Strategic Supply Chain Solutions Help Boost Process Manufacturer’s Revenues 14%

The U.S. nutraceutical and supplements market is one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy — estimated at over $200 billion in 2022. It’s a segment that UniWell Laboratories knows well. The Texas-based contract manufacturer produces powders, liquids, gels, and tablets for retailers and direct-to-consumer companies in these markets. Thanks in part to its partnership with Net at Work, UniWell is well-equipped to capitalize on the industry’s growth — its own revenues are up 14% this year.


Growth hasn’t always come so easy for UniWell, however. Several years ago, the company engaged another reseller to replace its legacy ERP with Sage X3, a powerful next-generation business management solution offering specialized functionality that makes it an ideal fit for process manufacturers. Bryan Polozola, UniWell’s CFO at the time, was just leaving the company for a new career opportunity. “The implementation didn’t ever really get off the ground,” explains Bryan — who returned to UniWell as CFO two years ago. “Sage X3 needs professional implementation and a champion stakeholder within the company. UniWell didn’t have either of those back then.”

Upon his return to the company, Bryan set out to change things. “We brought in Net at Work to re-implement the software,” he says. “And we hired them as our Fractional CIO. We wanted to do things right, which meant bringing in the pros who could manage the project from every angle.”

Net at Work’s dedicated Fractional CIO and Sage X3 consulting team worked with UniWell to develop a detailed assessment of current operations, followed by specific recommendations for how to optimize the operations. Then they all got to work making the improvements a reality.


UniWell certainly isn’t alone in experiencing supply chain disruptions, but they now have the tools to quickly adapt, pivot, and keep production flowing. “Many of our raw materials come from overseas. We saw freight costs quadruple and ports shut down,” says Bryan. “It could have been a mess, but we’ve been able to come through stronger because of better visibility which leads to improved forecasting and more informed procurement.”

Feeding that visibility is the Materials Requirement Planning (MRP) function within Sage X3. “We were using MRP before the re-implementation, but not in the right ways,” notes Bryan. “The report took eight hours to run! Following Net at Work’s re-implementation, it’s nearly instant.”

Armed with new strategic insights, UniWell can now set realistic customer expectations, refine its resupply intervals, and optimize its inventory holdings. Bryan cites an example of the benefits of the process improvements. “We used to overbuy raw materials because we couldn’t determine supply and demand accurately. Overstocking is expensive, and it’s also potentially wasteful since our products have a shelf life. Now, we make informed purchasing decisions using all the data available to us — we know what we need and when we’ll need it. As a result, we were able to lock in pricing with a vendor through a master purchase order, taking delivery when we need it and saving a significant amount of money.”

“Through their understanding of our business, Sage X3, manufacturing in general, and technology as a whole — our Fractional CIO is definitely delivering a return on our investment.”

Without the right amount — and type — of inventory on hand at the right time, manufacturing stops. “We used to try to track it all in spreadsheets, but it was too difficult to keep it up to date,” notes Bryan. “We’d have long production meetings to discuss what we should order and when. Now, we discuss strategy and optimization ideas. We’ve got the time to figure out how to be better, not just how to get by.”

Bryan says that Net at Work has helped UniWell move from being a purely tactical company to a strategic company. “Tactical companies tend to stay focused on fixing the problems that got them in trouble yesterday. Strategic companies focus on predicting tomorrow’s problems and finding ways to prevent them.”

Bryan credits the company’s Fractional CIO and Advisory Services with much of the success. “The software is capable of so much, but those capabilities are hidden without experts highlighting it and putting it to work. That’s what Net at Work does. Through their understanding of our business, Sage X3, manufacturing in general, and technology as a whole — our Fractional CIO is definitely delivering a return on our investment.”

The Net at Work Fractional CIO is now working on optimizing another process for UniWell by incorporating Automated Data Capture (ADC) in its warehouse. Warehouse personnel use handhelds to scan product movement in real time, contributing to the elevated visibility that benefits other aspects of the business. “ADC is all about speed and accuracy,” Bryan says. “When you reduce touchpoints and roadblocks, every part of the company benefits.”


When business moves quickly, as it does at UniWell, it’s easy to fall into a reactionary mode — responding to problems as they arise. But with help from their Fractional CIO, UniWell is no longer simply reacting to issues, they’re out in front of them. “Net at Work configured a whole series of alerts within Sage X3 that notify our staff of changes they need to know about — in time to do something about it,” says Bryan.

For example, when a new sales order is created, the marketing, production scheduling, and purchasing teams are notified. “I can’t tell you how valuable this has been for us,” notes Bryan. “A sales win is a win for all of us, so it’s important to share — but it also sets in motion a series of events. By immediately notifying the impacted teams, they get a jump start on those events. It leads to time savings, better efficiency, and improved overall accuracy.” Other configured alerts notify teams of expected shipment delays so they can proactively mitigate the impacts.


In addition to automated alerts, UniWell has a series of targeted reports that it delivers to stakeholders each week through a report scheduler. It’s another way the company is improving collaboration and data democratization. “Our Fractional CIO created one especially valuable Sage Enterprise Intelligence report for us that helps us look at our materials, sales orders, purchase orders, and work orders in concert,” says Bryan. “He was only able to do that because of his cohesive understanding of the manufacturing cycle and the Sage X3 solution. He understands our business with his decades of experience, and knows how to make progress quickly.”

Another win credited to increased data visibility is a generous property tax savings. Property taxes in Texas, like other states, are determined based on the inventory held. Thanks to real-time information concerning vendor lead times and open purchase orders, UniWell was able to delay some purchases until January to minimize its tax. “This is the kind of thing us CFOs love,” says Bryan. “Sage X3 is absolutely helping us manage the business better.”


Bryan says what he appreciates most about his relationship with Net at Work is the honesty. “I like that they challenge my ideas and prompt me to think about different ways to achieve the desired outcome.”

“I don’t want ‘yes men,’ I want expert advice, even if it contradicts what I was thinking,” he continues. “I get that from Net at Work and our Fractional CIO— and it’s invaluable.”

Bryan concludes, “I like to say our Net at Work Fractional CIO and Advisory Services help us see the business from the forest level, while most of us spend our time in the trees. Every month he asks questions, makes suggestions, and orchestrates changes that make us better at what we do. Our goal is nothing short of perfection. With Sage X3 and the help of Net at Work, we’ve got it in our sights.”

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