Automation Components, Inc. and the Search for Multifaceted ERP Software
Automation Components, Inc. manufactures, creates and distributes building automation sensors for the heating, ventilation and air conditioning industry, also referred to as the HVAC industry. Beginning as a small company in 1991, ACI has established itself as a leader of quality automation sensors over time.
With a business that involves so many moving parts, ACI, like many manufacturing companies, needed a software to help keep track of inventory, job costs and engineering functions.
Before finding WorkWise, ACI worked with another ERP vendor, often finding themselves running into issues concerning a lack of software integration and not having the specific modules the business needed in order to function smoothly. Software Developer, Gary Volz explained some of the challenges that prompted Automation Components, Inc. to search for a new vendor.
One of the big drivers was that we wanted EDI integration and WorkWise provided that as an option for us. We also wanted one system that would cover all our needs. WorkWise had the modules we needed to get all our business functions into one system.
With the constant struggles from their former ERP software, ACI began their search for a new and improved system. A system that came with integrations and modules to help run daily business actions. Volz’s says that the business landed upon WorkWise after doing a search online. The company stood out to Volz because of the fact that it offered much needed modules and CRM integration, which allows ACI users to have immediate access to customer information.
We needed a system that could kind of do it all for us and make things a little more efficient, bring all of our essential business functions into one system. WorkWise has a full suite of applications and modules that we needed, combined with CRM.
ACI researched larger ERP vendors, but made the decision to choose WorkWise because of the consistent communication they received from WorkWise sales representatives, who provided accurate information about the capabilities of WorkWise’s ERP software.
After the implementation process was completed, the software went live toward the end of 2016. WorkWise provided a consultant on location at ACI “once every other week.” Volz describes the implementation process as a smooth one.
We started by setting up all of our parts, customer, and vendors then worked through every aspect of our business. We had to make some changes here and there in the way that we did things and we did some customization to help us meet our needs and it was a really smooth process. When we went live, we didn’t have too many issues and things have been getting better since then.
After the software was implemented and used by ACI employees, Volz noticed a positive uptick in productivity levels all because the software provides one central workspace station. With this ERP software, users no longer have to move between two different software’s.
All aspects of our company are now running through our ERP software. Having everyone work out of the same system and not have multiple programs that you have to jump back and forth through, has allowed us to get more done in less time.
With the ERP system in place and working well in the productivity department, Volz mentions that while ACI uses the “full gambit” of the software’s modules, there are some that have been very helpful to the ERP users including SOLIDWORKS and EDI.
SOLIDWORKS integration, that’s helped integrate our engineering department. EDI has helped us process our orders faster. Job costing, we didn’t have the ability before to really track our cost and now having that ability has allowed us to see some inefficiencies that we are able to address.
Volz also mentions the Production Data Reporting (PDR) tool and how helpful it has been for its users since “all of our production runs through the PDR.”
Additional features included in the ERP implementation that ACI users have found to be helpful is the configurator and the integration of eCommerce Gateway, which has helped with online ordering.
We have also implemented online ordering directly into our ERP system, using the eCommerce Gateway. Previously we had to manually enter all our online orders. Using the eCommerce Gateway has reduced order entry errors and allowed us to react faster to new orders received. We have a lot of configured parts setup currently. The WorkWise configurator has a lot of options available which has allowed us to configure many more parts than we could previously.
Just shy of two years using WorkWise ERP, Volz and all of ACI are happy with the ERP implementation and how the software provides them with exactly what they need.
We’ve been really happy with how it’s turned out. We definitely have no regrets with our decision to go with WorkWise and it’ll be a good long-term partnership for the both of us. It’s been nice because we’ve been able to, over the past couple of years, get to know quite a few people at WorkWise and it’s nice to be able to pick up the phone and talk to someone if we have to about an issue. It’s been a good partnership for us. As we continue to grow, this will be the tool that allows us to continue that growth.