Lebus Upholstery manufacture quality commercial upholstered furniture from their custom built 250,000 square feet factory in Lincolnshire. They create and develop their own exclusive ranges to the latest trends in furnishing design and fabrics. Heavy investment in the latest computer technology improves both quality and efficiency.
Lebus operate in a “Fast Moving – Make To Order” manufacturing environment. With their management team highly focused on process improvements, it was identified that their business systems were holding back progress. Processes consisting of a bespoke manufacturing package alongside a second application for financial accounts and payroll and a variety of spreadsheets. It was agreed that a new ERP system would help support growth in a market of increasing product complexity and with high customer expectations on quality and delivery.
Lebus was looking for an integrated ERP system coupled with updated IT hardware infrastructure to provide a platform for future development. Manufacturing 1800 separate furniture items per week, and with the majority of the factory operatives on “Payments By Results” schemes, efficient product configuration, production planning and material control functionality were key requirements of the new system.
Gradient initially assisted Lebus with the selection of their new ERP system by understanding their processes, documenting their requirements, researching the market for suitable vendors and facilitating demonstrations. Gradient then went on to project manage the 9 month implementation with Lebus employees forming the project team and senior management as part of a steering committee.
Gradient carried out 21 interviews with key staff and system users from across the business in order fully understand their processes and to define exactly what Lebus needed from an ERP system to sustain and grow their business. A Statement Of Requirements document was written and issued to number of carefully selected system vendors.
The responses were analysed and discussed with the Project Team allowing them to come to a considered decision as to which vendors to shortlist for demonstrations. Vendor demonstrations were held at Lebus and a preferred vendor selected.
Gradient’s Project Manager worked closely with the vendor’s implementation consultants to ensure that the resources required during the project were available so as to keep the process moving forward and to plan.
Gradient helped in the data transfer process, coordinating the compilation of data from the various legacy systems, and the data validation.
Gradient’s expertise in the marketplace allowed Lebus to gain an insight into and a number of prospective ERP systems. Systems that could provide the functionality to support their business processes. Using Gradient Consulting’s logical and systematic specification and selection process allowed Lebus to arrive at a decision on which ERP software to invest in, and which ERP vendor they felt most comfortable working with.
Gradient Project Management reduced the resource overhead required to manage the implementation process and ensured that key tasks were identified and addressed at the right point in the process. Gradient Project Management helped Lebus maximise the vendor consultant’s time on site.
By working closely with the consultants, it was possible to ensure that tasks to be performed by the project team were completed and any data requirements were made ready between the vendor’s visits.
Lebus are now utilising the benefits of an integrated system. The integration of multiple legacy systems, databases and key spreadsheets, has eliminated re-keying, and multiple versions of the same data. The new system supports the increasing complexity of their products and a single database forms the foundation for analysis and developing greater business intelligence.
What the Client Says
“Lebus initially shortlisted three IT consultant companies, and it was clear from this process that Gradient had the range of expertise we required across specification, selection, project management and hardware. The work done to select a preferred solution and then project manage was key to a successful implementation, which will lead to improved business performance and control as well as open up opportunities for longer term continual improvement.”