Stila Cosmetics Selects Dynamics ERP Over Oracle And Sage

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Stila Cosmetics,  a global beauty brand headquartered in Glendale, Southern California, went live  on Dynamics GP. The entire project was implemented in less than 6 weeks by Microsoft Dynamics Inner Circle and Presidents club partner  Ignify. Stila was previously on a hosted version of Oracle eBusiness ERP. They were paying a very high fee in the range of $10,000 a month and wanting to lower the total cost of ownership of the ERP system. As its contract with Oracle came up for renewal, Stila started looking at other ERP alternatives and looked at the Microsoft Dynamics ERP platform as well as the Sage MAS 500 ERP from Sage Software. Stila evaluated the systems on cost, performance, usability and functional fit with its needs which were fairly complex. Stila required:

-          Robust financials, inventory management, order management and purchasing functionality

-          EDI Integration to accept orders from its retail customers such as Nordstroms, Macys, Sephora.

-          Ability to integrate the ERP with its 3PL warehouse facility to send it sales orders and purchase orders and receive back shipment notifications  and purchase order receipts so the inventory could be up-to-date.

-          Ability to bring in sales orders from their online direct to consumer retail store to Dynamics GP, allocate the orders with appropriate inventory and process them for shipment from Dynamics GP.

-          Sub-contractor management to be able to track inventory across multiple sub-contractors, reflect the increase in inventory value as it went through the different manufacturing processes and send material to sub-contractors who would do the labor and assembly work required and send the finished product to the 3PL warehouse for shipment to the customer.

Stila selected Microsoft Dynamics GP for its ability to meet all of the above requirements with out of the box functionality,  strong integration capability to meet its needs to interface with its 3PL web store and user-friendly look and feel that worked and felt like Microsoft outlook.

The project kick off was done in the early part of June.  Ignify brought together a team of a GP Functional consultant, a Dynamics GP integration  specialist who had expertise on eConnect and a Project Manager. A discovery was completed in a week after kick off using the accelerated Microsoft Dynamics Sure Step methodology to document the requirements for all major areas including Finance, Distribution, Purchasing and Manufacturing. Following the discovery, Ignify configured Dynamics GP to Stila's requirements in a week and walked the key Stila team members through conference room pilots showing how the system would work for them. The configuration was refined and documented in a functional specification so that Stila had system documentation for posterity. Ignify began two parallel streams: 1. data migration to bring in master data for customers, vendors, items and chart accounts and transaction history and 2. Integration between the 3PL and Dynamics GP using the native eConnect interface.  The data migration and integration were completed on  test environments before they were done on the production environment.  Based on inputs from the conference room pilot, a final Dynamics GP configuration master was created and loaded with the data for training. The Stila team was trained over a 1 week period and completed user acceptance testing the following week to work through any issues. Stila went live in the week after the July 4th holiday - a schedule that was well under 6 weeks from kick off to go-live.

According to Sandeep Walia, President of Ignify : "Stila had an incredibly tight schedule to go-live and fairly complex requirements with approximately 10 different types of transactions that needed to be integrated with different external systems. However the rich out of the box functionality that Dynamics GP brings to the table with its powerful integration capabilities made the project feasible at a very reasonable cost."

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