“The re-implementation of SYSPRO is saving us at least 20 man hours per week.”
Sean Stuttaford – Penflex, CEO
Penflex is a Cape Town based writing instrument manufacturing company, with top technical expertise and a production team widely respected for its collective know-how and professionalism.
Selling pens, markers and stationery in a competitive market is a challenging business model, but Penflex continues to rise to that challenge, making their mark as one of the premium stationery brands in South Africa.
Sean Stuttaford joined Penflex as CEO in 2014, with over 20 years of SYSPRO experience. He realised that while Penflex was already running SYSPRO ERP, the company was not taking advantage of most of its features. Sean quickly realised that without a thorough reimplementation, employees and management would lose faith in the system.
Sean knew the business processes within SYSPRO were sound and there was no reason to change – they just had to modify what was already there.
The GL was entirely restructured to include product classifications using a taxonomy approach. In addition, Penflex’s financial reports were rewritten using Microsoft Sequel Reporting Services.
The re-implemented system is now working at optimum capacity. The result is a saving of over 20 man hours per week. The implementation of scanning capabilities has further reduced much of the existing administrative duties and freed-up even more time.
Penflex is a medium sized manufacturing business and, knowing how well the SYSPRO solution functions in this arena, Sean
understands that SYSPRO is the perfect ERP for Penflex.
“When I first got here, I realised that the software was being extremely ineffectively utilised and I decided to go through a thorough
process of re-implementing the system.”
“The total cost of ownership of SYSPRO is exceptionally low, so for those reasons it made sense for us to keep the software and just
re-implement the functionality.”
Repairing Application Erosion
Sean found that the software wasn’t properly integrated to the general ledger (GL) and the work in progress module wasn’t being
used. Furthermore, the GL structurally made no sense.
The financial reporting function was not up-to-speed, taking up to five months to generate an income statement.
Bar-coding and scanning weren’t being utilised and this meant frequent mistakes in order fulfilment and distribution.
Experience has taught Sean that, very often it is not the solution at fault, but the lack of understanding and correct implementation
– commonly referred to as application erosion.
The restructuring of the GL gave Penflex the ability to drill down to much greater detail.
Inventory and work in progress modules were integrated into the GL, and Real Time GL was activated. All entries from stores and
production now go straight into the GL on a real-time basis, giving the ability to view an accurate income statement at any chosen
As a result of the rewriting of the financial reports, reports can now drill down to different levels of the GL account. This has enabled
the formulation of very thorough weekly, monthly, and yearly sales reports. The invoiced items per month are highlighted and sales
projections for the next few months are easily studied. All the information is pulled together in the GL, and is able to provide the
data needed in order to manage the business properly.
Labour and overhead costings are now fully integrated into the GL. Bar-coding and scanning technology are next on Sean’s list,
which is already in roll-out.
The Importance of Aligned Processes
A critical component for any successful ERP implementation remains management buy-in. Sean says that the re-implementation
was successful because he, as CEO, was able to dictate the terms to ensure it was done correctly and effectively.
Sean is very confident that SYSPRO will remain their chosen ERP system going forward: “Modifying these processes and integrating
SYSPRO better into the business, has improved the efficiency of the system tremendously, and has most definitely saved us time
and money – no question.”