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Since its inception in 1984, Apico has gone from strength to strength, earning a loyal customer base of UK and European business partners, who come to Apico first because of its excellent customer service, reliability and flexibility. Moreover, despite the recent recession, Apico has managed to continue its impressive growth throughout both tough economic times and most recently, months where flooding and bad weather has periodically prevented motor racing in parts of the UK altogether.
Founded 30 years ago by three times world trials champion Yrjo Vesterinen, Apico is a family run business that has a reputation for quality of product and service, aligned with a strong dedication to motor racing.
Five years ago, Apico was using a different business system, which albeit well known in the motor racing industry, was bespoke and difficult to develop, as Apico’s Purchasing Manager Anna Lena Eriksson explains: “We always felt like the guinea pigs with the old system. We were at a point where we had all had enough of not being able to link different processes together and decided to look for something that was Windows-based, more globally accessible and most importantly, something that was already tried and tested by other wholesale and distribution businesses.”
Anna’s initial thoughts on SAP Business One were that it looked smart and easy to use. Adamant to have a Windows-based system that integrated with Microsoft applications such as Excel, the team at Apico were really impressed with the functionality SAP Business One offered as standard: “The first meeting with Signum blew us away,” says Anna, “We were amazed by what was possible – from statistics to reports; being able to drill down into orders, invoicing and business partner information was pretty amazing for us.”
Speaking about the difference in the level of customer service that Apico is now able to offer, Anna says: “The old system couldn’t keep track of stock or process orders at any speed, so we could become cornered and wouldn’t be able to answer questions about specific part numbers or if something had been back ordered. Now, we can confidently rely on the new system for this information and use it to assist our customers with running their businesses.” Elaborating on how the ordering process works to Apico customers’ benefit, Anna expands: “Since the recession, our customers can’t afford to hold as much stock in their shops. To make things easier for them, if a customer calls us at 5pm to make an order for delivery the next morning, we can do this ready for our pick-up at 5.30pm, because the system is able to process orders quickly enough for us to make it happen. Before, we had a cut-off of 3pm for next day delivery, but since implementing SAP Business One we’ve become a well-oiled machine and can be far more flexible.”
Previously, everything was manually input and nothing was integrated, so stock figures were never reliable. The difference with having business processes integrated in one system means that Apico is now able to run sales and purchasing reports and easily compare figures from previous periods. “It’s a huge benefit,” Anna describes, “From a seasonality perspective we can now plan and see what’s in stock. We are always easily able to see where we are, where we should be and plan where we want to go.
“Using a reliable system makes our customers see us as more reliable too. Being able to plan and keep things in stock means that we can offer a better service. This, alongside being able to take orders up until 5pm has certainly helped with our profitability. After all, if we couldn’t do it, our customers would go to our competition.
“Choosing SAP Business One from Signum Solutions is a decision that Apico has never regretted: “I would definitely recommend SAP and Signum to other wholesale businesses,” says Anna, “Our partnership with Signum is great and the system works extremely well for wholesale, in particular the stock holding functionality is brilliant.”
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