plastics warehouse

Fast-growing national plastic-ware retailer, The Plastics Warehouse, has reduced inventory costs and achieved a 90 per cent reduction in transaction processing times following the enterprise-wide implementation of SAP Business One, an integrated business management tool for SME’s.


The solution, designed and deployed by local technology company Bluekey Software Solutions, comprises SAP Business One, the Enterprise Resource Planning system for small-to-mid-sized companies; Valogix, an innovative SAP Business One solution extension for inventory planning and management; the Bluekey Business Intelligence Suite; and Cistech’s Serious About Retail Point-of-Sale (POS) solution.


“Through better planning and forecasting, and by reducing stock holding, we’ve dramatically reduced inventory costs. But perhaps one of the most important benefits of the system is that it delivers an integrated, real-time view of our business,” says Plastics Warehouse MD, Demetre Nikolopolous.


“One of the pillars of a successful retail business is access to accurate, up to date information. SAP Business One delivers this need in a very user friendly way. It also helps in creating policies and procedures, and managing critical business processes. All major operational functions are now integrated in one system and we are able to see what is happening in the business, from finance and point of sale to stock, from a single point.


“Retail is forever changing and to have a system that can give us quick and accurate information is imperative,” Nikolopolous explains.


Achieving this high level of visibility of the business was the key consideration for the company, which sells an extensive range of plastic-ware covering office equipment, cleaning, outdoor (tables, chairs), leisure, kitchenware, toys, storage, stationery, garden and other household items. With seven stores in the Western Cape, Gauteng, Bloemfontein, Port Elizabeth and East London – and more to come online in the near future – the company wanted a system that could integrate all aspects of its operations.


Among its requirements: a robust point-of-sale system with visibility across all stores; a standardised approach to store inventory planning; consolidation of item codes; a reduction in purchase order processing times; flexible pricing options; margin control; stock-out prevention and inventory planning.


“The standard functionality of SAP Business One provided a close fit against the company’s key requirements. Of course, the high degree of customisability of SAP Business One allowed us to completely align the solution to their needs,” says Bluekey SAP Business One solution consultant, Trisha Sukha.


The Valogix Inventory Planning solution bolsters SAP Business One’s stock management functionality, automatically forecasting future demand for items. It then seamlessly sets stocking levels and automatically creates replenishment orders to optimise the inventory.


“What this means is that the risk of over-purchasing or sitting with excess or slow-moving stock is virtually eliminated. Instead of money being tied up in unwanted inventory, it’s free to be ploughed into the business where it is needed more, such as to fuel the company’s future growth,” says Nikolopolous.


The Serious About Retail Point-of-Sale system utilises existing equipment but integrates with SAP Business One and delivers the visibility Plastics Warehouse wanted. Live point of sale transactions are posted directly to the general ledger without manual intervention.


“This system feels like it was designed specifically for our business. Going beyond ERP, it has enabled us to tighten up our control over all aspects of our business with streamlined processes. We’re confident that the system will not only enable growth, but will also grow with us as we grow,” concludes Nikolopolous.