Established in 1998, Metro Beverage Company is Australia's largest independent drinks distributor. Serving more than 10,000 business customers, the company has close working relationships with a range of manufacturers including Unilever, Nu Pure Beverages and Red Bull.
Headquartered in Victoria, MBC operates three warehouses in Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth. With just under 100 staff and a fleet of more than 35 delivery vehicles, the firm continues to enjoy strong growth.
Soon after opening its doors as a new business, MBC deployed Attache ERP software to support its day-to-day operations. The software was used for everything from stock control and warehousing to accounting and report generation.
MBC Managing Director Aleksandar Velkovski says that, while this worked well for a number of years, continuing growth meant the software struggled to keep up. "It reached the stage where, as a company, we had outgrown our core software," he says. "It did not have the ability to be extended and was becoming an impediment to operations."
Velkovski says that, because of the important role the software played, there was some reluctance to change. However, with customer numbers continuing to grow, senior managers came to the realisation that an alternative needed to be found.
The MBC IT team undertook a comprehensive review of alternative ERP solutions on the market. This process involved demonstrations from a number of vendors and visits to other sites to see different products in action. After careful evaluation of a shortlist of contenders, a decision was made in late 2015 to deploy icsLOGISTICS from InfoMotion.
"We could clearly see that the InfoMotion software was best suited to our requirements," says Velkovski. "The interface was very user friendly and we also liked the ability we had to customise the software to match our particular requirements."
Working closely with InfoMotion, MBC initially rolled out the new software in its Melbourne warehouse, followed by Adelaide in late 2016. The Perth warehouse is due to go live in March.
"The migration process from our legacy system to the new platform was seamless and very impressive," says Velkovski. "I had never experienced a software deployment of this nature where there have not been issues. It could not have gone better."
The icsLOGISTICS software now underpins all aspects of business operation. As well as sales, warehousing and stock management, it also supports back-office functions such as finance and administration.
"It is at the very core of our business," says Velkovski. "It has removed a range of manual processes and streamlined workflows. We have noticed a significant improvement in accuracy and the time to fill orders has been reduced. The scan-to-load capability we now have means cartons can be scanned onto each vehicle against predetermined orders and runs, speeding operations considerably."
Velkovski says a particular benefit has been the improved ability to handle stock promotions. Where previously this would have to be managed manually, all customer requests and fulfilments are captured by the software automatically.
"Our dispatch planning process has also been significantly upgraded," he says. "Where it had been taking one staff member a full day to draw up schedules, this can now be completed in less than half that time."
With the core software now operational, attention has shifted to deploying PTV Smartour, provided by InfoMotion. This software will improve the efficiency of delivery runs by automatically creating the most efficient routes based on multiple delivery destinations.
"This process is currently done manually and makes use of the judgement of individual drivers. While this works to a degree, being able to automate it will reduce the number of kilometres that need to be completed on each run."
Velkovski says MBC will continue to work closely with InfoMotion to ensure the software adds as much value as possible to operations.
"They have worked hard to understand our business and to configure the software to match our requirements. It's given us the robust and scalable platform we need to support our future growth."