Since 1912, Phillips Distilling Company has been producing high-quality spirits and popular brands. As one of America’s oldest family-owned spirits companies, the company takes pride in their independent spirit. They are committed to innovation, quality, and community.

United States Distilled Products Company (USDP) began in 1981 as a small bottling operation, producing regional brands for Midwest markets. Since its inception, USDP has grown to become a leading bottler, with a reputation for service and quality.

In 2001, USDP acquired the Phillips products and its sales in the U.S., Canada, and worldwide. That served as the birth of USDP’s move into product development.

Improving Operations — Designed to Scale

USDP came to Traust to improve operations and customer experience by enhancing its enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. The company — which now uses the Phillips Distilling Company brand name — had three main objectives for the project.

  • First, they wanted to separate their financial management processes from their distribution partner’s system. The goal was to achieve greater independence and financial oversight, while eliminating manual data rekeying.
  • Second, Phillips wanted to automate their business processes — including their pricing, quality control, and employee expense approvals. By automating these processes, they hoped to improve product quality, as well as customer and employee satisfaction.
  • Finally, they wanted to develop new order-management capabilities that would simplify ordering and shipment tracking for Phillips’ liquor distributors.

Together, these new systems would enable Phillips to scale their operations, with the ultimate goal of growing their international business.

Robust Financial Management

To achieve these objectives, Traust helped Phillips Distilling Company implement the Oracle E-Business Suite ERP platform. The robust implementation included integrating Phillip’s financial management and manufacturing processes. This helped eliminate cumbersome data rekeying that had wasted staff time and caused order fulfillment errors.

The new ERP also helps ensure accurate pricing by allowing Phillips to charge distributors based on contract price, cost per batch, labor, and overhead. Moreover, new order management functionality allows Phillips to put holds on customer orders when necessary. For example, the system helps ensure Phillips doesn’t ship liquor products to unauthorized states where the products aren’t authorized. These safeguards help protect the company from mistakes that would lead to legal liability.

The new system updates are also helping Phillips achieve broader social responsibility goals, specifically their environmental sustainability initiatives. For example, workflow notifications alert employees to financial management and manufacturing tasks that may require action. These alerts have helped to significantly reduce paper use throughout the company.

Making Orders More Visible

The ERP implementation also let customers place orders directly through a new electronic-data interchange (EDI) system. In addition to an improved user experience, this has helped Phillips’s bottom line. EDI ordering has minimized the need to manually enter customer orders, which saves on labor costs.

Traust also helped Phillips build out barcode scanning capabilities with Oracle Mobile Supply Chain Applications. The new barcode capabilities have provided a high degree of visibility into the company’s order and shipping information. With this new functionality, for example, the warehouse team can place the first shipments closest to the shipping dock. This improves efficiency and ensures each customer order is shipped within two weeks of order entry. Likewise, Phillips now has visibility into each product lot. This gives them the ability to identify each lot’s exact shipping location, providing significant improvements to their logistics operations.

Along with their new ERP system, Traust has provided Phillips Distilling Company with the flexibility to add new capabilities as the business requires them. This flexibility will help support Phillips as it maps out its strategic direction for the future.