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Contract Electronics Manufacturer Makes Microsoft Dynamics NAV Essential Component for Future Success

October 21, 2008

REDMOND, Wash., Oct. 21 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Microsoft Corp. today announced that Catalyst Manufacturing Services, a contract electronics manufacturer with operations in North Carolina’s Research Triangle, Endicott, New York, and Mexico, has selected Microsoft Dynamics NAV 5.0 to manage its complex business and fuel future growth.

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Microsoft Dynamics NAV, to be implemented across Catalyst’s facilities by Microsoft Gold Certified Partner Western Computer, will replace an existing MAPICS enterprise resource planning (ERP) system that Catalyst felt was growing increasingly antiquated and fell short of the functionality the company needed to take its business to the next level, which includes projected double-digit revenue growth next year.

“Microsoft Dynamics NAV enables us to run our operations with far greater precision and puts us in the driving seat to go after business opportunities,” said Mary Roberts, chief financial officer at Catalyst, which caters to companies in the military, aerospace and medical markets. “Its capabilities will allow us to take Catalyst to the next stage in its development.”

Microsoft Dynamics NAV is an ERP solution that enables midsize companies to streamline their financial, manufacturing and distribution operations to grow their business, boost productivity, improve collaboration, work smarter, drive down costs and address specific industry needs.

Catalyst chose Microsoft Dynamics NAV over solutions from Oracle Corp., EPICOR Software Corp. and Made2Manage following a rigorous eight-month evaluation process because, unlike the competing solutions, it demonstrated the ability to address the breadth of Catalyst’s needs out of the box, without modification or the need to add third-party applications.

Catalyst executives were also taken with the low learning curve its employees, already fluent in Microsoft Office, face in getting up and running with Microsoft Dynamics NAV. The solution is seamlessly integrated with Office and features an almost identical user interface, so end users can get up to speed with minimal training.

Catalyst expects Microsoft Dynamics NAV to generate multiple business benefits and deliver on its core strategic objectives, enabling the company to capitalize on opportunities and continue its robust growth trajectory:

— Integration. Catalyst is implementing Microsoft Dynamics NAV as the cornerstone of a comprehensive refresh of its IT infrastructure that includes deploying a new datacenter running Microsoft SQL Server 2008, with which Microsoft Dynamics NAV is natively integrated. The open standards-based solution is also fully interoperable with the Mechanical Execution System (MES) Catalyst is rolling out to machine staff on the factory floor to capture data at the point of manufacture. This data will be fed back into Microsoft Dynamics NAV to enrich and inform decision-making.

— Industry-specific requirements. Microsoft Dynamics NAV will enable Catalyst to run a tight ship, maintaining a fine-tuned operation with timely procurement and just-in-time inventory to stay on top of customer orders. Contract manufacturers are commissioned by companies to produce certain items to order, for which they must source specifically designated parts from officially approved vendors. This makes it imperative for Catalyst to be able to trace the origins of the components it uses and track their individual serial numbers across its operations. Microsoft Dynamics NAV gives Catalyst this all-important capability, which is highly prized by its customer base.

— Data accuracy. The ability to track parts, right down to their individual serial number and vendor of origin, across its operations will enable Catalyst to ensure its data integrity is of the highest order. This is something Catalyst’s existing solution could not accomplish and an imperative for the firm’s medicine and aerospace clients, which have strict requirements. Executives anticipate that the capability will give Catalyst a powerful competitive differentiator and be especially useful in instances where individual components are subject to recalls, allowing employees to quickly comply with edicts from customers and suppliers.

— Efficiencies. Microsoft Dynamics NAV will give Catalyst a tighter handle on its inventory and logistics operations, allowing it to coordinate the allocation of materials across its operations and source units from one site to replenish stocks at another as the need arises.

— Cost savings. Microsoft Dynamics NAV will give Catalyst a standardized business management platform with which to consolidate purchasing across its operations and generate economies of scale.

— Support for growth. By fully automating its processes and making data more discoverable across its operation than it currently is, Catalyst expects to be able to turn around quotes for customers more quickly, with the ability to transmit them electronically over the Internet. The company expects the increased customer responsiveness and business agility to result in additional orders.

— Improved reporting. Microsoft Dynamics NAV will furnish Catalyst executives and managers with a panoramic window into their operations, allowing them to track orders, inventory levels, production status, labor utilization and other variables, and monitor how they are tracking against performance objectives. Officers will be able to export data into Excel with a single mouse-click to drill down and perform sophisticated analytics to glean business insights, identify business opportunities and catch issues demanding remedial action at their earliest opportunity. Executives also anticipate that Microsoft Dynamics NAV will furnish them with richer data about customers and their purchase histories, allowing them to precisely identify cross-selling and up-selling opportunities.

— Supply chain management. Microsoft Dynamics NAV will enable Catalyst to interact more effectively with its suppliers than it is currently able to. Many of its suppliers are also automating their operations and increasingly expect their trading partners to do the same.

— Decision support. The company expects the improved visibility into its overall business will drive timelier, more informed decision-making than is possible with its existing system, allowing it to identify prospective opportunities earlier, and get out ahead of potential problems.

— Reduced IT management overheads. An easier-to-administer ERP system will free up Catalyst’s IT staff to pursue more strategic work that directly contributes to the company’s bottom line.

— Improved ability to plan. The tighter grip on its operation that Microsoft Dynamics NAV affords will enable Catalyst to be even more data- driven in its inventory planning, production scheduling and financial forecasting.

“Microsoft Dynamics NAV enables manufacturing businesses to shine a powerful spotlight across their operations and put decision-making on the rigorous, data-driven footing that their customers demand,” said Michael Park, corporate vice president for the U.S. Small and Midmarket Solutions & Partners (U.S. SMS&P) Group at Microsoft. “With Microsoft Dynamics NAV, they are able to bypass the noise and take charge of their operations to drive future success.”

About Catalyst Manufacturing Services

Catalyst Manufacturing Services is a full service contract manufacturing company with locations in Endicott, NY, Raleigh, NC, and Tijuana, Mexico. Catalyst’s offerings include product design assistance, documentation development, PCB assembly and test, box build, order fulfillment/logistics, and depot repair services, all within a standardized equipment and systems platform. For more information, visit http://www.catalystems.com/.

About Western Computer

Since 1987, Western Computer has been providing implementation, training, consultation and development for clients of every size with turnkey consulting, programming, installation and training on customized applications for ERP, CRM, supply chain management and business intelligence. A Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, Western Computer is headquartered in Oxnard, California, with offices in Bellevue, Washington, New York, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, and Indianapolis.

About Microsoft Dynamics

Microsoft Dynamics is a line of financial, customer relationship and supply chain management solutions that helps businesses work more effectively. Delivered through a network of channel partners providing specialized services, these integrated, adaptable business management solutions work like and with familiar Microsoft software to streamline processes across an entire business.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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Microsoft Corp.

CONTACT: Rapid Response Team of Waggener Edstrom Worldwide,+1-503-443-7070, rrt@waggeneredstrom.com, for Microsoft Corp.

Web site: http://www.microsoft.com/




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