Pet Product and Charisma ERP

Cristian Pop

Charisma ERP solution was the last seen and at that time we already knew what facilities should provide a true ERP solution. What convinced us? During the solution presentation we began sentences and TotalSoft team completed them – this was the chemistry necessary for a successful relationship.

- Cristian Pop
President & CEO

Pet Product operates a chain of 23 stores in Romania, the largest network on the pet specialized local market, and covers the import business, retail and food distribution, products and accessories for pets, while integrating a variety of animals for sale. Year 2009 brought a turnover of nearly 9 million Euros, being a preamble of 2010’s bold strategy - year marked by the opening of 13 new stores and the third warehouse of the company.

Pet Product’s goals have always been ambitious, fact that has led to the decision to change the current information system with a solution able to monitor properly the company’s financial and accounting, retail and distribution activities, under conditions that would ensure an effective control of the business and operations and flow optimization. In 2008 the company was using a solution developed in Delphi that worked off-line in stores, the data replication being done at large time intervals (weekly). This working approach was incomplete, with many shortcomings: lack of a unitary, enhanced and accurate sales and inventory image for each store, inconsistent data, inability to conduct real-time activity reports to support the decision making process etc. In addition to these, the reduced performance of the software platform contributed to the necessity to make a strategic decision with major impact on the whole business and high risk factor. It was a brave decision, made in the midst of financial crisis, when all companies pay more attention to investments and costs, showing an increased caution in budgeting or approval of such expenses.

“We had to choose between a software update on SQL platform or search for a solution able to provide the home comforts we needed. We chose the latter. Charisma ERP solution was seen the last moment – at that time we already knew what facilities should provide a true ERP solution for our needs. What convinced us? During the solution presentation we began sentences and TotalSoft team completed them – this was the chemistry necessary for a successful relationship.”

Following the internal analysis of the processes to be supported and serviced by the new solution, as well as taking into account their size and complexity and specificity of every market segment on which the company operates, there were established the necessary Charisma modules to cover all operation flows. Implementing Charisma according to Pet Product specifications meant choosing the necessary modules for both the back office (accounting, finance, procurement, foreign trade, inventory, sales, assets, budgets, business intelligence, fleet management, logistics etc.) as well as the front-office (retail, sales force automation, warehouse management), all in a single database and able to respond with timely and accurate information to all requests.

The major impact of the Charisma implementation was first of all the switching to the online functioning of all stores and accessing real time information on sales, order status or inventory of over 5,000 products in each store. It was also forecasted that Internet connection interruptions might occur, case in which all the stations would go off-line while making replications automatically at the time connection returns, thus continuing the company’s work smoothly.

The optimization of warehouses was also accomplished, as well as that of suppliers by developing new features that allow online orders, leading thus to a decrease in time and information processing. Behind the solution there is an algorithm that automatically issues a proposed order based on clearly defined criteria (achieved sales, stock, forecasts etc.).
The processes carried out by the sales force were also automated by implementing the SFA module (Sales Force Automation) and provision of agents with PDAs. The advantage is, in this case, the availability on real-time information on inventory, price lists grouped by product and review categories etc.

 A component considered to be the “ace in the sleeve” that was delivered by TotalSoft, is the business intelligence solution, namely Charisma Analyzer. Its great advantage is, according to Pet Product president, the ease and speed reports and statistics generation. The automation of internal reports, conducting in-depth analysis and the creation of charts on different criteria (the largest store sales, best-selling product, the most effective agent etc.) made analysis and reporting activities become more complex and less time consuming. A previous report that used to require a large amount of manual work (sometimes even a week) with an accuracy that could not be guaranteed, it can be now obtained in less than five minutes, by automatically extracting data from ERP database.

“Charisma Analyzer’s net advantage is that once it was created based on a report, it is updated automatically, thus eliminating the repetitive work and lost hours to update the situation. Also, we can rely on the accurate data obtained.” appreciates Mr. Pop. 

The results of the solution implementation can already be seen since the activity within the company’s stores has changed: the on-line operating allows each store to continuously receive information on stock, nearest store where you can supply, delivery time, daily sales volumes per unit etc.

Looking back, the decision to implement TotalSoft’s Charisma proved to be an inspired choice. On the one hand, the ERP system’s stability, implementation and maintenance team, as well as Pet Product’s involvement, determination and effort, were the ingredients of a successful recipe.
“Charisma assures us that we have a strong and capable software solution to support our growth. Charisma and TotalSoft have eliminated uncertainty about the system functionality, reliability and stability, allowing us to focus mainly on our business.” concludes Mr. Cristian Pop.

Case study revised in 2010.