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Dynamics AX in the cloud reshapes Affinity Apparel

Sluggish technology and a system that crashed multiple times a day were significant challenges that Affinity Apparel faced soon after a third party implemented Microsoft Dynamics AX ERP and e-commerce in the cloud. Customers were waiting, and orders needed to be filled, but the deployment was teetering on the verge of project failure. The company needed help from experts, and quickly.

Challenge

 

It wasn’t long after a third party deployed Dynamics AX 2012 and e-commerce in the Microsoft Cloud for Affinity Apparel, a leader in the uniform-manufacturing industry, that its systems became almost unusable. This was a time when there was not yet a Dynamics version in the cloud. Warehouse workers trying to access an order or print an invoice had to wait anywhere from 30 seconds to multiple minutes for a response. And website orders couldn’t be processed efficiently, if at all, for fulfillment once the transaction entered Dynamics AX. Other key issues involving purchase orders, invoicing, and warehouse functionality were inhibiting Affinity’s cash flow.

That’s when Affinity joined forces with Fusion Alliance to perform a technology rescue that not only stabilized the environment but truly transformed Affinity, from operations and customer service to its bottom line.

Solution

Our Fusion team’s first priority was to perform an assessment. Immediately after, we repaired critical architecture, increased capacities, and improved inefficient custom code. We performed additional fixes and process improvements, including migrating Affinity’s entire Dynamics AX ERP system from one Microsoft datacenter to another. This transition improved database performance instantly and ensured the interoperability of devices in Affinity’s warehouses and fulfillment centers.

We re-architected and configured the new environment to adhere to Microsoft best practices for Dynamics AX deployments. Customizations in the original implementation that caused over $1 million in orders to be hung up in the system were discovered and fixed.

We also removed thousands of dollars of unneeded costs that were generated by misconfigured transportation management.

After this initiative, Fusion took on the role of trusted partner and advisor, driving further innovations and efficiencies, particularly in the warehouse management and transportation management systems, and through customized websites deployed for Affinity’s e-commerce platforms. Today, Fusion continues to provide Affinity with Dynamics support.

With Fusion as a trusted partner for our implementation, we have been able to stabilize our IT architecture, optimize our AX warehouse module and enhance our website capabilities to move from an extended implementation to growing our business.

Steven Belongia, former CIO of Affinity Apparel

Outcomes

The impact of this initiative was tremendous. System performance improved by a factor of 10. Batch processes previously taking 40+ hours were reduced to 10 hours or less. Other performance factors within the cloud-based, end-user software increased individual productivity exponentially.

Overall, units per container were increased from 1.4 to 3.5, restoring freight revenue to pre-implementation levels. We also created a scalable system, with flexibility for growth. With all this in place, customers now had a seamless and engaging experience, which restored confidence.

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Restored customer confidence
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Increased units shipped from 3,000/day to 7,500/day
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Reduced downtime from 2.5 hrs/day to 75 days without AX-related outages

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