Zippo Manufacturing Co. is celebrating its 80thyear, and it has grown far and wide in that time, with its lighters now available in 160 countries. The company also owns W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery, an American maker of premium, hand-crafted knives. But Zippo recently found that its IT infrastructure “wasn’t keeping up,” and chose Microsoft Dynamics AX as a solution “that could support our future growth plans.”

“Zippo and W.R. Case were operating on separate enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, both of which were aging and had become heavily customized,” write Zippo’s James Barnes, manager of continuous improvement, and Chuk Roberts, director of information technology, in a post on the Microsoft Dynamics ERP "The Edge" Blog.

“As a result, it was impossible to implement common business processes and shared services across the organization.”

To accommodate growth, they wanted to unite both companies with a single enterprise resource planning system, and chose Microsoft Dynamics AX after reviewing other contenders.

“One of the areas the solution excelled was reporting,” they write. “The reporting tools within Microsoft Dynamics AX are both thorough and easy to use, which means we’ll be able to use them right out of the box. Having a single platform with a common reporting system is going to save a tremendous amount of time and effort.”

The flexible development architecture of Microsoft Dynamics AX also will let them personalize their ERP system “to satisfy specific requirements — without hampering our ability to maintain a solid upgrade path.” And, Microsoft Dynamics AX offers “the cutting-edge technology we needed to support our long-term growth.”

What’s more, they write, “Microsoft is continuing to invest in the solution at a rate that’s keeping pace with our future needs.”

To read Barnes’ and Roberts’ post, head over to the Microsoft Dynamics ERP "The Edge" Blog.

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Suzanne Choney
Microsoft News Center Staff