NEWS AND VIEWS

Azzure IT helps CN Creative secure processes for growth

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MESL-Microwave-300x225Designer and manufacturer of e-cigarettes, CN Creative is enjoying impressive growth. A start-up in 2008, CN Creative is set to treble last year’s revenues to £6million, with an even more substantial increase planned for the next 12 months. Laying solid foundations for its future, CN Creative has implemented the Microsoft Dynamics NAV ERP system, delivered by Azzure IT, a Microsoft Gold Partner.

In 2011, a funding injection from venture capitalist’s Advent Life Sciences and a decision to develop a new product for which it needed approval from the Medicine and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, prompted CN Creative to swap its basic accounting package for a comprehensive ERP system to manage the processes of manufacturing, assembling and selling the products.

Choosing between two suppliers, it was the appeal of supplier Azzure IT that swung its decision to go with NAV: “Azzure really gave us the most confidence. It was their attitude and their honesty that clinched it,” explains CN Creative Finance Director, Tim Byrne.

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“What we have now are much stronger processes, and better control of those processes, which is vital when you’re growing at such a rate,” says Byrne. “We have a system that enables us to identify what stock we have and where it is at any given moment. Previously, in practice, we had no clear view of that. Now, we’re at a totally different level – we have all the elements to deliver a structured business environment.”

Smoking cessation is big business. In the UK alone, the nicotine replacement therapy market is worth £150 million and e-cigarettes is fast becoming £120 million market in its own right. With such huge demand, CN Creative witnessed dramatic growth in its first few years of existence. With a 50-strong workforce split between its manufacturing base at the bioscience facility within the University of Manchester and its sales and distribution site in Blackburn, CN Creative sells its e-cigarettes through the Intellicig and Vype brands, direct via a website, with Vype also available via retailers, large and small.

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Kicking off the implementation with the sales and finance modules, “Miracles were performed,” recalls Bryne. Instantly CN Creative had the sophisticated system to manage the sales process, plus the finance capability to deliver accurate and timely monthly management accounts.

Acquired by British American Tobacco in December 2012, CN Creative continued its next stage of system implementation. MRP functionality was installed at its manufacturing facility in Manchester. In October, CN Creative went live with the Dynamics CRM – and has undergone a full system upgrade from NAV 2009 to NAV 2013.

CN Creative now has the sophisticated future-proof systems to give it much needed control. The company can approach the predicted increase in UK sales revenues – not to mention global sales to 26 countries – with confidence: “We needed a system that was robust enough to handle that, and we’ve now got it.”

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