Consumer-packaged goods manufacturer
• Microsoft ® Windows NT ®
Users on System
MAS 200 Modules
- General Ledger
- Accounts Payable
- Accounts Receivable
- Bank Reconciliation
- Bill of Materials
- Custom Office
- e-Business Manager
- Purchase Order Processing
- Sales Order Processing
- Visual Integrator
- Inventory Management
|Colgin Smokes the Competition
with Best MAS 200
“Where there’s smoke, there’s flavor.”
That’s the slogan Colgin Companies have used since 1943 to market their
unique product, Colgin Liquid Smoke — offering savvy cooks a rich barbecue
taste and smell without the fuss of outdoor cooking. Shoppers in grocery
stores across the country can choose from four different flavors. Colgin
also offers two topical bug bite relief ointments, plus Next Generation,
a product for washing fresh fruits and vegetables.
Two years ago, Kerry Thornhill joined Colgin
as CEO and vice president of marketing with a clear, ambitious vision.
He wanted to transform the company’s perceived image in the retail trade
from a small mom-and-pop operation to a large, dynamic, manufacturing
firm. He dreamed of setting Colgin apart from the competition through
technological sophistication, and possibly even expanding to international
markets. This would require embracing the latest software available at
all levels, so that Colgin could deliver added value to its customers.
At the same time Thornhill hoped to improve
communications with retail channels, and offer all the services of a larger
firm, including 24-hour customer support and service, seven days a week.
With fewer than 20 employees, this was next to impossible using traditional
Colgin’s software consultants had an answer.
Since the company had been using Best MAS 200 to manage its financial
systems for some time and were very happy with its capabilities, it would
be easy to add the newly released e-Business Manager module. This would
enhance the existing system so it could serve as a business-to-business
gateway for e-commerce.
Today e-Business Manager is an important
part of operations at Colgin. Customers like Safeway and Albertson’s stores
can go online to check product prices or place orders. They can verify
the status of open orders and make changes virtually any time of the day
or night. It’s also possible for customers to confirm scheduled shipping
dates and view several years of past sales history, all with the click
of a mouse.
Why is direct access to shipping information
of interest? “Big grocery stores are using Just-in-Time inventory management
practices these days,” explains Thornhill. “Because they’re not maintaining
large quantities in stock, they’re always concerned about running out.
They really appreciate knowing exactly when an order will come in, so
they can plan accordingly."
Before the advent of e-Business Manager,
Colgin relied on brokers to transmit order and delivery information. All
that has changed. “The e-Business Manager module lets us communicate directly
with our customers, preventing the possibility of messages becoming garbled
or misunderstood,” says Thornhill. “Now we can do a much better job of
listening to what stores want, and be more responsive.”
A related benefit has been a reduction in
the time Colgin employees must spend on the telephone. Customers can go
on the Web for information instead of calling. This frees up staff members
to perform other tasks.
Thornhill likes the various business opportunities
that MAS 200 and the e-commerce module have created. “The e-Business Manager
module has opened doors for us across the board,” he says. “Once you start
installing the new technology, you suddenly realize how much more it’s
possible to do. For instance, now there are many more product lines we
can consider offering – because the automation process has freed up our
resources for additional sales and marketing efforts.”
Another pleasant surprise has been the customer’s
response. “We were concerned about the reception we’d get from both grocery
stores and brokers when we launched our e-commerce program,” comments
Thornhill. “So we sent out a letter explaining the system, providing each
customer with a proprietary password and login ID. As it turned out, virtually
everyone has been happy with our Web presence. Customers can see that
we’re dedicated to the future, and we’re a company that’s going somewhere.
The e-Business Manager module has been an excellent move for our competitive