ACHIEVING OPERATIONAL EFFICIENCY THROUGH TECHNOLOGICAL AUTOMATION
Our client is one of the Unions with the greatest variety of services to its associates, clients and the Community, operating in one of the largest provinces of Panama. It differs from other unions in the great variety of its offer, which ranges from traditional financial services, to supermarkets, factories, hardware stores and breeding farms. Established over 50 years ago, it was conceived to fight and improve the social problems of inhabitants in rural areas such as health, education and illiteracy.
Today, the Union seeks the development of its associates and customers through the offering of high quality products at competitive prices in the community.
The Union has its headquarters distributed throughout the province. However, its more than 20 stores, factories and processors, operated without any integration at a back-office level.
- They did not have communication between headquarters and stores, so the accounting information was delayed in arriving, and everything was decentralized.
- They did not have controls in their inventories, nor barcodes, and they needed to take them manually. This resulted in missing and wrong prices on the products, sometimes even below their cost.
- There was no accessibility to information in time for speedy and adequate management decisions.
- At the headquarters there was not a datacenter appropriate to the Union’s needs.
- Its database and accounting system were developed internally, at the beginning of its operations, and did not allow managing the needs of its current business. For example, they did not have the necessary fields to include important information of their associates, such as a ID number and telephone number. The systems also did not generate useful reports with valuable data for decision making.
- The personnel working in the warehouse and the distribution trucks made the manual clearance of the merchandise manually, which increased errors in the records, uncertainties, incorrect information and more time in the execution of their work.
The Union believes in innovation and technology as tools to achieve the efficiency and profitability of its operations. Based on this, it decided to modernize its operations by making investments in IT. In order to carry out a project of this magnitude, it needed to have a solid, reliable provider that could guarantee its success. The Union saw TECNASA as the ideal partner because of its trajectory, experience and broad portfolio of solutions and alliances with the leading brands worldwide.
After several years, and an extensive study that covered all the operations and businesses of the Union, TECNASA proposed a global solution. To establish control of the accounting, financial, commercial, and production processes, TECNASA signed alliances with companies with a proven record in specialized management software for cooperatives. Through these partnerships, an Oracle database and applications were installed for all savings and credit, accounting, commercial and production companies. A migration of existing system data, stabilization, functionality tests and training to the end user of each business area was performed, optimizing response times, generating reliable information, information dashboards, management reports, among others.
Another important part of the project included:
- Communications equipment, networks and wireless solutions to centralize all the venues.
- Points of sale, barcode readers, retail software, price verifiers, bar code printers and fiscal to take control of the stores, at business operation and inventory levels.
- Servers in all the branches linked to the new system to allow having the information online for the timely taking of managerial decisions.
- Servers, storage, central switches, networks and UPS to have a datacenter appropriate to your needs.
- Mobile devices (PDT and PDA equipment), and software for all the logistics and distribution of merchandise for accurate and real-time records, online sales facility, time savings, and greater productivity.
In short, the Union manages to completely transform its business, obtaining immediate financial results by having better control of inventories and assets, greater negotiation capacity with its suppliers, improvements in productivity and processes. These results are added to the way of working, because it now has accurate information for better decision making, greater communication and better operating costs.
The Union manages to improve its sales and increase its turnover as well as the satisfaction of its Associates, who can connect online and take better advantage of the benefits offered.