Chilean company that produces electrical parts integrates its operations via cloud-based software services. (Sitio Microsoft)
IMEL, a Chilean company that produces electrical parts and markets products such as switches and electrical outlets under the Sinthesi brand, began operations in 2015. To meet its future projections, the company decided from the beginning to utilize an ERP system that allowed it to control supply, production and invoicing. IMEL selected Microsoft Dynamics GP and hosted it in Azure’s cloud. With this solution, it could save money on infrastructure and gained greater availability and performance.
The Marisio family has more than 70 years of experience in Chile in the electrical outlet industry. In 2012, they founded a new company in the same industry after having owned an electrical outlet firm for several decades before selling it to a multinational company. Having a strong background in and knowledge of the field, the Marisios were motivated to found IMEL in 2015. Currently, IMEL markets products that include switch plates, switches and electrical outlets, under the Sinthesi brand. According to IMEL Industrial Director, Juan Ignacio Marisio Solari, the objective was to develop a company that was innovative, delivered value and provided the best customer service. To meet this goal, the company took the risk of offering a different alternative to the market with modern and practical products, based on an inexpensive production system and automated processes.
Additionally, IMEL decided it was necessary to have an ERP to manage the value chain that allowed updates for all processes, which included resource planning, buying, inventory, accounts payable, collections, invoicing and balance sheets.
A Handy Tool for the Business
When it was time to select the ERP system, a challenge that IMEL viewed as a strategic need, the company focused on finding a software solution that addressed business manufacturing processes with extensive reach in the areas of finance, sales and logistics. In addition to having easy-flow integration with other systems in the future, the software also needed to be easily customizable, with a set of parameters and limitations. “After assessing various alternatives, we selected Dynamics GP. We concluded this solution effectively addressed the challenges in our business in addition to delivering services in the cloud, which makes the operations easier and offers high availability,” explained Marisio. From his point of view, the other alternatives had a higher level of complexity and were more expensive. “Dynamics GP is a system that is friendly and easy to understand, and it integrates well with other tools. It also has all of the technical features required to manage a company like ours.”
Another key element of IMEL’s decision was the fact that Dynamics GP had the ability to run in Azure’s cloud. The other alternatives required a data center for the installation of high-performance servers, with certain features such as hiring people to operate the system and incurring management costs associated with this type of infrastructure. “With Azure, an initial large investment is not required. There is not a fixed server cost; we use what we need, utilize less human capital and gain savings of about 50%,” said Marisio. He added that this model allowed for the information to always be backed up and made remote work possible.
Microsoft partner Axxon guided IMEL through the implementation of Dynamics GP. Axxon Consulting Account Manager, Federico Campero, said that IMEL spends approximately USD400 per month in infrastructure, but if the company had chosen a different solution, it would have needed to invest more than USD20,000. “Dynamics GP runs in a certified cloud managed by us. It is fast and secure, and provides reasonable associated costs,” said Campero.
The combination of Dynamics GP and Azure has allowed IMEL to standardize and integrate a lot of its processes into a single platform, even with the differences among the various features. Additionally, the company has become more efficient in the areas of distribution and logistics; planning and monitoring of production; transaction traceability; and real-time management of information.
Projection Moving Forward According to Marisio, the current core challenge for IMEL is stabilizing its manufacturing, purchasing and selling processes, as well as learning the system and making sure it supports all parts of the business that are the foundation of the projected growth. With the investments made, the goal is now to consolidate an operation that generates an average of USD100,000 monthly and is expected to reach USD300,000 in a year.
“Currently, this is a small company, but they have plans to grow. With this in mind, Dynamics GP, based on Azure, offers this flexibility and scalability,” explained Campero. From this perspective, in 2018, IMEL is planning to add a CRM system to enhance its relationship dynamics with its customers. Also, the company wants to enable the Business Analyzer options included in Dynamics GP, which will enable the generation of reports and indicators, viewed as key for the business.
During this transformation, Marisio highlighted the support of Axxon Consulting as an enterprise with the flexibility and experience to launch this technology in a fast and assertive way. “We have had an interesting cooperation,” he said, “because they know the tool very well, and I know my business well and understand the system expenses. It is critical to have shorter execution periods and take advantage of best practices in the market.”