“Using SYSPRO, we can develop and change sales commission structures on the fly to respond to strong sales in a given geographic area. We can then tie that data immediately to revised sales plans to build incentive-based sales programs for sales reps to better capitalize on that trend.”
– Vincent Chong – Sun Mountain Sports, IT Manager
Sun Mountain Sports is a golf industry pioneer that has revolutionized products like golf bags, performance outerwear, golf travel bags and push carts. Its mission: to provide the golfing industry’s best tools from the time of tee-off through an entire golf game. The company markets the well-known Eclipse brand of outerwear, as well as 15 other brands. Additionally, through its embroidery division, Sun Mountain Sports is the partner of choice of more than 600 colleges and high-schools.
Sun Mountain Sport has the patent for building the world’s first standing golf bags. This has propelled Sun Mountain into the spotlight, but the rapid growth made it increasingly difficult to handle the greater influx of orders, many of which are customizable. In 2000, it was time for the patchwork of smaller packaged and internally coded solutions to be replaced by a world-class ERP solution.
SYSPRO provides the front end capabilities for Sun Mountain Sports to manage voluminous levels of imports from China, most of which are shipped directly to the company’s U.S. warehouse and distribution operations. Customized sewing also occurs in Montana, supporting the local economy.
Once Sun Mountain Sports was installed on SYSPRO, things started to change rapidly for the better, according to Vincent Chong, Information Technology Manager, who has been with the company for 20 years. Chong identified three key areas where the company can clearly substantiate manpower savings, namely, financials, orders/ inventory and shipping.
Addressing Business Challenges
Sun Mountain Sports is a highly successful sporting industry goods company with a razor sharp focus on golfers and the equipment golfers need to play the game. With operations ranging from offshore manufacturing, distribution, inventory, financials, sales and return management, Sun Mountain requires a very sophisticated, multi-integrated technology backbone to keep the company on track and profitable. The company has approximately 130 employees and 35 independent representative firms in the U.S. and Canada.
Prior to installing SYSPRO in 2000, it became clear to company management that the patchwork of smaller packaged technology solutions were becoming increasingly inefficient and costly as the company grew. Sales order entry systems were corrupted regularly. Available inventory was not integrated at the point of sales, so customers could experience delays and backlogs after ordering. Even when product was available to ship, a lack of automated reporting made it difficult to stay on top of freight costs and invoicing needs.
Unnecessary manual processes, no automated integration of systems, and a lack of timely visibility into any of the company’s key performance indicators was holding Sun Mountain Sports back and sapping precious bottom-line profits.
Improvements by Functional Area
- Automated Sales Order to General Ledger Postings
“We saw a manpower savings of three hours a day by not having to manually post sales orders via Excel to the general ledger, so that was the first place we noted savings,” Chong said.
- Bill-to-Promise Order Visibility/Accuracy
“SYSPRO gives us instant visibility into what’s available at any point in time in our warehouse for shipping, so that when customers place an order we can match up
the promised shipping date and the billing date,” Chong explains. “So, for example if a customer wants 10 C130 golf bags by a certain date – we know if we can or can’t deliver by that date. This is both an efficiency tool AND a customer satisfaction tool. ”
- Better Shipping Management
As one of Montana’s largest shippers by volume, distribution of product to customers has a key impact
on Sun Mountain Sports’ bottom line. “We use Federal Express Ship Manager and it used to be a manual process to write details of the shipping information back into our IT systems,” explains Chong. “With SYSPRO, shipping information is entered once for freight lines used and cost of each order.”
Quantifying the Benefits
Over an 18 year period, Sun Mountain Sports can estimate a substantial workforce cost savings through improved customer satisfaction, plus more targeted sales efforts. “We have a wide variety of reports tied to sales, inventory levels, financials and other areas, so that we can spot trends faster and make time-sensitive business decisions to leverage market activities,” Chong said. “Using SYSPRO, we can develop and change sales commission structures on the fly to respond to strong sales in a given geographic area. We can then tie that data immediately to revised sales plans to build incentive-based sales programs for sales reps to better capitalize on that trend.
“A great example here is that we incented our reps to focus on retail pro shops adjacent to golf courses or driving ranges – called green grass sales – which have a higher profit margin. By better spotting of green grass trends with our SYSPRO technology and boosting sales commissions by 2% in those areas accordingly, we’ve grown our green grass sales by 5-10%.”
Using SYSPRO ERP, Sun Mountain Sports estimates it has saved thousands of worker hours based on new efficiencies in the company’s sales order, inventory management, and shipping management. Additionally, new visibility into key sales data and trends has helped Sun Mountain Sports to better target its most profitable market niches by product and geographies, and accordingly adjust sales commission plans quickly and easily.