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Sage MAS 500 ERP Supports Growth for Metrolina Greenhouses
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With 100 acres and more than 4 million square feet of heated greenhouse space, Metrolina
Greenhouses is the largest single-site greenhouse operation in the United States. Its plants
and flowers are shipped to major retailers up and down the Eastern Seaboard. The company
enjoys sustained revenue growth in large part because it reliably delivers the quality products
its customers have come to expect. To consistently meet demand in a dynamic industry its
warehouse operations use Sage MAS 500 ERP with Warehouse Automation.
A Solution for A Growing Enterprise
For years Sage MAS 90 ERP served the company well as its accounting and distribution
solution, but continued growth and expansion led it to look for a comprehensive and
sophisticated warehouse management solution. "We were building a new 100,000 square
foot warehouse to consolidate materials from several smaller warehouses on our site,"
explains Charles Childers, IT Director for Metrolina Greenhouses. "The timing was right to
incorporate true MRP (Materials Requirement Planning) procedures and implement RFID
(Radio Frequency Identification) for better planning and control."
The company evaluated Microsoft Dynamics NAV and SAP before deciding on Sage
MAS 500. "Sage MAS 500 had the strongest MRP module," Childers says. "Combine that
with our positive experiences with Sage MAS 90 and our Sage Software business partner
and the deal was sealed."
Accurately Plan for Demand
One of the most important objectives for Metrolina Greenhouses was to streamline its
production planning and inventory replenishment. Sage MAS 500 uses historical data and
advanced replenishment formulas to help the company easily understand current and
future material and distribution requirements. Single-screen planning provides up-to-date
item statistics, including on-hand quantities, current purchase orders, work orders, transfer
orders, and other elements that affect planning decisions.
MRP calculations generate suggested work orders for manufactured items, purchase orders
for raw materials, and requests to move material between locations. "It would be impossible
for us to keep on top of our enormous production volume without this tool," Childers says
Accurately Track Inventory Movement with RFID
As incoming items, such as plant pots, enter the warehouse,
they are scanned with a handheld reader that links to the
integrated Sage MAS 500 system, completing the purchase
order receipt. Next, an RFID tag is produced for each incoming
item using a portable RFID printer. "The automated receipt
process speeds the cycle and eliminates routine mistakes," says
Childers. "As the incoming items are scanned, they are validated
against the purchase order, ensuring we"re getting what we
ordered, in the right quantities."
Work order picking tickets are printed and sent to the warehouse
fioor, where workers pull the required items and scan the RFID
tag of each. "Nothing leaves the warehouse unscanned," says
Childers. "In an operation this large, it"s imperative that we keep
accurate track of our products and their movement, and this
system makes it possible."
Respond to Changing Conditions
Much of the company"s product is distributed to major retailers
and home improvement stores. These customers depend on
Metrolina Greenhouses for accurate replenishment. "There are no
second chances in this industry," explains Childers. "We need to
have our plants in our customers" hands for prime growing and
Meeting those expectations involves collecting and analyzing
each customer"s sales data on a daily or weekly basis. Metrolina
Greenhouses receives sales orders and revised order quantities
electronically in their integrated EDI (Electronic Data Interchange)
solution. The data is imported into the Sage MAS 500 MRP
module where it is compared to existing forecasts and current
orders. "We use the live sales data to refine our forecasts and
adjust our production accordingly," says Childers. "The fiexibility
to dynamically adjust dates and quantities without deleting and
reentering data saves us an enormous amount of time."
Before implementing its Sage MAS 500 solution, customer sales
data and order changes were entered into the software manually,
requiring a team of employees 10 to 12 hours a day during the
company"s busy seasons. "Without Sage MAS 500 we would
have had to double our staff to keep up with our increased sales
volume," Childers says. "We invested in tools that help our staff
work smarter and faster"and then go home to their families."
Weather conditions also play a critical role in production
forecasts, so the planning department fine-tunes its forecasts
and delivery schedules daily depending upon the growth rate
of its plants. "Our customers trust us to deliver what they need,
when they need it. It"s a large responsibility, but we earn that
trust," Childers adds.
Invest in the Ultimate Solution
The company"s sales have increased by millions of dollars a year
since the implementation"an increase Childers attributes to the
efficiencies promoted by Sage MAS 500. "For our industry, there
is no software out there that comes close to the functionality of
Sage MAS 500. We have the ultimate solution."
If you would like to learn more about Sage MAS 500 ERP, please
visit www.sagemas.com or call 1-800-854-3415 to speak with a