Only cloud capabilities can keep up
Sep 20 2020
Distribution demands agility, integration and efficiency and Cellnet has evolved its business model over 25 years around these qualities. An on-premise ERP simply could not keep up. ComActivity’s expertise in distribution enabled Cellnet to transition seamlessly to Infor CloudSuite. A best practice, cloud-based multi-tenancy digital platform is essential to keep up with the market.
As a leading distributor of lifestyle technology and accessories, Cellnet Group Ltd is all about staying a step ahead. Discovering the next product to capture the imagination of today’s savvy consumers, and getting it to retailers efficiently and effectively is the organisation’s bread and butter.
Its customers stay with it over the decades because of the reach and responsiveness it brings to their trading relationship. Absolute reliability, combined with exceptional service is the heart of this Australian-owned and operated company.
Cellnet’s leadership could see that digital transformation – and the new world of productivity, efficiency and collaboration technology it makes available – are essential to their business. These innovations are all founded on a modern, flexible ERP system – while Cellnet’s longstanding existing system had been modified so heavily that it could no longer be integrated with new applications.
“Supply chain efficiency and transparency is critical to distribution and this demands flexibility,” said Brett Perkins, Cellnet’s Chief Operating Officer. “Our old ERP was not built for integrating with third party logistics providers such as warehouses, and it could not easily access the information we needed from our freight forwarders to tell us where our product was at any time. We knew we needed the capabilities that only come with the cloud.”
“Embracing the vast potential of the cloud has been an important step for our business and as a medium sized enterprise there are limits to our inhouse technical capacity, so we rely on ComActivity’s experience and expertise,” said Perkins.
“We knew unequivocally that we wanted to move to the industry’s best practice ERP and we selected Infor® CloudSuite™ Distribution Enterprise on that basis. Built on Amazon Web Services (AWS) Infor CloudSuite means we will always have the latest technology at our fingertips without the burden of inhouse infrastructure.”
With a narrow window in Cellnet’s busy trading year to implement a new ERP, it was essential that the project was completed rapidly and without a hitch, according to Perkins. “It was nine months from contract sign-off to go live, which in anyone’s books is fairly aggressive. We went live on the target day, with zero business interruption. ComActivity’s understanding of our business was integral to the success of this project.”
“At ComActivity we have been working with the distribution industry for decades, yet we still get a kick from seeing a business like Cellnet shed an outdated, heavily modified and monolithic system and move up to the cloud,” said ComActivity’s Managing Director Jason Levick. “Embracing digital transformation gives Cellnet unfettered access to all the power offered by cutting edge technology, in an interactive and contextual environment.”
Moving with the times
Cellnet’s rapidly evolving business environment demanded that it accelerate and prioritise its business process evolution, and ensure its technology can support digital transformation. ComActivity’s experience and expertise in the distribution industry enabled Cellnet to move to Infor CloudSuite Distribution without any disruption to its business.
“Distribution is a tough industry with very tight margins, so we definitely look to ComActivity for ways to add value for our business and our customers,” said Perkins. “A cloud-based software-as-a-service ERP and expanding our digital footprint is critical to achieving this.
“The world around us is moving rapidly and CloudSuite gives us improved supply chain velocity, and a much better picture of our state of play at any one time. Importantly, it is taking us to a true multi-tenancy environment where our technology will be continually improved. We now have the agile, responsive and dynamic ERP we need to innovate and drive competitive differentiation.”
Integration and collaboration
Integrating demand planning, forecasting, shipping management and warehousing to keep up with market expectations required an ERP that was more robust and flexible than ever.
“With the arrival of Amazon in Australia, a cloud-based solution is the only way to remain in the game. Plus we no longer wanted to operate inhouse warehousing and so the capacity to integrate our systems seamlessly with third party providers became critical. ComActivity understands the pressures we face and knew the solution we needed.”
Bottom line benefits
Cellnet is no longer reliant on its on-premise infrastructure and hardware, and can reap the benefits of reduced downtime, reduced capital costs and no more bills for maintaining hardware or software. “Because of the size of our business, even the savings on electricity from powering and cooling our hardware are significant,” said Perkins.
“We are seeing month-on-month productivity improvements in nearly all areas of the business. Thanks to this smooth and efficient transformation of our key business systems, we’re now free to leverage the full range of the 21st century digital toolkit, from social collaboration apps, digital document management and 3PL interfaces – with no roadblocks to stand in our way.”
Company: Cellnet Group Limited
Size: 100+ employees in across Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and China