ERP solution replaces bespoke in-house IT system & applications

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Landmark Wholesale, the UKs leading wholesale operation comprising of cash and carries, delivered wholesalers, caterers and food service operators, has invested 80,000 in Microsoft Axapta from leading software vendor Ardent Solutions. The enterprise resource planning application (ERP) will provide streamlined functionality across the key areas of the business, resulting in improved efficiency and productivity.

Landmark Wholesale provides a centralised trading and marketing operation on behalf of some 30 Independent Wholesalers, with 66 outlets across the country.  The central office in Milton Keynes is where all trade negotiations take place, and houses 30 employees.

Landmark Wholesales IT system was created entirely in-house, using a legacy Visual Fox Pro system to create bespoke applications, some of which were server based and some client based. The entire platform was supported locally and was totally reliant on other legacy systems. Landmark Wholesale realised there was no scope for improvement using a bespoke set up, and decided to look for a modern fully integrated ERP solution, that was flexible enough to replace the functionality of their customised applications.

Tom Warburton, Senior IT Manager at Landmark Wholesale comments, We made the decision to look for a modern platform, but a key requirement was that it would integrate with some current applications such as our accounting software, Dimensions Access.  We considered three ERP solutions, mySAP, Microsoft Navision and Microsoft Axapta. Ultimately we chose Axapta because of the flexibility of the solution, this enabled us to maintain certain functions in-house but also have the advantages of a supported system. 

Warburton states, As we were using a number of bespoke applications, with every application having a separate database, we needed to have a gradual transfer of data to Axapta. We opted for a phased implementation to cause minimal disruption to the business and our staff.

Phase one of the implementation will be the export of all existing bespoke applications databases into Axapta. Phase two will see the integration of the intranet applications into Axapta including the Electronic Data Exchange that is used by suppliers to invoice. Streamlining our databases will ease management and improve reporting, and we believe customers will see an immediate improvement.

Warburton comments, The main benefit to our business will be the support that we will receive from Microsoft. Ardent Solutions work closely with Microsoft and show commitment to them as one of their main Axapta partners. In terms of business continuity this will be great importance to us as it is a fully supported product.

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