Business Needs Builders' merchant Goodwins Build & DIY Products recogised that it was outgrowing its ERP system. Specifically intended for wholesale builders' and plumbers' merchants, the system lacked the functionality that Goodwins wanted as its business model changed. Jonathan Goodwin, Managing Director, Goodwins Build & DIY products, says: "It was holding us back, so we needed to look for an alternative solution again. We were looking for software that was more capable than we would ever need-and we didn't want to deal with a smaller vendor. We wanted someting from one of the major providers, which would grow and change with us." Mobile terminals for yard management, for instance, were supported wanted to make their use more pervasive, especially with a view to better inventory management, which would help optimise both cash flow and sales. " Stock control is something that the industry isn't very good at," says Goodwin. " But we saw that as the business changed to a retail-led model and one that was seeing growth in property maintenance and small buiding works rather than larger construction projects-inventory management was critical. If you haven't got a product on the shelf when the customer wants it, they'll go elsewhere-but i you have got it, they'll not noly buy it, they're also more likely to come back." It was clear that ecommerce and the Internet were going to play more of a role in the Goodwins business. The firm needed s system that would support change and help it transition to wed-based sales. Solution After evaluating the market, Goodwin quickly found Microsoft Dynamics AX. " What we liked about Microsoft Dynamics AX was that it was a broad, capable splution from a company that we could trust to meet our needs now and in the future," says Goodwin. " But what we especially liked was the fact that there was a choice of implementation and support partners. Again, we were thinking about future proofing." Research by Goodwins and conversations with Microsoft soon resulted in a shortlist of partner names with relevant experience in the fields of retail, wholesaling, and distribution indluding some potential partners in Ireland. Yet despite commissioning one potential partner to prepare a formal statement of requirements, Goodwins decided to work with eBECS. " Ultimately, it came down to a sense of confidence that it had the relevant experience and could understand our business," says Goodwin. " There was clearly the basis of a good working relationship, and just as importantly the eBECS offering was finacially competitive." Benefits Microsoft Dynamics AX has delivered the breadth of functionality and control that Goodwins was seeking. The solution augmented by Tasklet mobile devices, the Omnica ecommerce extension, and Microsoft Lync-has transformed the business, unlocked new opportunities, and provided the resilience required for Goodwins to operate in a challenging economic enviroment. Better inventory management, more efficien staff. Inventory accuracy has improved signficantly delivering new sales opportunities and avoiding lost ones. The Omnica website has contributed sales from customers that the company wouldn't have reached before, while the Tasklet mobile devices have boosted efficiency. " We're making much better use of our people, and making our inventory and shelf space work harder than ever," say Goodwin, Pricing and margins have improved too, with Microsoft Dynamics AX and the website imposing strict strict disciplines on customer discount levels and price breaks. Tasklet mobile devices, sourced and implemented by eBECS, have also delivered improved control and better inventory management. What's more, an enterprise wide unified messaging platform Microsoft Lync recognises incoming customer calls and automatically displays customer records as the call is answered, providing a valuable customer relationship management capability and making staff more efficient. Streamlined processes. " I can keep a much better handle on things," says Goodwin. " And, ironically, despite the power and complexity of Microsoft Dynamics AX, we've been able to simplify and streamline our business considefably." Adapting to customer requirements. With Microsoft Dynamics AX, Goodwins is able to adapt to the changing needs of customers. The website e-commerce capability Omnica provides Goodwins with a valuable retail presence. Fully integrated with Microsoft Dynamics AX, it allows customers to check stock levels and prices remotely. This is helping the business expand its gergraphic reach. Potential for growth. The implementatin ò Microsoft Dynamics AX has been transformative for the Goodwins business. Now, the company is positioned for growth and is ready to make the most of opportunities when the construction industry sees an upturn.