Founded in 1983, Merley Paper Converters is the UK’s largest independent manufacturer of receipt paper rolls for marketing and security receipts. With a state-of-the-art design and print facility, Merley serve hundreds of independent and multiple retailers and boast over 3 billion customer transactions per year. In fact, if you’ve ever been handed a receipt for goods or services in the UK, chances are it was a Merley-produced Promeroll receipt, the country’s #1 printed receipt for goods and services.
As business peaked, Merley were keen on ramping up production and optimising their manufacturing process. It was a relatively small, but highly dynamic company, eager to exploit the benefits of new technology. But to move forward in a highly competitive industry, Merley knew they had to upgrade their management systems and with that, streamline their operations, reduce costs and resources. Pioneers in using EPoS (Point of Sale) receipt paper rolls as a promotional tool, prompted Merley to seek out a new ERP system that could handle operations from the head office to the shop floor. It was Andrea Lander, Administration Manager, who was instrumental in choosing Priority.
Merley were in a league all of their own, the true pioneers in electronic Point of Sale (ePOS), a crucial application for today’s retail businesses. ePOS manages checkout operations and is, in fact, what the customer sees when they make a transaction. For Merley’s receipt paper rolls, also used as a promotional marketing tool, they knew it was time to get an ERP system in-house – and fast. More importantly, they knew they needed a solution that would not only support but integrate their entire workflow, from the head office to the shop floor – and every department in between.
The biggest challenge for Merley was how to effectively integrate their standalone management systems and successfully transfer vast amounts of data from their old systems to a new one without corrupting any data. They were equally concerned about downtime during what could potentially be a long implementation period, bringing manufacturing to a standstill, risking valuable production time and causing late deliveries.
Merley’s management and IT teams did their homework and scanned the local market in search of a reliable ERP solution to support their unique manufacturing processes. After a lengthy search, Merley chose to go with Priority, who quickly proved to be the perfect fit. It was Merley’s Administration Manager, Andrea Lander, who was instrumental in selecting Priority. As Lander says, “It was pretty clear – we were sold on Priority from the start.” For manufacturers like Merley, Priority is the ideal ERP system, as it strongly focuses on the customer’s internal processes, taking into consideration every aspect of their business operations. Priority’s manufacturing module for Merley included native support for complete inventory management, dynamic replenishment, warehouse management, production planning and costing and financial accounting. For Merley, this was true added-value – delivering end products with shorter turnaround times and the ability to access real-time data on product specs, customer orders, inventory, scheduling, costs and distribution – all with the end customer in mind.
Merley appointed an internal project manager, the key to every successful implementation project. “Training our staff to use Priority was a smooth and seamless process,” recalls Dyson. “Most of our staff had never worked with an ERP system before, but Priority’s intuitive interface and customizable screens made learning and operating the system a breeze. “With Priority up and running, we can all manage and control our daily tasks, share information with other departments and we’re no longer so dependent on our IT team for support.” Tailored to meet Merley’s immediate needs, such as streamlining production planning and scheduling, Priority quickly proved to be a robust and reliable ERP manufacturing tool. “We’ve hardly touched on where we want to go, but we’ve already shown tremendous cost savings across the board. Since implementing Priority, we cut our admin spend by nearly 20%, brought about by a 20% reduction in manpower and that’s impressive in our industry! Processes that once required manual input are now 100% automated and we feel the difference when our products roll off the assembly line in record time,” said Dyson. Looking towards the future, on their list of must-haves, it was essential to Dyson that their ERP system be able to grow as their business grows. What reigned importantly was Priority’s system openness – its flexibility, agility and scalability, so that Merley could easily upgrade and expand the system down the road and customise it to meet their future needs.