AchieveGlobal Blue Link Customer

Background

AchieveGlobal, a division of The Times Mirror Company, is an exciting combination of three of the world’s best-known training and consulting organizations: Kaset International, Learning International and Zenger Miller. The company helps organizations achieve business results through superior sales, customer service, leadership and teamwork.

AchieveGlobal Canada was a subsidiary of its U.S. counterpart until September 1999, when it was sold off as a franchise to a new owner. Its customers are mostly found in the top half of the Canadian Fortune 100. The company’s main activities involve coordinating training courses and providing materials and supplies relating thereto.

The Challenge

Inventory Kits

The company has a complex inventory model, with highly configurable kits, bills of materials and third-party warehousing; and the warehouse staff have no knowledge of the constraints and rules regarding kits and assembled packages. It was therefore critical that the solution be able to supply the warehouse staff with accurate instructions on an automated basis and provide a limited, real-time interface into Achieve’s order entry and inventory system.

Complex Inventory Control

Customer Contracts

In addition, the company has a number of complex, multi-layered customer contracts. These determine pricing based on a number of variables relating not only to the customer and product, but also the type of order and a number of other circumstances.

Until the change of ownership, they were using their U.S. parent company’s ERP system (Lawson), which had been substantially customized to handle some of their unique requirements. When the sale of the franchise was announced, the company was given a three-month deadline to find and implement a replacement system.

Inventory Management Software

“The recent split from our US parent as well as the merger of three training companies, each in themselves doing business in unique styles resulted in a complicated inventory, assembly and pricing structure for even the most multifaceted operating system. Due to the immense flexibility of Blue Link ERP and the knowledgeable staff at Blue Link, we were able to customize the system to meet our needs.”

-Denise Edwards, Manager, Fulfilment and Logistics, AchieveGlobal

 The Solution

AchieveGlobal Canada selected Blue Link and its Inventory and Accounting ERP. An intensive project was started that involved the following:

A project of this magnitude would usually take place over 5 to 6 months, but Achieve had less than three.

By using the strengths of Blue Link ERP and the Microsoft environment, including tight integration between Blue Link and Excel and by tapping into the Excel skills already in existence at Achieve, the company was able to go-live within the three-month deadline with real, up-to-date converted data, and all the necessary complex business rules as required.

“We found your design; support and implementation team provided us with a quick response, while taking the time to step back and address the business needs.”

-Carolyn Crawford, Manager Accounting and Admin, AchieveGlobal

Final Result

Inventory, kitting and bill of materials requirements were handled using built-in Blue Link inventory management features, customized to take into account the company’s complex rules. Limited functionality screens were added for remote access by the third-party warehouse. The company’s complex contract structure was analyzed in depth, resulting in a simplified business definition that still provided the same end result, and this definition was then imposed on the Blue Link contract-pricing module.

Data from the ERP system was converted by Blue Link and Achieve personnel, working cooperatively, not only saving weeks of manual data input but also reducing the scope for data errors and preserving transaction history where required.