xByte Technologies’ superior customer service helped the firm double sales in the past five years. The company, which sells new and refurbished Dell servers and network switches by Cisco, Juniper, HPE, and Dell, faced potential disaster with their old ERP, Everest Software, running on end of life with Windows Server. Wanting a more modern ERP, it chose Acumatica for its mobility, automation, dashboards, flexibility and ease of third party integrations.
xByte sells Dell servers and network switches from a number of manufacturers, buying massive computer lots as whole completed units. It then breaks each machine and switch down into their core components and serializes every piece. “We break servers down into individual parts with serial numbers, but since we don’t necessarily sell them as that part, our inventory process can be a bit complex,” Brown says. For example, a customer might order a 300-gigabyte hard drive, which could be fulfilled using any of 10 different parts. “We have our normal complexity caused by swapping out the generic for a specific part but it can get more involved when we have to add extra parts like cables or trays. All of this has to happen automatically before the order goes to the warehouse.”
Tom Santilli founded xByte Technologies to provide high quality IT equipment with first-class customer service. The company currently does about $24 million in sales, up from $12 million five years ago, with a growth rate of about 10 percent annually. The company’s success is predicated on having highly-available, always-on technology infrastructure that enables them to deliver superior service.
“Hassle-free IT is how we describe what we do,” says Ryan Brown, xByte’s CEO. “We get back to customers within an hour. We’re actually apologizing if it takes up to an hour to get back to them with a quote.”
When company executives started noticing their ERP slowed down every afternoon, they knew they had to take action. “We knew that at some point we would have to move to a platform that was more futureproofed, and to an ERP that could automate many of our operations,” Brown says.
Brown researched how the usual ERP players—such as NetSuite and Microsoft Dynamics—had modernized their software in recent years.
He knew exactly what he wanted in a new ERP system:
- A company committed to continually developing its software
- Flexibility to integrate with third-party software without costly add-ons or customization
- Automation to reduce burden on the two person accounting staff
- Dashboards with fast drill-down capabilities for better visibility into operations
Brown chose Acumatica because of its flexible offerings, continuous development efforts, and automation capabilities. “The key thing for us with Acumatica is that not only was it web-based, but it wasn’t purely cloud,” he says. “We liked that we could control it ourselves, so we bought the on-premises model. Acumatica also makes it very easy to integrate with other software and has many more features.”
In addition to implementing Acumatica, xByte decided to work with Kensium Solutions to integrate a Magento website for better ecommerce operations.
Integration Streamlines Sales Operations
Sales can now take a generic customer order and, with a push of a button, can turn it into specific parts and have Acumatica automatically create a bill of materials. If the order comes in online, a sales person can view the order in a customer’s cart, add a quote within Magento, and send it to the customer.
Acumatica’s integration with the Magento web site is critical because while many of xByte’s sales may start online, only 10 percent are completed there due to many customers calling for advice on what can be orders in the tens of thousands of dollars. xByte has also been able to easily link thirdparty tools to Acumatica. “We have a very close relationship with FedEx, for example,” Brown says. “We were able to work with our existing ship manager tool to pull in all the information to ship out any of our equipment. We didn’t have to rebuild it for Acumatica.”
Higher Warehouse Productivity
Acumatica has significantly improved xByte’s ability to serve customers, automating many invoicing and accounting processes, and streamlining warehouse pick and pull operations.
Prior to using Acumatica, the xByte warehouse team would need to put away 10 to 15 carts containing sometimes more than 40 parts, doing so one cart at a time since it lacked visibility in to the contents of each cart. But with Acumatica, they have that visibility, and it allows them to group like items together for faster re-stocking. “That’s a big time saver,” Brown says, estimating that it will save the warehouse team an hour or two per day that can be reallocated to other productive work.
Increased Visibility Leads to Better Efficiency and Customer Service
xByte is just beginning to create financial dashboards with one-click access that will not only give them more visibility into operations, but also free up the two-person accounting staff so they concentrate on higher value tasks the company would otherwise have to hire more people to
Plus, the better visibility helps xByte improve customer service. “I was at dinner with a customer recently who asked if we had any availability on a part,” Brown says. “With Acumatica, I was able to pull up our inventory on my phone, see exactly what we had, and let them know. It’s very nice to have that web capability, but it’s also been extremely nice to have it on-premises.