A+ Technology and Security Aces Their NetSuite Optimization With MIBAR
After becoming bogged down in paperwork, inefficient, and outdated processes, and hearing too many frustrating comments along the lines of, “it’s always been this way,” A+ Technology and Security Solutions partnered with MIBAR to optimize their NetSuite platform for better operational efficiency and performance. This involved a comprehensive look at all its digital operations, significant upgrades to NetSuite, and the development of better methods to keep track of contracts and invoices. The rebuilding is still taking place but A+ staff is already enjoying the benefits.
With more than 30 years of service, A+ Technology and Security Solutions provides a variety of technical services to clients in New York City and surrounding communities. Everyone from schools to municipalities to law enforcement organizations have been able to benefit from the company’s customized solutions including emergency systems, surveillance hardware, detection equipment and more.
The Bayshore, N.Y.-based company was an early adopter of NetSuite more than 12 years ago, but the system’s configuration wasn’t optimized to keep up as the business grew. Company officials said that the team that initially set up the NetSuite system didn’t let the staff know about various upgrades and other available modules that could be used to improve its different business units as the company grew and different needs and situations came up, such as performing transactions with more employees and more clients.
Over time, this meant that a lot of temporary solutions in different divisions were created that gradually became permanent, even if they were redundant or different from other divisions. At the same time, some processes were created on the fly as work-arounds or patches to fix specific problems rather than general improvements that the whole organization can benefit from. With assistance from MIBAR, A+ began implementing methods to clean up its operations and re-establish its basic purposes. It continues to make strategic fixes at every level.
When MIBAR began discussing improvements with A+ Technology and Security Solutions, customers and employees were becoming frustrated with the lack of organization, redundant processes, and processes in place that no one remembered reasons for or didn’t reflect current best industry practices. There were multiple databases and three times as much paperwork required for new contracts. The ‘naming structure’ of files was inconsistent and made it easy for errors to creep in or take too long to locate. Some processes that should have been taken care of digitally still needed to be verified with paper spreadsheets to ensure accuracy. It was also difficult to associate certain client data in databases with certain contracts without errors creeping into input fields.
MIBAR was asked to look at A+ Technology and Security Solutions holistically and provide recommendations to transform the disorganized out-of-control system into something more thoughtfully engineered and optimized, and then offer guidance for future growth and resource needs.
This initiative required a master reconfiguration of the whole NetSuite system, which MIBAR officials compared to performing brain surgery. During all of this, the business still was using its software to control its systems, so very precise fixes were required to start with. At the same time, every division had different goals and performance needs which added to the challenge of the holistic focus.
Some elements included:
- Improving naming conventions, which addressed how files are consistently labeled, stored, and retrieved. This required implementing a system of universal serial numbers.
- Improving the management process of procurement contracts and licenses that included implementing smoother workflow protocols and adding system-wide alerts when changes are made or other notes.
- Assistance from MIBAR representatives about situations that could be solved by certain modules. They also provided guidance in how to purchase and implement these new modules, including which features and options could be enabled. A+ employees were also shown features of their existing modules they weren’t aware of.
- Retraining staff on the new processes with newly-written procedures designed to be less complicated and now allow more opportunity for input.
- Setting a goal of having all processes online rather than relying on hard copies of spreadsheets.
- Condensing extra databases as needed.
- Creating a custom device record which allowed employees to merge and tag data to specific contracts.
- Incorporating “A+ Virtual,” a separate division, into the main A+ environment.
MIBAR also made sure to keep any changes within the initial budget parameters for the project. As more areas of improvement were found, the A+ finance team approved expanding the scope of the project and increased the project budget so extended changes could also be successfully implemented.
The partnership between MIBAR and A+ Technology and Security Solutions is still in operation.
Phase 1 included general information gathering for the global review and reconfiguration of the item master system, with the goal of unification across all subsidiaries. This included renaming and general ‘clean-up’ strategies.
Phase 2 includes a revamp of many critical business processes such as service contracts, purchasing, inventory, and manufacturing. It also looks at the specific needs of other divisions within the company, along with testing, retraining and validation.
The custom device manager improvement simplified the process of associating and adding data to contracts. Contracts stay digital and are less prone to errors. They also reflect current status and any changes as well as the opportunity to add easily-sharable notes with useful details like when renewals are needed. The renewal process is also more seamless and can be performed faster.
The improved naming/numbering system made it easier to create and provide accurate reporting at every level.
Each division also reported a variety of benefits and improvements, which all stem from adjustments to the overall master configuration.
Overall, the A+ staff feels valued. After years of being hindered by an outdated system, they now have what they describe as a ‘giant calculator’ through NetSuite .This isn’t to downplay its functionality as something that simply crunches numbers, but that the fully-upgraded software is responsive and contains all sorts of useful tools to better coordinate orders and product invoices systemwide.
Employees also have easy access to MIBAR representatives who can provide rapid troubleshooting if any problems occur during transactions, as well as alert them about future NetSuite upgrades and modules.
They felt that MIBAR has become more of a partner invested in the company’s success and providing options to solve problems, rather than a traditional consultant which comes in, suggests changes, and leaves.
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Want to ensure your business is getting the most out of your NetSuite usage and investment like A+ Technology and Security? As a leading NetSuite partner, we’ve established a genuine methodology to help maximize every dollar of your ERP budget and ensure NetSuite is meeting your needs. We assist businesses just like yours to identify areas of risk and inefficiency, rescue implementations, assist with NetSuite enhancements and improvements, provide support, training, and much more. Contact us today!
“This will be my 7th implementation of an ERP system and I need to tell you that by far it has been the smoothest. Sebastian worked tirelessly through the weekend because he understood the importance of getting us up Monday morning. I emailed him several times throughout the night and he was on top of it. It’s a great feeling when the customer is understood and you do all you can to assist. I can’t say it enough, the outstanding work that is being done by Sebastian.
I can’t end this email without also acknowledging Aakash. What an incredible job he is doing working with us and trying to pull requirements on everything, testing, and keeping us abreast of everything. When we began I didn’t want a single meeting without Kevin but we have learned that all these men are extremely talented even though I still feel extremely comfortable seeing Kevin at the meetings because of his well roundedness and knowledge. And lastly to you John, who has kept me calm through all of this and served as a great mediator. Kudos to MIBAR!!!!
Bart and Jory, you have a great team! My money was on MIBAR and you didn’t let me down. This rollout was a huge win. Thank you.”