Integrated ERP System Boosts Productivity by Eliminating Process Bottlenecks
- Are you getting weighed down from being forced to wait for manual processes that seem to take longer and longer?
- Would you like to know what eliminating these labour-intensive bottlenecks would do for your business?
- Ever imagine what it would be like to have all the information you need, right when you need it?
Bentek Systems Needed Help
Bentek Systems was in trouble. Disaster had struck and they could no longer access their local network or server. It was all gone, wiped out, no more data, no backups, no knowledge of what was happening right now in a business that employed 25 people.
Now, Bentek designs and manufactures amazing industrial wireless SCADA and Telemetry solutions. These are electronic monitoring and management systems that get installed onsite and have to function remotely in any weather.
Bentek Systems has been providing products and services to all kinds of industries, such as oil and gas, pipelines, water systems, mining and manufacturing across the globe.
It’s a complex manufacturing and distribution operation that is absolutely dependent on its systems, and now those systems were gone.
Defining the Problem
Rebuilding the core accounting system from scratch was their only option. But when Bentek’s people started to map out what really needed to be done, it became an eye-opening experience for everyone involved:
“We discovered we were using one program for accounting, and another one for quotes, sales orders and invoices.” said Joy Theaker, Bentek’s Office Manager.
“We were also using a different program to keep track of inventory, another one to track time and various spreadsheets to try to tie everything together.”
Since all of these programs did not share information with each other, they could be used for nothing more than day-to-day data entry (in effect, they were expensive forms with no backend functionality). Although some of the systems had forecasting and other advanced functions, they were useless because they required up to date data from Bentek’s other systems.
More Systems, More Problems
Bentek’s inventory system could not easily provide ready stock levels because the inventory labelling didn’t match the production planning system’s SKUs. So everything had to be manually updated for every production run (and we’re talking 1,000s of SKUs here).
Stock levels were out of whack because in some cases, there were multiple descriptions applied to a single item. This resulted in incorrect stock level tracking. In other cases items didn’t have descriptions and occasionally, the same description was applied to multiple items.
Accurate cash flow forecasts could not be produced. Shipping schedules could not be adhered to. There were definitely some problems!
Bentek management also suspected at least one incident of employee pilferage – but couldn’t prove it due to inadequate inventory system controls.
Complicated, Inefficient Processes Made Recovery Difficult
When the team went through past invoices and tried to reconstruct existing company processes, they found there were too many steps and too many people involved, which led to paperwork and information stored in many disconnected data repositories.
“There was no accountability or way to track an order from intake to final payment. As a result, inventory counts and value were not accurate and could only be updated at the end of the fiscal year.”
Bentek management literally had zero visibility into what was going on in their business – despite having over half a dozen ‘best-of-breed’ systems to help.
They discovered many errors, discrepancies and irregularities. When Bentek tried to put a value on what this amalgamation of isolated systems and processes was costing them every week, month and year, the best figure they could come up with was well over $75,000 per year.
Rebuilding from Scratch
Unfortunately, defining the problem was starting to look like the easy part. Bentek needed a resolution – fast!
They looked for a solution. Something that would consolidate various systems into a single, cloud-based system that streamlined company operations, eliminated the threat of future, and positioned them for growth.
Integrated ERP System Solves the Problem
An integrated ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system that contained core financials and integrated solutions for inventory, supply chain management, distribution, and crucially, manufacturing, appeared to be the answer.
Vendors Out For Blood
Bentek reached out to numerous vendors, both local and national. The response was overwhelming and a little nerve-wracking.
Incessant phone calls day and night, volumes of emails, ‘incomplete’ proposals that just happened to be missing key elements (like the cost to migrate the data from the old systems to the new ERP) so the overall implementation cost would appear lower.
It felt like Bentek was a fox being chased by a pack of hounds, who were baying for blood – their blood!
In the middle of the crisis Bentek was already managing, dealing with ERP vendors became another headache to be dealt with, instead of a mutually-collaborative effort to solve an urgent business problem.
To top it off – most vendors couldn’t start for 4 weeks or more. Not acceptable when you need to be back in business now!
Aqurus Solutions Takes a Different Approach
Aqurus took a different approach.
Our Founder, Murray Quibell, understood the seriousness of Bentek’s situation and went onsite himself immediately after the initial call.
He looked at the current systems and listened to the problems that Bentek had discovered.
Willingness to Adopt Industry Best Practices
Murray asked questions regarding current their current business processes and Bentek’s willingness to replace them with industry best practices.
Bentek indicated a high willingness to improve their processes and gain more control over their business.
A Plan Was Sketched Onsite
He sketched out a rough implementation plan right there, showing how the Acumatica ERP Solution could smoothly and easily support Bentek’s complex business processes, while still leaving Bentek firmly in control.
The Aqurus Team swung into action and produced a formal proposal overnight, based upon Murray’s rough sketch.
Proposal Delivered the Next Day
It was delivered to Bentek the next day and included everything that a successful implementation required (including data migration costs) to deliver a turn-key solution.
Bentek liked Acumatica’s all-inclusive user licensing, ease-of-use, cost-effectiveness and flexibility as well as Aqurus’ on-site setup and ongoing support. Aqurus and Acumatica were selected and we got to work immediately.
Working with Aqurus Solutions Key to Success
Working with Aqurus was key to the successful implementation: “Murray (Aqurus’ founder) has a broad knowledge of businesses of different types and understands accounting,” Theaker says. “His team understands data, reporting and business analysis, and they are quick to respond to questions and issues.”
Acumatica ERP was Easily Accepted by Entire Team
Bentek’s new streamlined workflow was one reason why Acumatica was easily accepted by the entire financial team. Implementing Acumatica had a dramatic impact, Theaker says. “Just having all our information in one spot has had a big impact on operations,”
The Bentek financial team has saved countless hours by not having to hunt down information or having to reconcile discrepancies between systems.
Eliminated 7 Pallets of Paper and 6 of 8 Software Applications
Bentek eliminated six of the eight isolated software packages they had been using, and returned seven pallets of paper.
Improvements Have Been Nothing Short of Spectacular
The improvements to Bentek’s processes have been nothing short of spectacular:
- Orders can now be taken, shipped and electronically invoiced by one person.
- Invoices are now completed even before the courier has picked up the order.
- Quotes are now more accurate, and inventory is updated on a daily basis.
- They have eliminated over 100 hours of labour every week.
- Inventory is now controlled and managed, eliminating the potential for employee theft.
Bentek Couldn’t Function Without Acumatica
“Our team couldn’t function without Acumatica,” Theaker says. “Without it, we were double-checking and double-checking because our data was coming from too many places. It was inefficient to do that. Now we have a handle on our data and it is all in one spot.”
Why Isolated Systems are Dangerous
As Bentek discovered, adding additional systems in an ad-hoc manner without considering integration of those systems can be dangerous to a company’s operations as the workload to keep these systems integrated rises more than exponentially.
This can best be described in a few simple diagrams showing the integration ‘channels’ between applications (Integration channels represent the data flowing back and forth between systems, it can be transferred manually, semi-automatically or automatically using integration software):
As the diagrams show, it requires just 2 integration channels to keep 2 applications integrated, but up to 12 channels to keep just 2 more applications (for a total of 4 applications) integrated.
Bentek, with 8 separate applications (not including intermediary spreadsheets) to keep to synchronized, needed 56 separate channels to maintain all systems in synch. The workload to just manually transfer data got to be too much and data got out of synch, leading to major problems in ordering, invoicing and inventory management.
Take a Look At Your Own Systems
Count the number of systems you use – core financials, quoting, ordering, invoicing, inventory management, shipping, scheduling, and every spreadsheet you use to tie it all together.
If it’s more than 3 systems and they are not integrated, you’re probably spending more time supporting your systems than you are using them.
And the more isolated systems you have, the more labour it’s taking today to keep everything running smoothly.
Extra 20 hours per Week Added Up to $14,040 Wasted Per Year – Per Application
In Bentek’s case, synchronizing, managing, and collating the data from each system was resulting in an extra 20 hours of labour per week per system!
Even calculating labor costs using a minimum wage rate, that means Bentek was spending $14,040 per isolated application per year – substantially more than the monthly cost of the application itself!
And because the applications are isolated and take extra time to collate data from them, you can’t get reports in a timely fashion so business decisions are shelved ‘until we have the data’.
And there is simply no way to calculate how much a delayed decision can cost you… until it’s too late.
Bentek Is Not Alone
One of the most-cited reasons businesses gave for implementing an ERP system was to improve business processes. In fact, a 2016 Survey of companies who either had implemented an ERP Solution within the past year, or were in the process of selecting an ERP Solution, it was reported that:
- 58% of respondents improved key business processes*
- 24% of respondents improved all business processes*Get the Bentek Systems Case Study for Yourself
Would you like to read more about Bentek and their journey from replacing multiple, isolated applications to managing their business with Acumatica ERP?
What is ERP?
An ERP system, or Enterprise Resource Planning system, is a powerful solution that reduces complexity by enabling businesses to manage everything on one integrated platform.
Imagine getting access to all business processes, functions, data, and reports from all areas of your business as soon as it is created:
- Core financials (GL, AP, AR, Reporting, etc.) and transactions
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) updates
- Advanced Inventory Management
- Manufacturing Production and Scheduling (if needed)
- Distribution schedules
- Internal and External Project Management updates (if needed)
An ERP Can Replace All Systems in Your Business
Most customers find that an ERP solution will completely replace all the systems that they currently use for accounting, inventory, invoicing, shipping, payroll, and all the spreadsheets that hold them together. An ERP provides an integrated platform to manage all of your data, transactions and reporting from one easy to adopt solution.
Aqurus Solutions exclusively specializes in implementing Acumatica ERP software for businesses in Western Canada.
We provide complete ‘turn-key’ solutions in as little as 30 days, with minimal disruption to your business and guaranteed results.
Why Should My Business Implement an ERP?
Implementing an ERP enables a more comprehensive approach to managing a business. It consolidates all of your business processes and enables you to see all transactions, price lists, allocated costs, schedules, customer information, etc. from one application, whenever you need it.
- Implementation time can take as little as 30 days to have a complete, turn-key ERP solution that enables you to manage your business from a single application (although 60-90 days is the norm)*
- Most businesses experience an operational disruption for less than one week*
- Cost is normally between 1-3% of one year’s gross revenues for many businesses*
- Most companies realize substantial business benefits within one year of implementation*
What Kinds of Businesses Benefit From Implementing ERP Solutions?
All business types can benefit from an ERP solution, including distribution, wholesale, manufacturing, professional services, project-based companies and even government services.
The modularity of an ERP means that you only pay for the modules you need for your business – manufacturing, project management, supply chain management, inventory and distribution, etc.
Why are Other Businesses Implementing an ERP System?
There are many reasons to implement an ERP. In a recent survey, it was reported that:
- 49% of respondents were replacing out of date legacy systems*
- 20% were replacing non-ERP system or had no true system*
- 16% were replacing homegrown systems*
- 15% were replacing accounting software*
Aren’t ERP Systems Expensive?
Implementing an ERP solution may seem expensive in the short-term, but over the lifetime of the software, the costs can be very reasonable.
In fact many businesses recoup their entire cost in less than 2 years*, due to increased process efficiencies, reduced labour costs, and better, faster decision-making capabilities.
- 58% of respondents realized benefits within 12 months of implementation*
- 41% of implementing organizations reported that they had recouped their costs in 2 years or less*
Doesn’t it Takes a Long Time to Implement an ERP System?
Depending on the complexity of the customer we will take as little as 30 days to deliver a complete ERP solution, although our average delivery time is closer to 60 days.
Would an ERP Solution Work for Our Business?
All businesses are unique, but ERP systems are adaptable, modular, and very customizable.
Let’s face it, ERP systems vendors would not remain in business very long if they could not adapt their system to many business types.
Aqurus Solutions specializes in ensuring that Acumatica ERP will fit your business today and as you grow.
What if We Are Not Prepared for an ERP System?
Our exclusive ‘Worry-Free ERP’ methodology enables us to spend more time focusing on preparing your business for an ERP implementation by:
- Conducting an on-site review of your business processes and suggesting improvements that would take advantage of key Acumatica features.
- Reviewing your current systems and planning how to migrate and integrate your separate data ‘silos’ into a cohesive, single solution.
- Training and preparing your employees to take full advantage of all the features of the ERP solution so you can enjoy the benefits as soon as possible.
With ‘Worry-Free ERP’ we spend the majority of our time preparing you, your business, and your business processes for a smooth and easy transition to Acumatica ERP.
“Worry-Free ERP” – Our Goal for Your Business
Aqurus Solutions was started to find a better way to get the benefits of an ERP Solution to as many businesses as possible.
We truly believe we have come up with the absolute best way to do that with our ‘Worry-Free ERP” guarantee:
If our best-practices recommendations to optimize your processes and data structure are followed, Aqurus will guarantee the quoted project implementation cost.
That means no risky cost overruns.
No ‘forgetting’ a component of the implementation and charging extra once you’re ‘locked-in’ to a vendor.
This completely takes the risk out of your ERP implementation!
Ask other ERP vendors if they will make the same guarantee in writing. We’re willing to bet you won’t find many takers.
Can We Help?
If you made it this far, chances are at least some of what I’ve said has resonated with you.
Maybe you’re tired of not knowing what’s going on in your business without hours of work collating data into reports that don’t have quite enough detail to make really good decisions quickly?
We can help with that.
Maybe you’re considering whether adoption of best practices will really help you and your business?
We can help with that.
Or maybe you just need to talk to someone who can help you determine what an ERP solution can do for your business?
Implementing an ERP System is About More Than Software
Implementing an ERP solution is about more than just adopting new software.
It enables you to manage your business in a much more unified way.
It enables the ‘ferreting out’ of inefficiencies hidden deep within your business processes, and reallocating the resulting savings to the benefit of your company.
It enables you to have more control, more knowledge, and more confidence in your processes, your employees and your business.
Is Acumatica ERP Affordable?
With their no per-user licensing model, Acumatica is one of the lowest-priced, highest-value ERP Solutions available on the market today.
It was designed from the start to take advantage of cloud-based hosting, further reducing costs by eliminating on-premises IT support and infrastructure.
An average ERP implementation costs between 1% and 3% of one year’s gross revenues*, depending on how complicated your business is.
Companies can spend more than that on office supplies in a year.
But implementing an ERP system provides benefits all out of proportion to the cost, including:
Availability of information when and where you need it*
- Improved productivity/efficiency*
- Increase interaction/integration internally*
- Improved interaction with customers*
- Better informed decision making*
- Lower IT costs*
- Reduced duplication of effort*
- Improved lead time and inventory levels*
- Reduced operating and labour costs*
Worry-Free ERP Guarantee
Earlier, I mentioned that Aqurus Solutions truly believes that we have the absolute best way to implement your ERP Solution with our ‘Worry-Free ERP” guarantee:
If you follow our best-practices recommendations to optimize your processes and data, enabling your business to take advantage of Acumatica ERP’s built-in functionality, we will guarantee our quoted project implementation cost.
Is Acumatica ERP Your Solution?
In Bentek System’s case, adopting Acumatica ERP was a phenomenal win for them.
They’ve stated repeatedly (and in writing) that they could not have succeeded without Aqurus Solutions’ help.
But I bet it looked pretty hopeless when they started.
Maybe you’re facing a similar situation:
- Too many systems generating too much data and not enough information?
- Not enough control to effectively manage your business?
- High overhead costs with minimal return?
- No single version of the truth about your business?
Is it time to consider Acumatica ERP for your business?
- Acumatica was recently named to the Gartner Magic Quadrant for ERP System Cloud Financials
- Acumatica recently received PC Magazine’s Editor’s Choice award for best Cloud ERP System Core Financials
- Acumatica is the fastest-Growing ERP system in the World (Source: Keynote at Acumatica Summit 2017)
If it looks like Aqurus Solutions and Acumatica ERP could help your business, please get in touch with us by:
- Calling us at (403) 620-5800, or
- By filling in our contact form and we’ll get in touch with you.
It never hurts to talk!
Due to the growing popularity of Acumatica ERP, we are starting to experience some delays on occasion for our services, even though we’re the largest dedicated Acumatica Partner in Canada. So please contact us as soon as possible so we don’t delay your implementation schedule!
“If I had met Murray from Aqurus Solutions 5 Years Earlier, I’d be retired by now.”
Ben Yee, Founder Bentek Systems
“Acumatica allows us to grow without needing a team of accountants or data entry people, it makes our whole business possible.”
Andrew Black, VP Finance, PayWith Inc.
*Survey conducted in 2016 by Panorama Consulting© with companies who either had implemented an ERP System within the past year, or were in the process of selecting an ERP System.