Interview with Carlos Cataño Trejos

Carlos Cataño Trejos

The Industria Licorera de Caldas is an industrial and commercial company that belongs to the Colombian state and specializes in the production and commercialization of alcoholic and spirits drinks with a portfolio composed of Rum, Brandy, Whiskey Cream. It has points of sale in the upper part of the Colombian territory and in 5 countries through an authorized dealer network.

What was the situation of the company before implementing Dynamics AX?

The current situation in our liquor industry before the ERP implementation was based on managing the information derived from its administrative, technical, commercial, and financial processes using obsolete software 20 years old, which supported its operations on indexed files and did not support proper decision making.

What objectives did you have by implementing Dynamics AX?

Fundamentally, with the implementation of the new Microsoft Dynamics AX information system we wanted to have modern IT mechanisms: cubes, business intelligence, consultations, quick answers to support the movement of the organization.

What were the needs of the company?

The needs of the Liquor Industry of Caldas related to information issues were basically three.

  • Integrity of information
  • Security of the information
  • Availability of information, which are the pillars of computer security

Fulfilling these three needs was required to be included into a single solution, and at that point, we decided after an arduous ERP selection process to choose Microsoft Dynamics AX.

What functionalities of the solution are related to your needs?

The functionalities of the solution with respect to the needs are basically: online information since we had been using an application, although modular, it was not integrated, that is, the information did not travel from one module to another. Many times, we had to generate interfaces manually, to reflect information from inventories to accounting or production to accounting. And manual processes are complicated.

Now things changed: the information is online and since you start an operation and enter, the information is reflected throughout the application, that is the interesting thing about these modern systems.

How has the implementation influenced the company in the short and long term?

The implementation has influenced in many situations, fundamentally in seeing the organization as a project. The Liquor of Caldas is an industrial, commercial but state company, and in this case, the first change was not just installing an application, it was installing an entire platform based on a methodology, based on a project. That forced us to think as a team, to review processes, to feel that things can be done better, to adopt better practices, that is, it forced us to structure ourselves better and that is why it was so demanding.

What benefits has the solution delivered to your company?

The benefits obtained by the Liquor Industry of Caldas with the implementation of the project were several.

At first, all items related to the public budget. The previous application did not have a public budget module, and the budget was simulated by accounting. Not now. Now we have an entire budget module, even attached to an application of a third party, by which we use all document management including purchasing and contracting.

So that was one of the fundamental benefits.

The other benefit is related to costs. Now we know, right from the moment you launch a production order, that you have for sure the costs of you are producing. This is good for the organization. In addition, the immediacy of reports, accounting closings. This has been very significant for our company Licorera de Caldas.

After implementation, tell us about your experience with Dynamics AX.

After the implementation of the Microsoft Dynamics AX platform, the experience has been truly satisfactory, especially seeing running the logic of the business on the new platform. It has been surprising times, all our effort of the early rises, afternoons, is already configured in a product, in something tangible, something that we did from a parameterization and it is truly comforting.

Tell us about your experience with AlfaPeople.

The experience with the integrator was very functional, easy, very enriching: Although they know a lot about implementation projects, we know a lot about liqueurs, so we made a match to achieve our objectives.

Which area of your business has benefited most and why?

Among the areas that have benefited most from the implementation, we could be talking about customer understanding, relationship with the customer, in this case with our distributors so that they can make their pre-orders, their orders, they can see what we have in warehouses, this is very meaningful to them. Then we have production, because we know immediately how much it costs us to produce whatever we are producing, so it has been very beneficial for our organization; and, finally, financial management, because it is an application in which the information is online, so the work done in the different modules results in accounting, and that translates into financial statements on time.

Could you quantify in cash your costs / expenses savings after implementing the solution?

The costs or the investment in the project, I would say that we have some expenses or fixed investment at the beginning, but so far, we are stabilizing the application and it would take us a while to know how much money we are going to save with the implementation.

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