NetSuite supports largest cigar manufacturer’s growth goals

Shortly after implementation of a federal tax in 2009 which raised the cost of producing Swisher cigars to the point of closing the company, the world’s largest producer and distributor of cigars was forced to “lift and shift” its entire manufacturing operations from its Jacksonville, Florida-based headquarters further south to the Dominican Republic.

While the massive relocation was completed in only two years, the company’s IT operations failed to keep pace with overall business operations.

Eric Tewey, Vice President of Information Technology, Swisher International

Eric Tewey joined Swisher as Vice President of Information Technology in 2015, and within 10 months his team overhauled 27-year-old disparately functioning systems.

Though much of the heavy lifting has been accomplished with great success, there’s still ample work for IT to help Swisher grow its manufacturing capabilities. Tewey said the company’s currently producing approximately 2 billion cigars annually, but the majority of business professionals at Swisher spend too much time extracting and translating data to simply do their jobs.

In order to increase production capabilities to 3 billion cigars annually, Tewey partnered with NetSuite for a single source system of record from everything from demand to fulfillment to financials.

“Implementation has begun, but the effort of basically redefining every single business process systemically will totally transform Swisher’s technology landscape to not only support the growing business but provide a competitive edge on a leading-edge cloud platform” he explained.

Oracle Netsuite at the Midmarket CIO Forum presented by Boardroom EventsImmediate preliminary estimates to the company’s bottom line are in the millions of dollars per year – from increased sales and production to improving process efficiencies for both equipment and people, as well as a reduction in audit fees and improving FDA traceability; a mandatory process currently completed by hand.

With a goal of establishing best practice or Swisher best practice for a go-live of NetSuite’s Financial, ERP, CRM, WMS and SCM capabilities by January 2018, the added bonus of these business functions being fully available in the cloud to reduce threat of hurricane or natural disaster taking down the systems is an added bonus for the Caribbean-based manufacturing division.

Eric Tewey, a member of the Midmarket CIO Forum Advisory Board, and NetSuite (Booth #316) will be among the lineup of CIOs and leading technology providers convening April 9-11 in  Savannah, Georgia at the Westin Savannah Harbor.