E&T Plastics was faced with aging hardware and software that was no longer supported by their relevant providers. While MIBAR.net is fully committed to supporting their clients, when Microsoft ended support for SQL server 2005 and FoxPro (the language of business application, AccountMate, was written in) it presented too much risk to the company’s business continuity to ignore. Such excessive levels of risk, coupled with the increasing possibility of encountering larger problems that were beyond MIBAR’s ability to resolve, were a reason for MIBAR to strongly recommend to E&T that it was time to move on.
Given the long standing business relationship that had developed over 17 years of service and partnership with MIBAR.net, E&T Plastics trusted the team to explore implementing an industry leading cloud solution from Oracle.
MIBAR’s NetSuite recommendation was rooted in its deep understanding of E&T’s operational business challenges and started with the premise that a new solution needed to be agile and offer centralized reporting across all nine North American subsidiaries. In addition to seamless upgrades across versions, eliminating the need for hardware upgrades; the ability to develop dynamic integrations to other business applications such as EDI, LTL shipping, credit card processing and an industry specific design application was a must. In summary, there was a strong business case to align with implementing NetSuite.
Empowering Sales with Operational Efficiency
The E&T sales team only had access to client contacts and basic order entry functions in AccountMate (their legacy ERP system). Today, using NetSuite’s fully integrated CRM suite, sales reps and management can track the full chain of commitments and related communications upon a single platform. Opportunities, Quotes and Sales Orders provide a trail of approvals and expectations. Sales and customer service personnel could now accept credit cards directly into their sales order entry window to finalize payments and enhance customer service with a flexible shipping solution to source LTL freight quotes instantly.
Given the nature of a buying and selling commodities such as plastic sheets, custom orders was subject to changing markets and potentially lost margins. NetSuite’s alerts, approvals and work-flows simplified the ability to write competitive orders that ensured compliance with management’s directive to protect margins. Communication amongst reps and customers was now based on a single version of truth across the entire sales life-cycle.
MIBAR.net CEO, Bart Nachimow stated his observation of the 17-year relationship, “The Fully Connected Processes in NetSuite was a Game Changer for them.”
Not just Financial Reporting
E&T’s management needed a streamlined way to gain visibility to their operations across the entire enterprise, which wasn’t possible in AccountMate. In order to visualize operational information users needed to log in and out of company-specific databases, gaining a consolidated view was a matter if cutting and pasting data into Excel and hoping for the best. When MIBAR introduced the power of a fully integrated dashboard and reporting capabilities of NetSuite the project came to life. The ability to view consolidated financial statements and replace previous independent reporting practices with NetSuite’s dashboards were met with disbelief. While the MIBAR.net team was engaged as a trusted advisor by E&T’s executive team, such reporting and visibility benefits were unimaginable. By using the subsidiary navigator, E&T’s CEO could now zone into a particular subsidiary (or group of subs), for immediate visibility and comparisons from his personalized dashboard.
Accounting has been hampered by silos; traditional of legacy systems. While the staff has been burdened by volumes of logging in and out, the NetSuite solution enabled them to select the company relevant to each transaction and resulting journal entries were automated to appropriate entities. Former results of excel acrobats (i.e. lots of cut and paste!) required weeks to prepare month-end reporting. Today the NetSuite solution renders month-end statements within the first 3 – 5 days of the month.
Introducing the Power of Multi-Entity and Drop Ship
Every employee in the company was affected by the prior system’s limitations to manage multiple entities. In the legacy system, the accounting department had to log into each entity separately to process transactions. – Processing inter-company transactions required significant effort and required a massive amount of customization to create a minimally effective business process. Inventory across entities could be viewed but not leveraged, leaving sales teams siloed to the availability of their own location. NetSuite’s OneWorld functionality allows for drop shipments from any subsidiary location or vendor direct to the customer; leveraging standard out of the box functionality in NetSuite. More sales were made possible and customers waited less time for their orders.
The implementation that Eliminated Costly Hardware and “Risky” Unsupported Software
Like so many established businesses, customizations are invaluable and represent significant challenges to most any ERP implementation. The legacy AccountMate system had amassed thousands of hours of valuable customizations, requiring translation to the new system. MIBAR.net was able to rewrite E&T’s code in a fraction of that effort. The largest two contributors to this achievement were first, NetSuite’s deep out-of-the-box distribution functionality and second, the rapid development tools built into NetSuite that were utilized by MIBAR’s skilled development and consulting team.
Unlike most ERP implementations, E&T decided to import ten years of sales transaction pricing history. The entire implementation took seven months and included data migrations of products, pricing, customers and vendors, open AR, open AP, open Sales Orders, Open Purchase Orders and three years of detailed GL history. Initial inventory balances including details such as costs counts and locations, to name a few. Additional customizations to support E&T’s proprietary fabrication process and integration with industry-specific CAD software was also in the project scope.