HL Plastics is one of the UK’s leading PVCu extrusion companies – a one stop buildings plastic provider – with a reputation for innovation, quality and responsiveness.
Based in Denby, Derbyshire, they date back to 1974 and currently employ nearly 500 staff. The premises consist of a purpose-built extrusion plant, warehouse and corporate Head Office, together with one of the biggest PVCu mixing plants in Europe.
HL Plastics had outgrown its existing software and wanted a solution that could help support future business plans. Data had become siloed with no ‘one true version’ of the truth. The company found that pools of data were being created by different departments through various manual processes and realised it needed to consolidate by using one system.
With no centralised software, HL were experiencing operational issues such as duplication of effort and misleading information due to conflicts between different systems. In addition to this, although it only had 10 users it was encountering problems with database corruption due to the underlying architecture at the time.
We were very cautious about going down a bespoke route and then being tied into a partner. We wanted to find the closest fit ‘out of the box’ and then tailor the last 5-10%. SAP is exactly what we wanted, we now have a single view of the company across logistics, finance and manufacturing.”John Haywood, IT manager at HL Plastics
SAP Business One is an ‘off the shelf’ product with over 55,000 implementations worldwide which was a key factor in HL selecting this leading ERP brand.
Having Frontline as a partner with significant resources and expertise proved invaluable.
“We had initially planned to carry out a phased approach, with finance and SOP going live initially, followed by manufacturing and stock control as a phase two,” explains John Haywood. “We worked closely with the Frontline project team to highlight the issue and identify a solution, which was implemented and provided a resolution within a couple of weeks”.
SAP Business One allows HL Plastics to respond quickly, with accurate, real-time business information. With the support of Business One, HL has continued to grow significantly with user numbers rising from 10 to 90 and turnover increasing to over £66m. During this period the organisation also launched a number of additional companies who are also benefiting from SAP Business One.
Improved efficiencies have also been a core result of the implementation.
“If we had carried on as we were, the headcount would have been significantly higher to process the same volume of work,” John Haywood explains.
In the short term, HL have plans to upgrade their current version of SAP Business One in order to benefit from the continued investment from SAP in this software. Looking to the future, HL Plastics has plans to improve efficiencies further by integrating its demand forecasting process into SAP Business One.