Dr. Miracle’s is a leader in the ethnic personal-care products industry. Facing growing popularity and increased growth, the company outgrew its Intuit QuickBooks accounting software and required a comprehensive enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution. Based on the recommendations of its software-consulting partner, MIBAR.net, Dr. Miracle’s chose Microsoft Dynamics GP in addition to a fully integrated electronic data interchange (EDI) solution from SPS Commerce. With the integrated EDI and ERP system in place, Dr. Miracle’s has eliminated the need for an outsourced EDI service, saving approximately U.S.$40,000 a year. The company has also gained comprehensive business insight, enhanced its control over operations, and improved customer relationships with retailers ranging from mass-merchant stores to local, single-proprietor beauty and barbershops.
|Out-of-the-box, Microsoft Dynamics GP helped us gain control over our raw materials, finished goods, and cost associated with blending our products.|
IT Manager, Dr. Miracle’s
Headquartered in New York City, Dr. Miracle’s
has 32 employees and is a leader in the ethnic personal-care products industry. Dr. Miracle’s currently markets more than 25 products under the Dr. Miracle's Original, Dr. Miracle's Hair Meds Collection, Dr. Miracle's Styling Meds Collection, Dr. Miracle's Skin Meds Collection, and Dr. Miracle’s Follicle Healer brands. Dr. Miracle’s products are available everywhere from mass-merchant retailers and drugstore chains to local, single-proprietor beauty and barbershops across the United States and throughout Europe and Africa.
By addressing niche hair-care needs, the Dr. Miracle’s brand has seen considerable success even when competing with industry giants like SoftSheen-Carson, Pro-Line, Procter & Gamble, and Colomer Group. Says Kate Goldberger, IT Manager for Dr. Miracle’s, “We have gained market share by offering innovative products critical to mass-market retailers and by incorporating grassroots marketing techniques that involve our merchandising team meeting and educating retailers on our brand.”
In 2004, Dr. Miracle’s began its operations and, as many small companies do, relied on Intuit QuickBooks for its accounting software. By the company’s fourth year in business, however, the growing popularity of its brand and resulting increase in company growth brought about the need for a full-fledged enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. Explains Goldberger, “We were growing in market share and, internally, we were transforming from an operation where the CEO managed almost every aspect of the business to a company where we would have management staff in a variety of roles. Because of this, we needed an ERP system that supported multiple roles with the appropriate level of security and that could scale and adapt with us as we continued to change.”
In addition to needing to support multiple roles, Dr. Miracle’s had also simply pushed the limits of QuickBooks. For a company of its size and with its volume of data, Dr. Miracle’s found that its accounting software was frequently slow and unresponsive. In addition, the software was unable to exceed 32,000 transactions and maintain a customer and vendor list beyond 10,000 items. As a result, employees needed to record transactions and customer and vendor information outside of QuickBooks, which limited business insight, introduced the risk of errors in recordkeeping, and complicated reporting. Reflecting on this situation, Goldberger says, “Not having the necessary level of control and visibility that we needed to manage the business negatively impacted our profits and prevented us from delivering the high-quality customer experience we aspired to. We wanted to deliver a customer experience where we could provide fast lead times and accurate fulfillment and quickly gain visibility into our brokers in the field so that we could compensate them based on commissions.”
The company’s lack of an integrated electronic data interchange (EDI) solution also proved to be a significant burden. Says Goldberger, “Major retailers require us to provide EDI, but with QuickBooks, we had to use a third-party EDI service provider and manually enter the information they sent us into the accounting software, further limiting our insight and our ability to be responsive to our major customers. In addition, even though the service lacked integration with our system, it was costing us approximately $50,000 a year.”Solution
After a thorough evaluation process, Dr. Miracle’s chose Microsoft Dynamics GP
for its new ERP system and deployed a fully integrated and hosted EDI solution from SPS Commerce
. To drive the implementation forward, Dr. Miracle’s worked with MIBAR.net
, an award-winning Microsoft Dynamics consulting firm based in New York City. Reflecting on the transition to the new system, Goldberger notes that, “Through training sessions, use of a fictional company based on our data, and because of the fact that two of us already had past experience with Microsoft Dynamics GP, we were able to get up to speed very quickly.”
|We went from paying an average of $4,000 a month to $715 a month for EDI, saving us roughly $40,000 a year. Integrated EDI and those related savings alone were reason enough to go with Microsoft Dynamics GP.|
IT Manager, Dr. Miracle’s
Currently, six employees at Dr. Miracle’s use the solution, including Goldberger, the inventory manager, financial manager, office manager, CFO, and CEO. For the CEO, the company has configured the home page of Microsoft Dynamics GP to display key sales figures and the performance of individual product lines, enabling a rapid glimpse into the business without the need to navigate menus or run reports. Other employees use the solution for its core accounting functionality, including general ledger, accounts payable, accounts receivable, and bank reconciliations, and for sales order processing, receivables management, purchase order processing, and payables management.
The company also uses the solution to oversee inventory management and manage its bills of materials. Consistent, efficient workflows defined in the ERP system support the company’s business processes, connecting people and activities. Following the implementation, Dr. Miracle’s experienced an immediate difference in the manageability of the business. Says Goldberger, “Out-of-the-box, Microsoft Dynamics GP helped us gain control over our raw materials, finished goods, and costs associated with blending our products.”
The benefits of the solution span well beyond just back-office operations, however. Workers at the company’s third-party warehouse, for example, can log on through a web portal hosted by SPS Commerce to view incoming orders and create Advance Ship Notices (ASNs) that the warehouse needs to send back to the retailers. Says Goldberger, “We were able to give the workers in our third-party warehouse access to the information they needed without having to open the ERP system to them. In addition, we secured the SPS Commerce web portal so that they only have access to modify and view what we want them to.”
In addition, by taking advantage of the EDI solution, which is available via a software-as-a-service model, Dr. Miracle’s was able to dramatically improve the efficiency and accuracy of orders that it received from major accounts. Sales orders are now automatically integrated into Microsoft Dynamics GP, eliminating the need to reenter any data. And when the company needs to generate an invoice, they can now simply press a button and the process is completed.
With Microsoft Dynamics GP in place, the company now supports 19,000 transactions in purchasing, 24,000 transactions in sales, 15,000 transactions in receiving, 300 vendors, and 160 customers. And from an IT perspective, Goldberger notes that, “In terms of systems administration for Microsoft Dynamics GP, it’s extremely easy, because we don’t actually have to make many changes to the system to get it to do what we need. The most difficult change we would need to make would be customizing a form.”
In the near future, Dr. Miracle’s will upgrade to Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 to take advantage of a host of enhancements. Says Goldberger, “The biggest benefit from Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 will be further integration with Microsoft Office that will enable employees to customize their reports in Microsoft Excel without having to turn to IT for help.”Benefits
With Microsoft Dynamics GP in place, Dr. Miracle’s benefits from a comprehensive ERP system that can support the growing business now and in the future. Now, the company takes advantage of a centralized source of company information, improving business insight, reporting, and customer relationships. And with fully integrated EDI, the company has eliminated the need for an outsourced EDI vendor, saving considerable expense every year.
Enhance Business Insight, Reporting, and Compensation Model
|With Microsoft Dynamics GP, we have easier access to data and can run customized reports in a much quicker, cleaner, and professional manner ….|
IT Manager, Dr. Miracle’s
Because Microsoft Dynamics GP can support multiple users and a growing transaction volume, Dr. Miracle’s can now centralize all its business information in a single ERP system. Because of this, the company has increased business insight and can more easily run key reports. Says Goldberger, “With Microsoft Dynamics GP, we have easier access to data and can run customized reports in a much quicker, cleaner, and professional manner and then send those reports to our clients, providing a more efficient, higher-quality service.”
Improvements to insight and reporting have also had a significant impact on the relationship of Dr. Miracle’s with its brokers. Says Goldberger, “For many of our customers, we sell through brokers and need to compensate those brokers based on commissions. By setting those brokers up as salespeople in Microsoft Dynamics GP, we can track invoices as they are sent to us via email and then easily compensate those brokers appropriately.”Improve Customer Relationships
From mass-merchant retailers and drugstore chains all the way to local, single-proprietor beauty and barbershops, Dr. Miracle’s has seen improvements in customer service. Says Goldberger, “With Microsoft Dynamics GP, we have been able to deliver exceptional customer service through decreased lead times and improved fulfillment accuracy. What’s more, we can maintain standards, such as EDI and reporting, for the mass-merchant retailers and drugstore chains. Save $40,000 Per Year on EDI Costs
Because Microsoft Dynamics GP integrated seamlessly with the EDI solution from SPS Commerce, Dr. Miracle’s has eliminated the need for a third-party EDI vendor. Taking into consideration the annual cost of the EDI service, this solution equates to a savings of approximately U.S.$40,000 a year. Says Goldberger, “We went from paying an average of $4,000 a month to $715 a month for EDI, saving us roughly $40,000 a year. Integrated EDI and those related savings alone were reason enough to go with Microsoft Dynamics GP.”Additional ResourcesMicrosoft Dynamics
Microsoft Dynamics is a line of integrated, adaptable business management solutions that enables you and your people to make business decisions with greater confidence. Microsoft Dynamics works like familiar Microsoft software such as Microsoft Office, which means less of a learning curve for your people, so they can get up and running quickly and focus on what’s most important. And because it is from Microsoft, it easily works with the systems that your company already has implemented. By automating and streamlining financial, customer relationship, and supply chain processes, Microsoft Dynamics brings together people, processes, and technologies, increasing the productivity and effectiveness of your business, and helping you drive business success.
For more information about Microsoft Dynamics, go to:www.microsoft.com/dynamicsFor More Information
For more information about Microsoft products and services, call the Microsoft Sales Information Center at (800) 426-9400. In Canada, call the Microsoft Canada Information Centre at (877) 568-2495. Customers in the United States and Canada who are deaf or hard-of-hearing can reach Microsoft text telephone (TTY/TDD) services at (800) 892-5234. Outside the 50 United States and Canada, please contact your local Microsoft subsidiary. To access information using the World Wide Web, go to:www.microsoft.comFor more information about Dr. Miracle’s products, visit the website at: www.drmiracles.comFor more information about MIBAR.net products and services, call (212) 869-9300 or visit the website at: www.mibar.net