Playing sports is great in many ways. Besides the obvious health and fitness benefits, sports can sharpen minds, improve communication and teamwork skills, boost confidence, teach values like determination and hard work, and (for those who make it professionally) fatten wallets.
The main downside to playing sports is injury. According to a report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, nearly 2 million Americans every year receive treatment in emergency departments for sports-related injuries. And that’s just the number that end up in the emergency room. Many more injuries go untreated or are treated by family doctors, school nurses, coaches, and team trainers.
Cost of injury is high
Since people who play sports tend to be younger, they are hardest hit with injuries. The same HSS report said an estimated 12 million individuals between the ages of 5 and 22 years suffer a sports-related injury annually, which leads to 20 million lost days of school and approximately $33 billion in health care costs.
So what is being done about it? The stats seem to indicate not enough. Athletes, coaches, parents, and trainers all need to take more responsibility. Many injuries can be avoided, but too often simple precautions are not taken. Risks are ignored and athletes continue to play when they shouldn’t.
Injury prevention is critical
That’s why EvoShield, a game-changing protective apparel company, is developing protective equipment that helps prevent injury. Its advanced, lightweight protective gear is unique in that it can be molded exactly to each athletes’ body.
To get the custom fit, the protective pads, which start out soft, are wrapped tight against the athletes’ body to create a mold. After about 15 minutes the mold hardens into a protective shield that is perfectly shaped and comfortable to wear.
If equipment isn’t comfortable or effective, athletes aren’t going to use it. EvoShield gear fits like a second skin and prevents injury. That’s why its popularity has exploded and business has taken off.
A high-tech business solution
To keep winning with the technology it provides on the field, EvoShield had to improve the technology it was using to run the business. The accounting system it had in place since its founding in 2007 could not keep up as the company grew and changed. New partnerships with large retailers and professional sports leagues created demand and challenges the old system couldn’t handle.
EvoShield needed its business processes to run efficiently. Management required better information for decision making, and the company had to communicate better with its business partners.
To ensure it had a business software platform in place that could sustain its aggressive growth plans, EvoShield selected the SAP Business One application powered by SAP HANA. With implementation support from Effective Computer Solutions, the solution was up and running quickly and EvoShield had new insight into the business.
Higher profit and better service
The new ERP system gave EvoShield real-time access into data that was never available before. Now management can make data-driven decisions instead of relying purely on experience and gut feel. In addition, process and data integration across the enterprise has improved sales and purchase order management, as well as inventory control.
Profit and loss management has also been simplified. Employees can easily analyze sales order margins to see which ones are more profitable, and the company saved more than 20% on shipping for events marketing through better cost center analysis.
Customers have benefited as well. EvoShield improved on-time shipping to consumers by 67%, with most orders shipping the same day, thanks to streamlined paperless order entry, management, and execution.
EvoShield’s new ERP system is much like the products it sells. It is a customizable, lightweight solution that fits the company well and keeps it in the game – even if it gets hit by a wild pitch.
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This article originally appeared on SAP Business Trends.