Sometimes when starting the journey of planning an ERP implementation, it helps to read about how other companies found success working with consultants to execute the project.
How do we measure success? Each project will have specific KPIs of course, but overall, a successful ERP implementation demonstrates that we’ve gone ‘live’ on time, on budget and the depth and length of business disruption is minimal.
Acumatica allows distribution company Premier 1 Supplies to scale and soar
Premier 1 Supplies has been providing electric fencing and electric netting, sheep and goat supplies, poultry products and expert advice to livestock farmers throughout the United States since 1977.
Over the decades, Premier 1 has grown to carrying several thousand items for sale, requiring a more robust system for the family business operations. On the advice of consultants, the company implemented Sage MAS500 and an add-on, Direct500, which provided some basic e-Commerce functionality.
That software transition was difficult and inadequate. The company saw falling sales, an unresponsive vendor and overall negative employee experience throughout the company. The legacy system remained in place for years until their point of sale processor alerted them that a software update was needed to become PCI compliant.
Then-new CEO Ben Rothe knew he had to ensure a new system would enable the company to scale and meet the expectations of modern Premier 1 customers. His research led him to Acumatica and Crestwood Associates, a past winner of Acumatica’s Cloud Adoption Partner of the Year.
“There was a lot of trepidation by the staff when we launched,” Rothe said, “But within a few weeks of going live, there was a big sigh of relief. We didn’t miss a beat. It was a big success.”
Acumatica provided Premier 1 with data-based insights not available through their legacy ERP, dramatically improving operations. Acumatica’s open platform has also allowed Premier 1 to save money by avoiding costly customizations.
Although historically a mail order catalog company, 65 percent of Premier’s business is now conducted via their website with sales through Amazon and other third-party marketplaces accounting for another 10 percent with the remaining order volume coming over the phone.
Premier 1’s IT team connected the company’s website with Acumatica which allows for the connection to inventory data so if an item runs out of stock, the website is notified immediately. The inventory-website connection saves the company the extra cost of shipping out of stock items separately, increasing order margins. And, since agricultural supplies have a high tendency toward reorder scenarios, the integrated customer order history function allows this to occur seamlessly.
Premier 1 Supplies is now positioned for rapid growth with a modern, connected solution that allows Rothe to easily implement the B2C functionality the business requires.
“Our success is ultimately tied to Acumatica’s success, and they are building a strong and healthy product,” he says. “They have a vibrant customer and development community and a product that’s growing, not stagnant. We are excited that we can craft Acumatica to do what we need it to do.”
Meat Commodities, Inc. (MCI)
Meat Commodities, Inc. (MCI) is an established full-line trading and brokerage company in the meat industry that moves over seven million pounds of meat per week. Additionally, MCI operates a full-service transportation company, MCT, and are also representatives for two East Coast beef harvest facilities – one in Pennsylvania, the other in North Carolina.
MCI ships beef, pork or chicken overnight to anywhere on the Eastern Seaboard. But disparate systems and manual processes were stifling growth. The company’s systems consisted of a amalgam of Excel spreadsheets, Access databases and Datapro. With so many different systems running the business, in several different physical locations, MCI didn’t have insight into real-time information. Perishable merchandise requires the ability to move quickly, and delays in software mean delays in meat and potential spoilage. MCI needed a solution and fast.
Meat Commodities worked with the Crestwood Associates team to deliver Acumatica’s cloud-based accounting system on time and under budget. Eliminating spreadsheets and Access databases, all transactions are now processed with the same centralized system. One of the cloud’s biggest strengths is the ability to collaborate from anywhere, and know what’s happening in real-time. The staff loading the trucks in Pennsylvania are able to get answers from the staff in North Carolina whenever they need them.
Additionally, Acumatica provides features to account for repackaging, market pricing and credit checks – everything MCI needs to maintain their current operations and scale.
MCI can also pull in data for MCT. The transportation vertical utilized the general ledger and cash management modules in Acumatica and daily GL activity was extracted from their other system and imported directly into Acumatica.
By leveraging the power of Acumatica, the company:
- Connected all their disparate business systems, saving time and money
- Eliminated their on-site hardware technology infrastructure and costs
- Gained real-time visibility into comprehensive financial reporting, intercompany transactions and consolidated financials
This adaptability was especially important when the COVID-19 pandemic shifted the way MCI (and, of course, their customer base) needed to operate. Meat Commodities, Inc. is thriving and poised for future growth.
Seminole Financial Services (SFS)
Seminole Financial Services (SFS) is a pension/investment fund management firm based in Belleair Bluffs, Florida. While the name has only been around since 2009, the company itself has been operating for over 30 years. SFS has a range of different funds, but what they’re most known for are their renewable energy funds – providing debt and equity financing to developers of solar and wind farms.
After learning their current system was slowly becoming obsolete, they decided they needed a more modern ERP to meet their needs. They had purchased Microsoft Dynamics Navision (NAV) back in 2009, and for a while, it did everything they needed, even without regularly upgrading. They were hesitant to change since everything was running without issue. Since Dynamics NAV was being sunset, it was time for a change.
After enlisting the help of Crestwood Associates in analyzing all their options, they found Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central was the right fit. Seminole was looking for the same capabilities for financial management as before, but with enhanced financial reporting capabilities.
Seminole also needed the ability to shift among 20 different entities seamlessly with little-to-no learning curve. Because of Business Central’s user-friendliness and robust functionality, they got all that and more.
In ERP implementations, it is of paramount importance to ensure the team is well-prepared to use the system well before go-live. In this case, preparation was a breeze. A single team member from Seminole worked with a single member from the Crestwood team (our longest-tenured project manager Juliet Constantino). Seminole has decades of experience with Dynamics products, so it was easy for them to pick up the basics of Business Central.
The implementation went smoothly – on-time and on-budget. The Seminole team reported that they had very few questions, and when they did, the Crestwood support staff answered quickly and thoroughly. Many Crestwood Associates success stories are filled with drama – but they don’t need to be dramatic to be compelling. Seminole Financial Services is in the business of funding the future for so many others; in this project, they invested in themselves. Crestwood Associates is proud to have worked with Seminole, and that our team was able to provide the perfect solution both now and for decades to come.
Read these and more case studies about how Crestwood Associates helped businesses change the game through ERP and CRM upgrades, implementation and strategic planning.
Crestwood Associates is more than ERP. We bring current technologies – such as modern ERP systems like Acumatica and Microsoft Dynamics, along with cloud and business services – all while “Doing the Right Thing” by our clients. Living by this motto helps us to lead the way to change the widespread failure of ERP implementations over the past 30 years.
With modern methodology, over 20 years of experience and expert, certified business consultants, we see this as a chance to pave the way to achieve a 100% client success rate. How? Crestwood is committed to being beholden to our clients, not the software vendors and, in a larger sense, we want the people who work with us to enjoy technology and enable them to enhance their own lives.
Ready to become the next success story? Request a consultation today!