One of the leading cigar manufacturing companies in Europe is Agio Cigars and its line of Royal Agio Cigars. The company distributes to over 100 countries worldwide and produces more than 750 million cigars each year. Headquartered in Duizel, Netherlands Agio Cigars employs more than 2,000 people thus making it the biggest cigar factory in Europe with an annual turnover of nearly 100 million euros.
Back in the 1960’s, Agio cigars started using automation in conjunction with its day to day business acumen. Says Ton Mens, CFO at Agio Cigars. “When I joined Agio Cigars, a project had just started to rebuild the existing custom-made software in a fourth-generation programming language. This was a troublesome and costly process. Because I had positive experiences with an integrated business solution in a previous position, I pleaded for a different approach.” Ton went on to say, “That was mainly custom-made software, developed in older technology. We had many disparate systems and applications in Excel,”
Because of this Agio cigars made a tough decision to cancel the custom software project and instead hired accounting firm Ernst & Young to help with picking an integrated ERP (enterprise resource planning) solution. It came down to three vendors and Agio cigars chose QAD Enterprise Applications. Recalls Mens, “We chose QAD because QAD was able to do the complete implementation. Also, QAD Enterprise Applications delivers a proven solution in the food industry, where the processes are similar to ours.” Mens adds, “QAD is focused on manufacturing, which makes its applications truly lean. This makes management easier.” “QAD Enterprise Applications offers so much functionality that a business advantage can readily be found in the software,” says Mens.
Using QAD Enterprise Applications proved to be a great move improving efficiencies in several areas including eliminating the extra work created by manual processes and with less information silos. “Not one faulty invoice leaves our office, and we have been able to reduce the number of full-time employees on activities such as order processing, production bookings and financial administration,” emphasizes Mens. “The insight into our activities has increased one thousand percent now that QAD is our central information backbone,” says Mens. “All employees have access to the same information. We are much more efficient. QAD is automatically tailored to specific issues, rules and regulations in our industry which enables us to operate more flexibly. Everything is stored in a uniform way and that’s an ideal situation.”
Company: Royal Agio Cigars
Location: Duizel, Netherlands
Industry: Consumer goods, tobacco Products
Cigars Brands: (Mehari’s, Panter, Balmoral and De Huifkar)
Solutions Utilized: QAD Enterprise Applications
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