Estimated reading time: 3 minutes, 13 seconds

Customers today want customization. From startups to big brands, most businesses today are providing their customers with unique options to personalize their products. The increased demand for mass customization is changing the nature of many industries, while also providing a new way to extend product lines and increase sales.  

Founded in 1965, American Cutting Edge (ACE) is an Ohio-based, privately held, family-owned company that specializes in manufacturing industrial knives and razors. Over the years, the company grew due to our ability to manufacture custom products to fit our customers’ needs. The ability to offer custom industrial knife and blade design improved the customer experience and satisfaction and allowed American Cutting Edge to become a leading brand in all things knives and blades. In fact, a third of our sales today come from custom requests.

From the beginning, American Cutting Edge understood that customer experience is a reflection of a company’s internal processes. Just as customers demand an effortless experience from the products they purchase, they also expect the same in their business relationships. As the business continued to grow, we needed to ensure profitability, growth and foster a culture of continuous improvement.

Streamlining with a Modern Cloud Platform

During the process of reorganizing three separate businesses into one, the ACE management team decided it was time to streamline divisions in order to prevent internal siloes. By modernizing finance software with Sage 100cloud, ACE now has the ability to support finance, accounting, sales, purchasing, and warehouse operations seamlessly across multiple lines of business and place more focus on our customers. Sage has provided American Cutting Edge with significant business value through savings in time and resources.

Shortly after ACE implemented Sage 100, we attempted to have the software conform to our prior processes. However, this revealed how broken some existing processes were and didn’t make for the best use of the software. This required us to take a step back, re-evaluate our processes and use of the system, and reformulate some key processes. By doing so, we were able to establish best business practices that more effectively leveraged the capabilities of Sage 100cloud.

Improving Processes and Increasing Visibility

Through well-defined processes and a focus on data integrity, American Cutting Edge has been able to extend our visibility far beyond financials. For sales, having visibility into daily, weekly, and monthly performance metrics is critical. We set clear sales goals, and by using Sage more effectively, our teams can now publish a Daily Sales Report (DSR), which shows goals, bookings, shipments and margin by specific salespeople, giving a 360 view on our operations, from sales to the shipment of the product. This data is used to produce a monthly trend and pace report that gives the company a full view of revenue by salesperson.

Through the introduction of automated processes and well-defined best practices, the Sage platform provided us with real-time visibility, a strong data-driven culture and an increase in efficiency. By implementing Sage 100cloud at American Cutting Edge, we were able to:

  • • Reduce administrative personnel from seven full-time to three full-time and one part-time saving more than $100,000 annually
  • • Reduce excess inventory
  • • Reduce cash conversion cycle by nearly half

Sage 100cloud has allowed American Cutting Edge to increase its focus externally, enabling us to build a strategy centered around how we can make the customer experience more effortless. Customers today expect that treatment and if a company can deliver it, your business will be at a significant competitive advantage. In order to achieve this, organizations have to look inwards. By deploying the Sage 100cloud system more effectively, our organization has become more effective and efficient. Understanding the needs and challenges of their team members and the organization as a whole was critical to the improvements as was getting the users involved in the solution creation process.


 

Gregory Billhardt, President and COO at American Cutting Edge

Last modified on Monday, 13 July 2020
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