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Lilly Software Replaces Tier One ERP in a Six-Week Implementation


16 September 2003, Hampton, NH (USA) — Like many manufacturers these days, Ontario Store Fixtures, headquartered in Weston, Ontario, Canada, is going through a downsizing and restructuring. “We used to be a much larger company than we are today,” say Shabbir Kapasi, an IT project manager of the company. 


“We had a Top-5 ERP system in place but it was just too expensive and too complex for our new slimmed-down organization.” That’s when Ontario Store Fixtures decided to move to VISUAL Enterprise™ from Lilly Software Associates. But it wasn’t going to be easy. “Corporate management gave us 6 weeks to make the transition,” Kapasi says. “The consultant that helped us, Lilly Software’s Ontario associate, Shop 9000, recommended a 20-week implementation plan. We said ‘sorry’, but we have to do it in 6 weeks.”


The move to VISUAL® was totally a financial decision. The cost to license the entire software suite and implement it came to about what it cost for annual maintenance on the larger ERP system. “We selected VISUAL Enterprise because it has essentially the same ERP capabilities of the bigger package but costs a fraction of the price. VISUAL offers real value for the money,” Kapasi said.


Ontario Store Fixtures started the implementation project on March 1, 2003 and had the first plant running on VISUAL April 1. This plant makes mannequins for retail clothing display. A second plant that makes metal store fixtures went ‘live’ on May 1.


“We had a fantastic team in place,” Kapasi explains. “Users were involved from all departments and they were totally committed to this project. It is their hard work and dedication that were the keys to our success. And they accomplished this while still keeping up with their regular duties and while the company was restructuring. It was a lot of hard work and long hours but they were completely focused on the task.”


The project team adhered very strictly to the schedule they set for themselves. In daily implementation team meetings, they looked at each task that was due or ongoing and made sure everything was proceeding according to plan. When there was a delay, it was not allowed to go more than 48 hours behind schedule. “We micromanaged every single step of the project,” Kapasi adds.


The company is pleased with the result. “We have been using the system for several months now and have not had any problems, beyond a bit of tweaking here and there that you would expect with a new system,” Kapasi reports. “VISUAL is able to do everything we need it to do and there are more functions in there that we can grow into as we start to use the system more.”


That’s a major focus of the team from here on. “Implementation never stops,” Kapasi says. “The challenge for the ERP team now is to keep finding new opportunities to gain efficiency. We must continually review our processes and find ways to use the VISUAL Enterprise system better.”

About Lilly Software Associates

Lilly Software Associates, Inc. provides a complete line of enterprise and supply chain solutions for manufacturers and distributors. The VISUAL Enterprise™ suite of products helps companies capture and analyze real-time data about all their business processes using ERP, Project Management, Business Performance Management, Quality Management, Customer Relationship Management, and Warehouse Management System capabilities. From award-winning software to strategies in Lean Manufacturing and TOC, Lilly Software offers companies the tools they need for higher productivity and profitability.

Most VISUAL® applications run on Windows® 98, Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, UNIX®, LINUX, Novell®, using SQLBase®, Microsoft SQL Server®, or ORACLE® relational databases.

Lilly Software has received many industry awards for its products, service, and financial growth since its inception. Most recently, the company has been voted one of the Top 10 Best of Breed solutions for manufacturing by readers of Consumer Goods Technology, listed in Software Magazine's Top 500, selected as a Top 100 Logistics Information Technology Provider in Inbound Logistics, listed in the Top 100 Application Vendors in Supply Chain e-Business, included in MSI's Top 100 for its eighth year, and ranked as one of Start magazine's Hottest Companies.

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