“ Dynamics AX has really helped us improve our business processes.”
Yoshitomo Sezai – Mikuni American Corporation
Mikuni American Corporation was founded in 1968 as a subsidiary of Japan-based Mikuni Corporation, one of the leading global manufacturers of carburetors and other engine products. Mikuni American Corporation was originally established to purchase aerospace components in the United States and export them to Japan, where much of the aerospace industry’s manufacturing is performed. Over time, Mikuni American Corporation expanded, first by importing carburetors and other engine related products from Japan into the U.S., and then by establishing manufacturing operations in Reynosa, Mexico.
Today, Mikuni American Corporation has roughly 200 employees, and their organization is comprised of two core lines of business. Their Engine division manufactures and distributes products primarily for use in the Recreational Machinery and Powersports industries. Most of the well-known manufacturers use Mikuni’s carburetors and engine components in the production of their motorcycles, personal water crafts, and ATV’s. The second core business is their Aerospace division, which exports materials and components to Japan for use in the manufacturing of products for the aerospace and defense industries.
Mikuni American Corporation had been using a custom developed software application to manage their business. However, as the organization grew in size and complexity, they began to encounter significant challenges.
“Our previous technology environment was very difficult to manage”, commented Yoshitomo Sezai, Assistant Manager of Mikuni American Corporation. “Our manufacturing plant in Mexico was on a separate system, and even within our local operations we had several disconnected systems, so there were a lot of redundant and manual processes in place. We also had a difficult time keeping up with advances in technology. So as our business grew, we knew that we could no longer be efficient with those systems.”
One particular area of difficulty for Mikuni American Corporation was the management of their Aerospace business. “Our Aerospace business is very unique”, continued Mr. Sezai. “In that division, we don’t generate revenue in the traditional manner of processing a sales order. Instead, we earn commissions based on rebates, discounts, and other unconventional sources. With our old system, we had to do a lot of manual work to track those transactions.”
In addition, Mikuni American Corporation had been receiving requests from their customers to implement technology to help streamline their trading activities. These included requests to implement EDI for electronically transmitting data with their customers, as well as placing barcode labels on their products. These requests were very difficult to fulfill with their existing systems.
Looking to the future, Mikuni American Corporation realized that they must invest in a new business management platform that could help them more efficiently manage their business and provide the entire organization with a unified view of their data.
Mikuni American Corporation began a project to evaluate ERP software vendors, bringing in an outside consulting team to help them with their selection. After considering several options, Mikuni American Corporation chose Microsoft and their Dynamics AX ERP system.
“After evaluating several vendors, we came to the conclusion that Dynamics AX was the best fit for our business”, says Mr. Sezai. “The Microsoft platform fit well into our overall strategy, and the fact that Dynamics AX was owned by Microsoft made us feel comfortable that it was a viable long-term solution.”
Dynamics AX is an adaptable, easy-to-use enterprise software system that is capable of running Mikuni American Corporation’s entire business. Dynamics AX now runs the company’s Financial Management, Manufacturing, Distribution and Warehousing operations, all within a single application and database.
Mikuni American Corporation turned to Greenlight BTS, a leading Microsoft Dynamics AX partner, for the implementation and support of their Dynamics AX system.
“With only two full-time equivalents, we don’t have a large IT staff”, explains Mr. Sezai, “so it was critical that we partner with an organization who we felt could provide us with a high level of support. Greenlight BTS had the breadth of expertise to do just that.”
The solution provided by Dynamics AX has helped Mikuni American Corporation make widespread improvements to their business. First, by bringing their entire organization onto a single system, all Mikuni American Corporation’s employees now had a real-time view of what was happening across their business. “Before Dynamics AX we had multiple systems, so there was a lot of manual interaction between our sales and distribution personnel”, stated Mr. Sezai. “Now, everyone is on the same system, so we’ve gained back a lot of time since we don’t have to constantly re-enter data.”
Another major benefit from implementing Dynamics AX was in bringing Mikuni American Corporation’s manufacturing operations into view. Prior to implementing Dynamics AX, there was no visibility of the production activities to the rest of the organization, meaning that the status of production and shipping information was not available to sales and customer service personnel. This required a lot of manual inquiries, and delayed them from providing information back to their customers. With Dynamics AX, everyone has real-time visibility of the company’s production and shipping information.
Dynamics AX has also made a significant improvement in the management of the company’s Aerospace business. With their previous system, it took an employee roughly 3 days each month to manually calculate and reconcile their various revenue sources. When they implemented Dynamics AX, Mikuni American Corporation also customized the system to help automate the tracking of their revenue activities. What used to take three days to reconcile now takes less than three hours.
Finally, integrated tools that are available for Dynamics AX have enabled Mikuni American Corporation to more easily respond to their customer’s requests for EDI, barcode labeling, and other customer compliance initiatives. This flexibility has had a positive impact on their customer service levels.
Overall, Dynamics AX has really helped us improve our business processes”, says Mr. Sezai. “The team from Greenlight BTS was great. They really knew how to listen to our people, which was the key to providing good recommendations. And they didn’t just bring deep technical skills to the project, but they brought a lot of expertise in accounting and other business functions that helped us to implement the right solution.”
“After evaluating several vendors, we came to the conclusion that Dynamics AX was the best fit for our business. The Microsoft platform fit well into our overall strategy, and the fact that Dynamics AX was owned by Microsoft made us feel comfortable that it was a viable long-term solution.”