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Apprise ERP Boosts Response Times and Relationships for Trish McEvoy

2018 – Trish McEvoy Ltd. is a leading designer, manufacturer and distributor of fine cosmetic products, distributing its make-up line through large department stores in the USA and the UK such as Saks, Nordstrom and Nieman Marcus, as well as through smaller, boutique retail establishments.

Over the past 10 years, as Trish McEvoy significantly grew its product-line presence at larger department stores, existing company systems became strained, and new process-compliance requirements developed. Manufacturing, which is outsourced and often done overseas, required tighter management of forecasting and planning to ensure that the right products would be manufactured and made available at the right time.

Process Improvement & Control Leads to Growth

Trish McEvoy needed a system that could help take the company to the next level of growth. With revenues increasing, tracking sales-performance and profitability – by product and customer – was becoming more critical. Its existing financial system was unable to handle the accurate inventory forecasting, planning and management necessary to ensure products were on-order and on-hand to meet customer demands, and to avoid costly out-of-stock situations. The increase in department-store business was driving the need for EDI compliance in order to do business with these large accounts and avoid excessive chargebacks.

By implementing a new enterprise-wide system, Trish McEvoy sought to increase visibility into sales- and profitability-performance, as well as inventory status. By using a distribution-focussed system, Trish McEvoy hoped to improve inventory planning and availability. By enabling EDI, they also hoped to streamline transaction processing and meet compliance requirements in order to reduce chargebacks associated with vendor violations. Through a business associate, Trish McEvoy was introduced to a consultant who helped evaluate three potential systems. Ultimately, the Apprise ERP system was selected due to its enterprise-wide distribution focus, and its ability to meet Trish McEvoy’s needs.

“The Apprise solution presented by Aptean had all the functionality needed to meet the requirements of our  distribution environment,” said Rob Leonardo, Chief Financial Officer at Trish McEvoy. “The Apprise team understood our business and needs, and we felt confident that the system would address our business requirements.” The Apprise ERP solution enabled Trish McEvoy to integrate all aspects of its operations, including sales, customer service, purchasing, inventory planning and management, EDI compliance, shipping, invoicing, and financial management. Apprise’s comprehensive executive information system provides realtime insight into business performance, both at the product and customer level, for improved sales and profitability analysis, and better business control.

Tools Boost Response Times & Relationships

Within the first 18 months of implementing Apprise ERP, Trish McEvoy experienced dramatic improvements in its business operations. And, several years later, it remains very pleased with the system’s ability to meet its current and evolving needs. Sophisticated distribution resource planning tools enable Trish McEvoy to see, analyse, and plan for product demands. With product lead times as long as 5-6 months, and products that go in or out of demand very quickly based on consumer  preferences and seasonality, proper planning and forecasting is critical.

“Purchasing is largely driven by customer input and sell-through data,” said Leonardo. “Through improved inventory forecasting and planning that integrates customer buying trends and other customer driven inputs, we are better able to  match inventory availability with customer demands and reduce out-of-stock situations.” Improved on-time product delivery has earned Trish McEvoy the reputation with retailers for being the fastest-shipping supplier in the cosmetic industry.

Integration with a third-party EDI transaction network also enabled Trish McEvoy to better meet department-store EDI compliance requirements. The system’s ability to track and refute chargebacks, based on business rules, has improved chargeback visibility and recovery. “We have reduced chargebacks by 98% since implementing Apprise ERP, and those are dollars returned directly to our bottom line,” said Steve Schweighofer, director of distribution at Trish McEvoy. “Retailers look for ‘soft targets’ with their chargeback processes and, once we had the evidence to dispute their claims, they stopped hitting us,” continued Schweighofer.

The enterprise-wide system has greatly improved Trish McEvoy’s visibility into business performance. “We don’t take physical inventory any more, because with Apprise we run at 99.9% accuracy,” said Schweighofer. Customer shipment status, sell-through data, product and customer sales and profitability, and more are all visible in real-time. “Previously, we would constantly receive calls from retailers about order status; but, now we never get any calls,” continued Schweighofer. In addition, the use of integrated wireless handheld devices through Apprise Wireless Warehouse has enabled the company to gain efficiencies in warehouse picking and replenishment.

With significant historical data now in the system, daily, weekly, and year-on-year comparisons and trends are immediately available for business performance analysis and to aid in future planning. Trish McEvoy looks forward to continuing its relationship with Aptean and the Apprise team.