Headquartered in Whitewater, Wisconsin, The Coburn Company (Coburn) is one of the most widely known manufacturers and distributors of wholesale livestock supplies and milking equipment in the world. Founded in 1925, the company was the first in the U.S. to mass-produce electric fence. Today, its many industry products are found in dairy equipment and farm supply stores throughout the country and in 60 countries around the globe.
Coburn had outgrown its old legacy system in both capabilities and functionality. Particularly challenging was getting data in and out of the system. For example, while the company received dealer orders through its website, it was necessary to perform batch processing and then manually re-enter orders into its system. Reporting was also cumbersome. Clearly a new ERP solution was required to meet Coburn’s overall business needs, improve processes, and minimize inefficiencies. At the same time, the company was quite satisfied with and wanted to keep intact its external website provider, freight system, and electronic data interchange (EDI).
Recognizing the importance of a collaborative relationship with the Coburn team, Wipfli worked to wholly involve the client, making them a strategic part of implementation. The Coburn team was invited to attend Wipfli’s annual Microsoft Dynamics® AX user group meeting to glean real-world insights from other users, interact with Wipfli’s Microsoft Dynamics® AX implementation team, and explore the solution further. With a solid understanding of Coburn’s business and processes, Wipfli developed a clear plan to integrate Coburn’s current provider services with a new ERP system and resolve the company’s issues. Connectivity was ensured while modifications were minimized, allowing Coburn to leverage standard software as much as possible. Additional implementation activities included:
- Connecting the company’s website to the ERP to support real-time orders.
- Connecting all processes into a unified system.
- Creating secure portal access for external personnel and dealers and streamlining administration.
- Performing process modeling using client scenarios to ensure ultimate performance.
- Examining pricing schemas and proving their continued performance, foregoing the need for modifications.
Coburn now has a powerful and intuitive system that delivers a familiar user experience. As a result, Coburn’s various business solutions are integrated into one easy-to-use solution. Data access is now simplified, and the management of products and services across the business are centralized, creating a more productive and efficient organization. In addition, Coburn receives insights into operations and real-time information to drive effective decision making.