Corundum started to operate 26 years ago as a gemstone cutting workshop with two employees. Today it is a major supplier for large jewelry companies and a distributor of exclusive Swarovski® crystals as well as precisely cut synthetic and natural Swarovski Gemstones. The company also creates its own jewelry under the Spark brand and distributes it mainly through its partners – domestic and foreign jewelry stores.
The latest business project of the company is building its own network of points of sale in order to reach customers directly. Further plans include also building an online store selling to both business partners and individual customers.
Despite the continuous development of the company and consistent expansion of the product range, Corundum has managed to preserve the character and atmosphere of a family business. This is facilitated by the small scale of the company, which employs over thirty people, and the vast majority of them are directly focused on the business core. One of the reasons for which this structure of employment is preserved is the outsourcing of accounting and finance as well as HR to a specialized accounting firm. Such a model ensures not only savings, but also access to the required competencies without incurring the costs of their maintenance and development. This strategy enables the company to fully focus on its development.
In organizational terms, Corundum remains a small family business, but the scale of its production and the number of customers are growing with each year. Currently, it offers several thousand models of jewelry in different product groups and collections. Export production accounts for 80% of jewelry sales.
This complex nature of production and the need to build relationships with customers were the major reasons for implementing a new integrated enterprise management system. The owners of the company chose SAP Business One, a solution from the global manufacturer of ERP systems designed especially for small and medium size businesses. An implementation partner was 7milowy, a company from the BCC Group (now All for One Poland) that specializes in providing and implementing SAP systems in the SME sector companies.
The project was preceded by a pre-implementation analysis, in which the most important needs were identified and the main objectives of the project were specified. The system went live in early January 2016, with a new financial year.
Piotr Błoński, CEO of Corundum underlines: “We believe that investing in the modern IT infrastructure is necessary if the company wants to develop and strengthen its competitive advantage in the Polish market. SAP is the world’s highest ERP standard, and at the same time, it is available to small and medium companies through SAP Business One solutions.”
The central ERP system – SAP Business One – has integrated all key areas of the company’s business:
- finance and accounting,
- warehouse management,
- complaints and customer service (CRM),
- handling of points of sale (an in-house developed POS application by 7milowy – Positano).
Investing in the modern IT infrastructure is necessary if the company wants to develop and strengthen its competitive advantage in the Polish market.
A new system for finance
In the financial area, SAP Business One has replaced the solution used previously. However, the proven model used to support this area has not changed. The execution of financial and accounting processes is still a responsibility of an external accounting firm. Its employee is also a user of the SAP Business One system and does his work in a new, integrated tool.
He has direct access to financial documents and reports, which has allowed Corundum employees to reduce to a minimum the time spent on preparing data for the accounting firm.
The mapping of the production processes in the system, together with the modeling of the so-called product trees for all products has made it possible to organize and optimize these processes and to control manufacturing costs. The knowledge of the quantity of a given raw material (silver, metal, gemstones) needed to manufacture a specific item of jewelry, and of the number of items manufactured, enables you to manage the purchasing of these raw materials and to accurately forecast the demand for them.
For controlling production costs, an application for working time recording integrated with SAP Business One is also used. This is important as almost all production of jewelry involves manual, time-consuming work and requires a lot of precision. Starting to work on a piece of jewelry, the employee chooses an appropriate item from his list of tasks defined in the system. In this way, he can view the product specification and see what materials and in what quantity should be used for this production order. Using a clear and intuitive panel, he also records the time spent on the task.
Logistics and customer service
The integrated SAP Business One system means also full control over the inventory of raw materials and finished products. This aspect is particularly important due to the nature of production – where raw materials are expensive precious metals and stones.
The widely understood relationships with customers: sales, customer service (CRM features) as well as complaints, are another key area in which the processes are being currently implemented in the integrated system. Corundum operates in the luxury sector, mainly in the B2B market. Taking care of the high level of customer relationships and the quality of service are key in this industry.
Currently, sales activities and contacts with customers from preparing a quotation, order processing through invoicing to the recording of warranty claims and their monitoring are managed in a single solution. A consistent database of customers, contact persons and the history of relationships is also worth mentioning.
In addition to continuously developed business customer service, this year (2016) Corundum has opened a new retail channel, which is a store in a shopping center in Wroclaw, the company’s hometown. In order to operate points of sale, the company has decided to use Positano, a proprietary POS (point of sale) solution offered by 7milowy, prepared specifically for small and medium-sized enterprises. Positano allows for quick recording of retail sales, including the monitoring of inventory levels. As expected by Corundum, the application has been expanded with a new functionality – the ability to carry out sales promotions (e.g. “buy the third product for PLN 1"). In the case of larger purchases, a product price can be dynamically changed.
Positano is integrated with SAP Business One. The connection with the ERP system brings a lot of benefits, such as updating price lists, retrieving information about current promotions, and automatic transmission of sales data to the central system of the company. Positano enables the company to report and verify its sales results on the ongoing basis.
Currently, at Corundum, preparations are made to launch an online store integrated with SAP Business One. In the first place, it will be made available to business partners. In the next stage, it is planned to be opened also to individual customers.
SAP for everyone
In Poland, ERP systems offered by SAP are associated with complex and costly solutions dedicated to large organizations with an extensive map of business processes.
The SAP solutions offered by 7milowy from the BCC Group (now All for One Poland) have been consistently changing this stereotype. The implementation of SAP Business One in the company of such size as Corundum demonstrates that SMEs are those companies that can benefit most by choosing a proven system.
The ready-made scenarios of business processes available in SAP Business One and based on best practices, a package of complementary solutions, and the readiness to adapt them to the specific requirements of virtually every industry are the biggest advantages of the solution.
The experience from many implementations in companies from various industries contributed to the project by 7milowy, an implementation partner selected by Corundum, has allowed the duration of the project and the involvement of employees to be reduced to a minimum.
Due to the planned investments in the expansion of the sales network, the year 2016 will be important for Corundum. The company has started it equipped with a tool that has integrated and streamlined its business processes. Improved quality of service and strengthened relationships with business customers, an up-to-date view of inventory levels, the production process, invoicing or the ability to monitor the financial condition are the most important benefits of implementing SAP Business One.
“SAP enables the integration and mapping of all business processes specific to our company, regardless of industry and business profile. At the same time, entering the SAP environment has a huge potential for us – it guarantees that regardless of our development plans, the system will be always adequate to the scale of the company’s operations,” Maja Korpalska, Sales Manager and Project Manager at Corundum.