“For six months we wondered how we would continue running the business using AX. We now believe we could not run it without AX.”
Operations & Technical Director,
Witham Oil and Paint Ltd
Trading since 1921, Witham Oil and Paint Ltd is a privately-owned family run business with its Head Office and lubricant manufacturing based in Lincoln, in the East Midlands of England. They also have trade and decorating distribution depots in Lowestoft, Suffolk and Soham, Cambridgeshire.
The business is today collectively known as The Witham Group. Over the past 95 years the family run business has grown from humble beginnings originally making cycle oil and candle wax, to become acclaimed manufacturers of a huge range of commercial lubricants and paints.
Witham were using a legacy Unix based system to support their daily accounting & basic stock keeping operations. Navigating through the software was simple but data accuracy became a daily challenge. They wanted a system capable of helping them to make correct decisions in a timely fashion. They needed full visibility across their operation to hit customer service levels and set them apart from the competition.
The new system would need to supply complete end to end functionality whilst being flexible enough to support their aggressive growth plans. Reducing the time and costs involved in planning and training was also a key driver.
Witham decided on Microsoft Dynamics AX as their solution of choice along with Dynamics AX vertical solution for Process Industries. They selected Microsoft Gold ERP Certified partner SAGlobal to guide them through the implementation. “The software is only half the battle picking the right partner is at least as important.” explained Mick Kenyon, Operations & Technical Director.
ERP Solution and partner
Witham chose Microsoft Dynamics AX with the vertical solution for Process Industries. The breadth of functionality together with its seamless integration to MS office meant Dynamics AX was the stand out product for them. As they were already using Microsoft Office they could see the benefits AX would bring to their operation. SAGlobal’s expertise, in-depth knowledge of Dynamics, and proven track record within the industry, were decisive factors for Witham when choosing their implementation partner.
Witham implemented AX across the whole group; the head office in Lincoln and their two other business units based in Lowestoft and Soham.
Dynamics AX Functionalities
Areas supported included finance, trade and logistics, production, planning and also quality control.
- Mobile scanning devices
Mobile devices were deployed in both the warehouse and production areas. Operators are able to pick raw materials, issue materials to production and record the manufacture of finished products using hand held devices. Details are recorded in real time so they always have an up to date picture of stock
- Reporting and Analytics
AX provides Witham with up to the minute information. Every day they are able to make better informed business decisions
Planning boards highlight stock shortages for both production and sales. Planners are able to schedule production runs for items that are in high demand so they can satisfy sales orders
- MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) control
When items are sold to a customer, a check is made to see if the version of the MSDS is still current, and if not an updated version is printed or sent via email. A log of all MSDS documents sent to the customer is kept, and therefore copies can be resent quickly and efficiently
- Business alignment across the organization
Thanks to Dynamics AX seamless network, Witham has been able to integrate its business processes and data analysis across all of its locations
- Improved inventory control
AX has helped to deliver improved visibility and control of materials
- Support growth and business change
Witham required a reliable back office solution capable of supporting their aggressive growth plans. As their business changes, adding new functionalities, processes and departments has become more manageable
- Improved efficiency
Not only has AX reduced IT & training costs, it has also helped reduce the time and effort required to carry out daily activities by eliminating repetitive manual processes. This has in turn freed up team members time to focus more on revenue generating tasks