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Case Studies
Murray Feiss
Output Management (Confirm)

Murray Feiss is a three-generation family owned and operated manufacturer of decorative lamps for the home. Until recently Murray Feiss sold primarily to other family owned retail shops. For twenty years, Murray Feiss used a simple computer system which actually recreated a "pencil and paper" system.

The computer would roughly approximate what the inventory purchases should be in order to keep shelves stocked for 60 days. The system worked well for Murray Feiss until the advent of home improvement superstores like Home Depot demanded automation from all of their vendors.

The Challenge
The biggest challenge to business today is speed. How fast a supplier can turn a customer's demand for a product into its supply is the key to success. Ten years ago when business was booming, Murray Feiss could safely work from large inventories. They kept a large number of products in stock at all times.

With high demand and an unlimited supply, there was little need for sophisticated calculation of how much inventory to keep in stock. As the economy became soft, however, retailers began working from their suppliers' inventories instead of their own. Murray Feiss wanted to be a supplier that could deliver the right products quickly and without errors.

Another challenge was that the current computer system did not account for the ever-increasing and rapidly-changing decorating trends. As people redecorate their homes, they also change the styles of home lighting. Murray Feiss needed to improve on methods of forecasting and sales projections in order to keep current with changing consumer tastes.

Strategy for Success
Murray Feiss invited a consulting firm to construct a Request for Proposal based on their business methods. Everything from order entry, invoicing and inventory control to accounts payable, receivable and general ledger was taken into account. Based on the RFP, Murray Feiss signed with Chicago-based enterprise-wide software provider System Software Associates (now SSAGlobal) and went live with their BPCS system in June of 1997.

However, Murray Feiss has unique needs that BPCS could not accommodate alone. With a multi-story facility with inventory on each floor, Murray Feiss needed some guarantee that labels and picking documents would be produced in the correct format and at the appropriate printing station. It was then decided to take BPCS one step further with the addition of the Output Management (Confirm) software to resolve the problem.

Benefits Realized
Murray Feiss' performance has improved dramatically since the implementation of Output Management (Confirm) and has allowed the company to push the limits of BPCS to produce functional in-house documents designed with customized labels, invoices, purchase orders, and packing slips.

Beyond the aesthetics of documents, Murray Feiss has in turn shortened turn-around time for entry, picking and shipment of orders. Prior to the installation of the new system, it took up to two weeks to complete an order from entry to shipping. Currently orders are being completed in three to four days with Output Management (Confirm).

Costs of order entry, production of documents, mailing envelopes and order acknowledgments have also dropped dramatically from approximately $15 to $18 per order to between $3 and $4.

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