Republic-Umbrella and Metalix, considered market leaders in their respective fields of the manufacture and supply of quality umbrellas, outdoor leisure products, charcoal barbeques and bakeware, have increased capacity since the implementation of the Sage ERP X3 integrated end-to-end management system.

Sage ERP X3 allowed the group to punch through the imaginary glass ceiling, effectively removing the business constraint its former ERP system posed due to antiquated order capture and invoicing processes.
The prevailing economic environment has had a dramatic effect on how businesses order their stock, says Guy Hamlin, the joint MD of Republic-Umbrella.
“Instead of spreading orders throughout the month, an emerging trend is manifesting where customers order in a condensed time, which places a great deal of strain on stock holding and necessitates the need to manage our working capital more effectively.
"Our existing ERP system could not cope with the capacity at which Republic-Umbrella is operating at present. Metalix was, however, operating on a different platform that operated more fluently, and the strategic decision was made to manage both operations from the same platform."
Cerrex Consulting, a Sage ERP X3 solutions provider for Softline Accpac, facilitated the process of installing one consolidated management process that runs across the entire spectrum of the enterprise.
“Sage ERP X3 focuses on superior functionality that is not complicated. Republic-Umbrella required comprehensive reporting capabilities across both its companies and all its modes of operation. The new system will allow them to drill down and sideways, even from a bottom level transaction, which its previous system simply did not offer. The reporting capabilities that Sage ERP X3 holds is therefore a significant upgrade,” explains Dharini Raidoo, CEO of Cerrex.
The group needed software that would take it to the next level by providing rich and fully-integrated functionality. Software integration does not simply mean that applications are working together, but that they exchange real-time information, share a common database and user interface and, more importantly, they evolve together.
Sage ERP X3 was implemented to operate in all areas of the group’s business processes, including accounting and financial management, purchasing, inventory, sales, customer relationship management and manufacturing.
“Cerrex did a business needs analysis and suggested the Sage ERP X3 solution, which we decided upon. We launched into a series of consultation sessions where Cerrex analysed the company and considered the existing database and data structure and how that would be incorporated into the new system. A formal presentation illustrated how the proposed system would operate and integrate into the group,” Hamlin explains.
The implementation process was orchestrated with the target of creating as little disruption as possible.
“The process has been a learning curve for all staff members involved. The system is Windows based, which makes it easier to operate, and the support we received from Cerrex on the ground in terms of training has been excellent. The entire implementation has not been without its snags, which are expected, and we are working through them to enable the system to run smoothly,” Hamlin says.
Sage ERP X3 is a Web-based software platform that offers a complete business solution. Manufacturing operations have so many additional aspects and operations to oversee that an integrated ERP system is imperative.
“The technological solutions offered in Sage ERP X3 is the best suited to the group’s needs. The ability to synchronise a system across a large base of operation is perpetuated in the scalability and functionality of Sage ERP X3,” says Keith Fenner, the VP of sales at Softline Accpac.
Republic-Umbrella and Metalix are operational in South Africa, and export to Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, Mauritius, Tanzania, UK, Italy and Australia, and is poised for further growth. Sage ERP X3's integrated design provides all the functions it needs now and in the future, allowing the ERP system to grow as the business grows, without requiring costly upgrades or module add-ons.