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Keith Fenner

Universal Paper and Plastics needed to integrate and automate its production and supply processes to remain competitive in a tough economy. Sage ERP X3 provided the perfect fit with its advanced manufacturing functionality.

Universal Paper and Plastics prides itself in the production and supply of high quality printed napkins, bathroom tissue and household towels.  The company was established in 1950 by the Sher family and as a family owned business spanning across four generations, has dedicated itself to the development of innovative everyday products, that satisfy the creative mind and hygienic needs of the South African consumer market.

We needed an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution that could be customised to provide accurate real time information at the touch of a button, says Barry Sher, Managing Director of Universal Paper and Plastics.  “We found that solution in Sage ERP X3 which has greatly improved our forecasting capabilities as far as waste management, fixed asset management and stock control is concerned.  The solution has further optimised Material Requirements Planning (MRP) within Universal Paper and Plastics, allowing us to accurately plan our production and control our inventory levels during the business’ various manufacturing processes,” explains Sher.

Simplifying client management processes in addition to a vast improvement in the sales cycle, has effectively streamlined the entire sales process at Universal Paper and Plastics.  “Sage ERP X3 provides enough added detail that allows us to optimise the client’s purchasing experience with us.  The system also greatly aided our internal transactional and reporting processes.  The added ability to remotely authorise procurement processes from multi-levels within the organisation further underscores our continued dedication to superior service delivery,” says Sher.

Once the decision was made to go with Sage ERP X3, the management team at Universal Paper and Plastics gathered staff members and discussed the impending change in a group forum.  The implementation was welcomed by all, which laid the foundation for solid buy-in and support from all involved.

Universal Paper and Plastics placed its trust in Parity Software due to its proven track record of successful ERP implementations.  A comprehensive situational analysis formed the basis of the draft that outlined the functional specifications and business processes that the client required.  The Conversion of data from the legacy system to Sage ERP X3 started early in the implementation cycle, which took a mere five months.  Parity Software focused on implementing a manufacturing solution that was completely customised to accommodate the needs of Universal Paper and Plastics.

The most significant benefit of ERP software is its ability to streamline operations, especially from a manufacturing perspective, says Keith Fenner, Senior Vice President of Sales for Africa at Softline Accpac, part of the Sage Group plc.  “By automating business processes, Sage ERP X3 has aided Universal Paper and plastics to consolidate its day-to-day tasks, effectively improving the accuracy of information and accelerating data flow,” explains Fenner.  The company’s product distribution to its six depots across the country has also been streamlined, despite fluctuations in the market. 

“We are a manufacturer at heart and Sage ERP X3 has delivered on that, effectively changing our business.  Accurate forecasting has enabled us to plan to have the correct materials available at the right time.  We are now able to control our wastages and understand which products are making profits and the ones that are not, which is exactly what we wanted,” concludes Sher.

About Softline Accpac

Softline Accpac is a provider of business management solutions including financial, distribution, service management, retail, warehouse management, manufacturing and CRM to the mid-range market. Accpac solutions are delivered to 130 countries exclusively through a global network of solution providers, including over 150 throughout Africa. Softline Accpac's product line includes: Accpac ERP, Accpac CRM, Accpac RMS, Service Manager and Accpac Insight. Softline Accpac also distributes Sage SalesLogix, Sage Geode and Sage ERP X3, a full-service enterprise management software system for mid-to-large businesses. With a choice of languages, currencies, enterprises, locations and legislations, Sage ERP X3 offers an efficient, multi-company solution.

About Softline

Softline is a leading provider of accounting, payroll, CRM and ERP software solutions to small, medium and large sized companies. Founded in 1988 by Ivan Epstein, Alan Osrin and Steven Cohen, Softline was established during the formative years of the software industry and listed on the JSE Securities Exchange South Africa in February 1997. Softline expanded to establish a strong position within its area of focus in South Africa and Australia. Focused on the development of accounting, payroll, CRM and ERP software solutions, Softline has a 20 year track record as a market leader. The group has a broad range of products offering users a variety of software solutions to run their businesses efficiently. Softline’s leading brands include Softline Accpac, Softline Pastel (Accounting and Payroll) and Softline VIP. The combination of the group’s product offerings provide Softline customers with comprehensive, well-branded accounting, payroll, CRM and ERP software solutions. In November 2003, Softline was acquired by the Sage Group plc, a FTSE 100 company. The software group includes market-leading businesses throughout the United Kingdom, Europe, North America, South Africa and Australia, supplying business software to the small, medium and large sized business community. Softline has a solid track record of profitability and cash generation. The group delivers quality accounting, payroll, CRM and ERP software solutions that improve the efficiencies of businesses around the world.

About The Sage Group plc

The Sage Group plc is a leading global supplier of business management software and related products and services, principally for small to medium-sized enterprises. Formed in 1981, Sage was floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1989. Sage has 6.3 million customers and 13,400 employees worldwide. We operate in over 24 countries covering the UK, Europe, North America, South Africa, Australia, India and China. For further information please visit

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