provided enough flexibility for Superior to best meet their needs.
One of the most ambitious aspects of the software solution is integrating numerous websites by using ArcherPoint’s Channel Sales Manager (CSM). Using CSM makes it possible to easily integrate each web store for Superior Fireworks Retail. This enables the company to offer online ordering for pickup at any one of their retail stores.
Additionally, the company plans to launch three product information sites dedicated to a specific brand. They will use these websites as a valuable resource for consumers and resellers who need to learn more information. These sites will use CSM for managing information related to each product listing. The company also plans to begin another integration by using the Walmart marketplace for advertising confetti cannons and sparklers, as everything will still operate through CSM.
The opening of the brand new retail store and added expansion allowed Superior Fireworks to grow by 100 percent in a two-year time frame. This massive growth would have never been possible without the use of Dynamics NAV and the remaining system. One of the biggest reasons Superior decided to use NAV was to meet the needs of their ever-expanding business, as it simply couldn’t have happened under the previous system.
An added benefit of using this new software solution is that Superior makes it much easier to manage the increasing demands due to the “hyper-seasonality.” For example, July 4th is always the busiest time of the year. Superior is often processing over a thousand transactions each day throughout its retail store without even including the significant spike in online sales and the need for supplying a vast number of products to retailers.
Maximizing the efficiency of the supply chain is a necessity with such a vast volume of transactions. One of the most important metrics is transaction time. The goal is to complete each transaction in less than two minutes. However, this is often more challenging than it appears. The transaction time includes the customer reviewing and signing the terms of the sale agreement. This is already integrated within the checkout process, as it automatically appears on the credit card pin pad. Meeting this transaction time metric allows the entire process to run much smoother. For example, customers can often wrap around the store in under 10 minutes, despite the company operating six stations that process almost 200 transactions per hour.
Because the new system streamlines the entire process, the company can manage growth more effectively without adding more back-office staff members for order processing. This helps keep expenses down for their customers.
Overall, implementing Microsoft NAV as an ERP solution was well worth the investment, as the team at Superior is looking forward to more ways to use this software to continue making improvements. Currently, they are working on including additional CSM integration, modifying order workflows across multiple locations, and increasing warehouse operations. The team at Superior is constantly looking for new ways to automate workflows to further boost efficiency. As a result, Superior Fireworks is positioned to continue expanding and improving the customer experience with the help of Microsoft Dynamics NAV.