Lim Kim Hai — IBS Enterprise ERP solution underpins a decade of growth at Tai Sin Electric Limited and Lim Kim Hai Electric Co. (S) Pte Ltd

Background

In 2001, Singapore-based Lim Kim Hai Electric was experiencing growing pains. Its existing business software was limiting its ability to control operations, improve service and evolve into a more diversified company. Communication among departments was weak. Disputes among colleagues and suppliers arose. Performance was negatively impacted due to inefficiencies and order fulfillment not always meeting customer needs. Order visibility was limited due to blind spots in the supply chain, and the need for a more comprehensive and insightful solution was apparent.

Newly hired IT Manager, Sharon Lim, recommended a new ERP system be installed, and the company issued a request for proposal. After reviewing several qualified providers, Lim Kim Hai selected IBS Enterprise, based on its comprehensive functionality out-of-the-box coupled with its flexibility to meet the balance of requirements with minimal modifications.

In 2003, Tai Sin Group, with offices and subsidiaries in Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei and Vietnam, acquired the company. Since then, Lim Kim Hai has grown substantially, with additional suppliers, products and customers being managed across corporate boundaries. In addition, ISO 9000 practices have been put in place. The Group realized that it was time to improve the system in order to cope with business expansion. IBS Enterprise had proven itself. Version 7 offered a host of rich, new features and the ability to upgrade without wholesale changes to the IT infrastructure. In 2010, Ms. Lim, as the Group IT manager of Tai Sin Group of Companies, and General Manager-Operations of Lim Kim Hai, led the upgrade project.

The Challenge

Today, the Group has diversified its scope as a cable manufacturer; it has become a regional electric solutions specialist. It provides manufacturing, distribution and technical services to support its customers in the industrial, infrastructure, commercial and residential sectors. The upgrade was installed on an IBM iSeries server and included system enhancements. 135 system users in various locations were affected. With only five people operating the IT department, the Group required a stable application environment to efficiently complete the upgrade.

In Response

Initially, and to help mitigate risk, Lim Kim Hai rolled out version 4 to 50 users at its Singapore location. The upgrade process was managed comfortably within the limits of the IT department. The end results proved to be widely welcomed by the users, and as they grew comfortable with the software, Ms. Lim’s team expanded the upgrade to version 7 for 135 users in Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam. According to Ms. Lim, «The combined stability of the software and hardware platform helped us to meet our upgrade goals despite limited IT staff.»

«Version 7’s presentation packs more onto each screen, so users can collect more data with a single click than in the previous version,» Ms. Lim said. «Anything our users need to make quick business decisions can be displayed in this version, so the upside in efficiency is huge.»

The Outcome

The Group has experienced many operational benefits, particularly in improving cost monitoring and collaboration among different departments, employees, supplier and customers. The data from all departments is well integrated and stored in one common database, which can be used to check the areas where cost can be controlled for higher profitability and further business growth. Real-time order status tracking extends this visibility and control through logistics, providing customers with accurate, timely delivery status for improvements in service with consequentially fewer disputes. In addition, employees are now well-versed with aligned processes, able to cope with increasing sales transaction volumes and maintaining customer loyalty and satisfaction.

The software comes in handy when dealing in high volumes, because of its real-time capabilities and configurable search function. Employees can also access the information anytime and anywhere. As a result, customers are getting more of what they want, and know when they want it. Tai Sin Group prides itself on delivery high standards in service quality, flexibility and responsiveness. It is now a recognized and respected business entity with immense Asia know-how.

«The software is very easy-to-use, and with a rich supply of current data available on screen at a moment's notice, our supply chain visibility and customer service has never been better,» said Ms. Lim. «Our employees are happier, and best of all, our bottom line has shown steady improvement, from one version to the next, with IBS.»

About Tai Sin Electric Limited

The Tai Sin Group is constantly growing and evolving with the dynamic electrical industry landscape. In striving for business excellence, it has consistently demonstrated good business proficiency, providing electrical products and services that enhance its competencies, remains agile and flexible, effectively delivering reliable, practical electric solutions for its customers. Today, Tai Sin Electric Limited and all its subsidiaries employ more than 1000 staff.

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Company profile

Name: Lim Kim Hai Electric

Region: Singapore

Operation: Distribution

Products: Electrical equipment and accessories such as instrumentation, wiring and safety and data products

Employees: 1000+

Website: www.limkimhai.com.sg

Issues

  • Broad product range
  • Complex distribution network
  • Major logistical challenge
  • Cope with business expansion
  • Limited people resources in IT dept

Solutions

Integrated IT solution for electrical equipment distribution with modules for:

  • Sales order management
  • Procurement
  • Inventory management
  • Warehouse management
  • Business intelligence
  • Financials

Capabilities

  • Supply chain visibility
  • Business growth accommodation
  • Enhanced logstics
  • Fast order processing
  • Enhanced order tracking

Value

  • Enhanced margins and profitability
  • Improved efficiency in business decision
  • Increased customer satisfaction
  • Reduced errors
  • Increased productivity
  • Increased control
  • Increased information flow
  • Enhanced customer and supplier relationships