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« Microsoft Dynamics AX Customer Success Stories

 

Microsoft Dynamics AX
Customer Solution Case Study

National Wireless Phone Distributor Streamlines Operations with Microsoft Dynamics AX


Overview

Country or Region: United States

Customer Profile
Celluphone is one of the largest nationwide wholesalers to independent wireless phone companies, with offices throughout the United States.

Business Situation
Celluphone was rapidly outgrowing its warehouse and financial management systems, and needed one solution that could seamlessly manage all aspects of its business as well as provide a uniform system to its various entities and locations.

Solution
After working with other vendors, Celluphone chose Ignify to implement Microsoft Dynamics AX. The company chose this ERP for its flexibility and scalability and chose Ignify to implement Dynamics AX cost-effectively and to create the customized features Celluphone needed, all while providing a professional, knowledgeable implementation team.

Benefits

  • Automated integration of supply chain with financials
  • Automated customizations, including shipping information retrieval, serial number capture, and rebate application
  • Scalable back-office platform that provides a solid platform for growth



"The integrated implementation of Microsoft Dynamics AX differentiates us from everyone else as a fullservice provider"
Kevin Bowman, Celluphone


"A simultaneous rollout of Dynamics AX across 8 locations was a huge win. We are proud to have been able to leverage our experience to work in partnership with the IT team at Celluphone in making for a successful implementation for them."
Sandeep Walia, President, Ignify

"The integrated implementation of Microsoft Dynamics AX differentiates us from everyone else as a fullservice provider"
- Kevin Bowman, Celluphone

Celluphone, a wireless phone distributor with headquarters in Los Angeles and other offices throughout the United States, was experiencing growing pains with its financial and warehouse systems. For one, the financial and warehouse/logistics systems were not integrated, which meant many hours of manual import. Also, the systems did not have the functionality to easily and uniformly support Celluphone’s separate corporations and locations. Microsoft Dynamics AX provided multi-company capabilities that would allow the various Celluphone entities to manage their business and also provided a great deal of flexibility as well as the capability to integrate with the current bar-coding infrastructure. Celluphone chose Ignify, a Microsoft Gold Certified partner, to implement the “Trade and Logistics” functionality to automate the warehouse and back-office operations as well as implement the customizations that Celluphone desired. Ignify was able to quickly get the implementation kicked off and provide deliverables in a timely fashion. In addition, Ignify’s ability to write effective customizations and its expertise in running Microsoft Dynamics AX has helped Celluphone increase its business, automate its processes, and provide unparalleled customer support to its retailers.

Situation

Los Angeles-based Celluphone, founded in 1983, is one of the largest wireless distributor companies in the United States. Celluphone provides services and products for independent wireless phone retailers. As a wholesaler, Celluphone strives to be a one-stop company where its retailers can get all the services and products they need to run their own stores.

Previously, Celluphone was operating several systems that were not able to support its growing business. There was a separate system for its inventory management and order processing, from which batch imports were fed into its financial system manually to keep track of transactions. An older version of Microsoft Solomon kept the company’s financial information in order, but did not support specific functions that were badly needed, such as cost averaging and multiple company support, and also did not integrate with the inventory management system. This lack of integration was a huge problem as Celluphone’s business volume kept increasing. “Breaking down information from one system to make it suitable to import into another was just not effective,” said Rick Matson, Celluphone’s director of information technology.

Solution

Celluphone recognized that it needed an integrated back office that would help it meet the growing demands of their expanding dealer base. Since its inventory management system as well as its older financial system were both insufficient, the company opted to install Microsoft Dynamics AX. One of the main advantages of the ERP is its flexibility. By choosing to install the accounts receivable, accounts payable, inventory management, general ledger, and bank modules of Microsoft Dynamics AX, Celluphone was able to create a streamlined back-office system that met its needs. The company also valued the direction future editions of Micrsoft Dynamics AX would take, noted Matson. “We knew the path that Microsoft was taking with AX, and we knew that with future releases we could modify it in the Microsoft .NET environment.”

Once it became apparent that Ignify’s implementation team had the confidence and expertise to modify Microsoft Dynamics AX to best serve Celluphone’s needs, Celluphone quickly signed. “We found that Ignify had a similar methodology to us,” said Matson. “We liked their approach—implement it, and then modify it to gain flexibility.” Ignify recognized the enhancements that would be needed and from the beginnning proposed modifications with design documents that were clear and logical.

Ignify’s expertise installing ERPs is well extablished, with over 50 deployments to date. Ignify leveraged its deep product knowledge to do the functional design, technial development, application configuration, enhancements and user training. Ignify was able to bring its vast experience and deep bench of over 100 Dynamics-certified professionals to the table to complete Celluphone’s implementation within budget and in a timely manner.

Benefits

Integrated financials with supply chain
Since Celluphone’s previous back office consisted of two separate systems, integrating the financial side with the warehouse transactions was very important. The modules and customizations that were implemented by Ignify allow real-time recording when an action, such as a sale or payment, takes place, meaning correct inventory levels and financial information at any time. Automating these processes means Celluphone no longer has to manually fish for corresponding transactions from each system, freeing up valuable time and resources.

Ability to get real-time shipment quotes and print shipment labels from a single system
Whenever an order is placed (including via phone, email, or fax) the customer receives real-time shipping rates from a shipping provider such as FedEX.

After the order is placed, the shipping option is associated with the order in the warehouse. Microsoft Dynamics AX then makes a request to the appropriate shipping company, which sends a response with all relevant shipping information, from which labels can be printed. This is all done automatically, so the items needed to complete a shipment are readily available and Celluphone does not have to make an adjustment on the order total after the order is completed (as was done previously).

Ability to issue and manage rebates for dealers
An important part of Celluphone’s dealer sales include rebates for the cell phones that consumers purchase. Since Celluphone handles three types of rebates (manufacturer-based, Celluphone-based, and retailer-based), it needed comprehensive and automated management of them. Ignify created a functionality that could automatically retrieve specific rebate files and apply them to the correct sales orders. While the processing of rebates was automatic in the system before the Microsoft Dynamics AX implementation, the new system consolidated aspects of inventory and financials that were previously housed in 3 different systems. The result: an aspect of Celluphone’s business operations that serves as a customer-retention tool and, as Matson notes, “differentiates us from everyone else as a full-service provider.”

Ability to track inventory real-time
Microsoft Dynamics AX provides Celluphone with the ability to quickly and easily track an order’s life cycle; whenever any operation is performed in the supply chain, such as a sale or receipt of shipment, the transaction and subsequent changes will automatically be registered in AX (real-time). When Celluphone receives a shipment of phones, the quantity received is recorded within Microsoft Dynamics AX, and from there quantity levels can be tracked automatically.

One enhancement that Ignify created to help in product tracking is an automatic scanning functionality. By creating a way for Microsoft Dynamics AX to import serial numbers directly from scan guns used in the warehouse, the functionality allows a previously tedious task —recording the serial numbers of products such as mobile handsets (for serialized products, this includes recording every single item in a box) —to become automated and quick.

The Microsoft Dynamics AX implementation by Ignify has helped Celluphone achieve the automation and scalability it required for its growing B2B business. Now, instead of separate functioning systems for inventory and financials, Celluphone has an integrated, flexible, and automated back-end office system that has helped streamline its business.

Celluphone’s return on investment has been readily apparent. In addition to automating and consolidating processes, thereby freeing up time and resources, the Microsoft Dynamics AX implementation has also laid the foundation for Celluphone’s e-commerce sites. “AX has given me the platform to build real-time e-commerce sites that I wouldn’t have been able to do with the separate pieces of our previous system,” Matson says. “We wouldn’t have been able to build the sites without AX as a common platform.” Celluphone has already built 10 such e-commerce sites, including consumer sites such as handsfree.com, as well as other B2B sites. In addition, Celluphone is already eyeing other ways to expand its business using the Microsoft Dynamics AX foundation, including as a full-service business partner to large corporations.

For More Information

For more information about Microsoft products and services, call the Microsoft Sales Information Center at 1 (800) 426-9400. In Canada, call the Microsoft Canada Information Centre at 1 (877) 568-2495. Customers who are deaf or hard-of hearing can reach Microsoft text telephone (TTY/TDD) services at 1 (800) 892-5234 in the United States or (905) 568-9641 in Canada. Outside the 50 United States and Canada, please contact your local Microsoft subsidiary. To access information using the World Wide Web, go to: http://www.microsoft.com/.

For more information about Celluphone, call 1 (800) 367-8822 or visit the website at: http://www.celluphone.com/.

For more information about Ignify products and services, call 1 (888) IGNIFY5 or email sales@ignify.com or visit the website at: http://www.ignify.com/.

Microsoft Dynamics

Microsoft Dynamics is a line of integrated, adaptable business management solutions that enables you and your people to make business decisions with greater confidence. Microsoft Dynamics works like familiar Microsoft software such as Microsoft Office, which means less of a learning curve for your people, so they can get up and running quickly and focus on what’s most important. And because it is from Microsoft, it easily works with the systems that your company already has implemented. By automating and streamlining financial, customer relationship, and supply chain processes, Microsoft

Dynamics brings together people, processes, and technologies, increasing the productivity and effectiveness of your business, and helping you drive business success. For more information about Microsoft Dynamics, go to: www.microsoft.com/dynamics.

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