SSL WinMan provides value-add for eXception VAR

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SSL WinMan continues its winning strategy of delivering state-of-the-art technology and service

SSL WinMan, a leading supplier of .NET ERP and Distribution software solutions for companies involved in Lean, Make To Order as well as more traditional manufacturing, has won a contract to supply its WinMan.NET solution to leading PCB supplier, eXception VAR Ltd.

Exception VAR together with eXception PCB and eXception EMS comprises the eXception Group with an annual turnover of 55-60m. With a 40 strong workforce at eXception VAR, it has a reputation for finding Best-in-Class Suppliers from the Far East whether by technology, volume or delivery time. The company has a UK-based customer service team in addition to its own engineers and quality control professionals, all of which have to work seamlessly together in order to achieve eXception VARs key business challenge, meeting customers exacting requirements from around the world in as timely way as possible.

Andrew Steele is the companys IT & Engineering Director and elaborates on this. Being a global supplier, we continually have to take account of a multitude of different constraints, ranging from different time zones, language and cultural differences, through to new or amended legislative requirements. At the end of the day, our customers simply want the right combination of quality and volume delivered at the right time, with ever decreasing lead times.

eXception VAR had been using a specialist PCB management solution but when this became no longer supported by its supplier in 2004, a decision was made to source a more modern and versatile replacement. The selection process involved attending an ITshowcase exhibition in Bristol, reviewing a range of vendors and solutions via the Internet and ultimately arranging for a shortlist of 6 to make on-site demonstrations. As Andrew Steele remarks, Even at this stage, SSL WinMan had an advantage due to its strong logistics functionality and expertise. The shortlist was reduced to 3 which then had to show how it would use eXception VARs own data which lead to a straight 2 way choice with SSL WinMan being chosen in August 2005.

Andrew Steele comments on the reasons why SSL was chosen. For us it was a combination of technology and also service. With a solution built from the ground up on .NET, we knew we would be investing in as future-proof a solution as possible. But equally important for us was the need to know the people involved behind the solution had a thorough understanding of our requirements and the way we ran our business. We consistently had a very positive appreciation of the SSL team, and this contrasted markedly with other vendors we considered who showed little interest and/or understanding of our requirements.

Implementation began in January 2006 with a go-live date scheduled for 1st June 2006. Anticipated benefits include a significant increase in efficiency, with further additional efficiency gains resulting from a n automated Quote module currently under development. As Andrew Steele concludes, Perhaps the biggest benefit will be having one seamless solution. Replacing our old ERP system and our separate accounts solution with SSL Winman will remove any boundaries to our being able to work smarter and more efficiently. We will have a huge reduction in paper trail and quicker access to much more accurate information.

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