As a manufacturer of educational toys, the biggest challenge for Safari was streamlining their processes between sales and customer care. Before SAP Business One was implemented, it would take 5-7 business days from order to shipment, now this has been reduced to 2-4 days, enabling Safari to work more efficiently and collaboratively and focus on the customer.
Order processing and shipping reduced by over 50%
Greater visibility across department
Scalability to support business growth
Collaboration and knowledge sharing from one integrated system
To deploy a modern ERP solution as the core of an integrated systems landscape that would support the continued expansion of the business.
Safari has been making learning fun for children around the globe since 1982, designing and manufacturing educational and play therapy toys that enable kids to learn and play together creatively. Inspired by wildlife and mythological creatures, every toy is meticulously researched and studied before being sculpted and hand-painted with care, making no two figures exactly alike. Today, Safari offers more than 1,000 Toys That Teach® for kids and collectors worldwide.
Based in Miami Lakes, FL, Safari Ltd® USA is the domestic distributor for the global toy business, selling to wholesale partners through a B2B portal and direct-to-consumer through its e-commerce site and the Shopify platform. The business also sells to zoos, museums, aquariums and parks, and high-end department stores.
By 2015, the business was starting to feel the limitations of its decades-old legacy software. As IT Director, Javier Silva explains, “We had a patchwork of systems but lacked the capabilities we needed as a modern business. We had no way to integrate orders, so our lead time for order processing was weeks rather than days, and we had no visibility into the movement of inventory between Hong Kong and Miami. It was also a challenge to provide banks and auditors with timely, accurate financial information. It meant we were relying on a lot of inefficient manual processes and spreadsheets, which sometimes led to delays in making business decisions.”
Having established the need to start researching ERP systems, the solution emerged through serendipity. “The owner of the business travels to Germany every year for the Nuremberg international toy fair, and used to pass by SAP’s headquarters en route,” recalls Javier. “He was under the impression that SAP was expensive and only for big companies, but he was nevertheless curious about what they might offer. So we did our due diligence and discovered SAP Business One. It was a good fit with our business model and processes, flexible and easy to adapt, and affordable. What’s more, SAP Business One would readily integrate with our WMS and CRM systems, Salesforce, and our shipping solution, as well as our B2C website and distributor portal.”
Safari went live with SAP Business One in early 2016, and started to see immediate benefits. According to Javier, “We now have a suite of management systems that can all talk to one another and our e-commerce platforms, and we quickly realized the speed and efficiency gains of automated, standardized business processes. We can easily track the movement of product as it travels from Hong Kong to Miami, and with more accurate forecasting, we’re able to make better purchasing decisions.”
“We’ve gained a lot of deep insight into our customers, and can now provide accurate financial reports and analytical insights for our management team, banks, and auditors in just a few clicks.” Thanks to electronic data interchange (EDI), SAP Business One is enabling smoother interactions with existing customers, and opening up new business opportunities. “One of our biggest customers sends an order every Sunday, and it used to take two to three weeks to process. Today, with SAP Business One, we can process that order within a day. That makes a huge difference to our relationship, and we’d love to eventually get all our customers on EDI. Until now, we have only been selling our own brand, but with EDI, we have the possibility to partner with other companies all over the world to distribute brands that complement the ethos of our own toys,” adds Javier.
Training has proved a powerful driver of SAP Business One’s adoption within Safari, and feeds in to continuous improvement. “When we first started the implementation, we set up a dedicated training room and established the Safari U knowledge base. Today, we’re up to 50 users. Modernization didn’t stop with go-live, either: we also formed an ERP team and four years on, we continue to meet weekly to build on what we’ve achieved already. We’ll sit down to look at where we can introduce more automation or process improvements, or what reports and dashboards will provide meaningful insights for our customers and stakeholders.”
Working with Sapphire has been a critical success factor in Safari’s implementation. Describing the relationship, Javier attests, “It’s absolutely vital to start with a good partner who’s committed to the success of your implementation and your wider business objectives. With Sapphire, we have a great working relationship based on trust, and the three key pillars of a proactive account manager who checks in with us regularly, great project managers, and highly knowledgeable consultants.”
“Post-implementation, we have a really responsive support team at our disposal twenty-four-seven. They’re quick to identify new or better ways of doing things, and bring ideas to the table that draw on their work with other companies, so we’ve been able to really leverage their experience,” concludes Javier.
One of our team will be in touch shortly.