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Empire Candle - the candle and fragrance manufacturer

Customer story

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Customer

Empire Candle
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Industry

Manufacturing

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Location

Kansas City, Missouri

Empire Candle is a Kansas City–based candle and fragrance company founded in 1950.

Today, Empire Candle not only thrives, but it has transformed from a simple candle company to one that manufactures a variety of home fragrance products and accessories. With the help of Sage and business partner NexTec Group, Empire Candle has seen improved efficiencies leading to triple-digit growth.
Empire Candle
“Our inventory variances were detrimental to the profitability of the business. And it wasn’t like product was evaporating. We weren’t losing raw materials. We were just mismanaging them.”
 
Austin Mathis
VP of IT Infrastructure & Operations  
Empire Candle Company

Challenge

Empire Candle’s resurgence in the early 2000s was a welcome change, but one that came with a host of problems. Expansion had led to challenges in manufacturing processes related to inventory and production control.

Raw materials laid around the warehouse unused for years, while Empire Candle struggled to determine the necessary supplies to meet demands. Austin Mathis, IT Director for Empire Candle, points out that while candles and fragrance products themselves are relatively low tech, the business needed technology that would surpass old tactics.

Solution

Empire Candle had implemented Sage Business Cloud Enterprise Management in 2008. The company recognized that it had a powerful system on its hands, but it wasn’t making the most of the solution.

Mathis explains, “What we heard from other Sage customers was that we were potentially missing out on the value-add available to us by working with a partner on a more intimate level.”

Enter NexTec Group, a leading provider of business technology systems—and Sage partner for over 20 years.

“NexTec’s impact was immediate,” says Mathis. In its initial visit with the candle manufacturer, NexTec was able to efficiently and effectively observe Empire Candle's operation and make distinct recommendations on easy-to-tackle problems.

“The core recommendation was to engage in an optimization project to overhaul some of Empire Candle’s practices that had either been poorly implemented originally or had evolved over time with Empire Candle’s growth,” says Mathis. “From this optimization effort, Empire Candle was able to reset critical supply chain, manufacturing, and distribution components within the Enterprise Management ecosystem, which yielded high-impact results.”

Results

Empire Candle has grown over 300% since implementing Enterprise Management. After partnering with NexTec, Empire saw immediate performance increases, including a 30% reduction in productive labor and consolidation of an entire warehouse facility footprint—an annual savings of around $400,000.

“The right systems don’t just make IT better or technology better. They make the company better. That’s what you want,” says Turtledove. “This is the central nervous system of the company. That’s what a professionally managed enterprise management system like Sage Business Cloud provides us with.”

Looking ahead, Mathis sees future needs at Empire Candle for interconnected and ISV solutions. He also wants a continual process improvement and ongoing investment in human capital. The company is on a 24- to 36-month major upgrade schedule to ensure it is utilizing the very latest that Sage technology has to offer. And of course, this is all on the docket with the partnership of NexTec.

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