WD-40 Oils the Gears of Success in Europe with regular Epicor ERP Upgrades through Aspera Solutions
“Aspera Solutions know how we work, are open about problems, always find solutions and really know their stuff. That’s why I don’t see WD-40’s relationship with Aspera breaking. We rely on them and it’s nice to have the assurance of their continued partnership through our Epicor ERP journey.” – Richard Capon, Business Systems Manager, WD-40
AT A GLANCE
- Industry: Consumer Goods
- HQ: San Diego, California with offices in Milton Keynes, UK
- Website: wd-40.com
- Optimise the Epicor ERP Solution
- Deliver on WD-40 Growth Strategy
- Increased business growth, order volumes and sales channels, without increasing headcount.
- Financial compliance across regions, with synchronised reporting capabilities.
- Automated order processing.
Founded in 1953 and headquartered in San Diego, with offices covering the Americas, Asia Pacific, and Europe, WD-40 is a globally renowned manufacturer of household products, namely its flagship lubricant, WD-40.
The UK headquarters in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, covers Europe, Middle East, Africa, and India with a mixture of regionally based offices and distribution partners throughout the regions. Today in Europe, WD-40 is a £100 million plus business, working across eight markets, accounting for around 40 percent of the company’s global business.
WD-40 & ASPERA SOLUTIONS – Partners since 2011
WD-40 first engaged Aspera Solutions in 2011 when it realised that the software it was relying on to track stock movement across regions was no longer agile enough to accommodate growth, and didn’t meet multi-currency or multilingual requirements.
To overcome these issues, Aspera Solutions implemented Epicor ERP to make sure that WD-40 was conducting business compliantly across regions, while additionally delivering the flexibility to incorporate country-specific functionality where needed.
Furthermore, to cater for WD40’s financial reporting requirements, extensive posting rule enhancements were implemented to synchronise financial data across all companies in EMEA.
According to Richard Capon, Business Systems Manager with WD-40, “Without doubt, the implementation of Epicor ERP has proved pivotal in helping WD-40’s business grow across Europe, without increasing headcount. It has helped open up sales channels, supported our product expansion, and supported sales growth within EMEA. It’s a great product, implemented by a really experienced team in Aspera Solutions”.
Ten years on, Epicor ERP’s impact on the business has expanded and grown from strength to strength.
As of March 2021, Aspera Solutions and WD-40 have worked together to:
- Implement Epicor ERP in 9 locations across Europe.
- Deliver substantial sales growth across EMEA, without increasing headcount.
- Configure a single instance of Epicor ERP to support consolidated financial reporting across all companies.
- Integrate Epicor with other critical business applications within WD-40.
- Implement a range of enhancements to Epicor ERP to handle requirements not addressed by standard product.
While delighted with these results, growth and continuous improvement are intrinsic within WD-40. The company continues to engage Aspera Solutions to support roll-outs into new locations throughout Europe when required. And it has embedded an annual upgrade process into its fiscal year to ensure that its Epicor ERP implementation is continuously up to date and fully supported.
KEEPING THE GEARS IN MOTION
For WD-40, the annual upgrade of its Epicor ERP system is a business imperative, delivering:
- Access to Epicor ERP’s latest technological improvements and security enhancements;
- Access to new functionality that drives efficiency and competitive advantage;
- Alignment with Epicor support;
- Upgrade and quality assurance on all customisations and interfaces;
- Periodic review of the Epicor environment and underlying infrastructure requirements; &
- Requirements for Sarbanes Oxley (SOX) compliance.
Speaking on the upgrades, Richard said, “WD-40 have been running Epicor ERP for a long time, so we’re very competent and in many regards self-sufficient, but we still rely on Aspera Solutions for our annual upgrade because they’ve proven time and time again that they’re experts in ERP implementation”.
Typically, the company stays a version behind the current Epicor ERP release so that it takes advantage of any bug fixes. And uses Aspera Solutions to run production environments, build new servers, handle conversions, run testing and troubleshoot the inevitable issues that arise from any upgrade project.
According to Richard, “every upgrade brings unique issues and key learnings but the working relationship we have with Aspera is very good. They know how we work, are open about problems, always find solutions and really know their stuff. That’s why I don’t see WD-40’s relationship with Aspera breaking. We rely on them and it’s nice to have the assurance of their continued partnership through our Epicor ERP journey.”
Naturally, when Covid-19 drove a transition to remote working, the 2020 upgrade project pivoted from an on-site upgrade to on-line.
SURPRISING RESULTS of COVID-19
When asked about the impact of Covid-19 on the project, Richard said, “Covid-19 has taught WD-40 a lot regarding what’s possible with a remote work force. We didn’t see any impact on your 2020 upgrade timeline or productivity when we went remote. In fact we’ve noticed that overall costs are down, revenues are up for both B2B and B2C, and online sales have skyrocketed”.
WD-40 has already purchased the Epicor Docstar document management solution to scan, capture, retrieve and store documents digitally from a central location and it’s also developing projects on Epicor Commerce Connect to increase online capability.
In parallel, the company is also scheduling its 2021 upgrade project and is deliberating on whether it will upgrade to 10.2.700 or jump to Epicor 11, which is due for release in June 2021.
“We’ve heard a lot of interesting things about Epicor 11 and are keen to see it in action. Elements like Kinetic and Application Studio certainly look promising so we’re keeping an open mind as to whether or not we’ll jump straight to E11 in our next upgrade. Whatever we choose, we’ll continue to partner with Aspera Solutions because we’ve grown to rely on their expertise, insight and council when it comes to Epicor ERP”.