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Acumatica: Easy to use, affordable ERP for small businesses

Bell and Company moved from an archaic paper-based financial system to QuickBooks in 2008, but Dan Wilkins, president of the industrial and marine parts distributor, knew he could better compete with larger competitors and gain greater insight into his business with a modern ERP system. Wilkins found that Acumatica was affordable, easy to implement and easy to use, which helped employees be more efficient and productive.

About Bell and Company

Location: Mobile, AL

industry: Wholesale distribution

Website: http://www.bellandco.net

Application Replaced: QuickBooks
Compare Acumatica & QuickBooks

Bell and Company Video Testimonial

Key results

  • Tight integration between sales and purchase orders
  • Automated communicated with customers, improving customer service
  • Mobile access, increasing employee productivity
  • Reduced accounting costs by bringing AP in-house

Challenges

Bell and Company needed a system that could:

  • Automate the company’s financial processes
  • Automate communication with customers
  • More than a simple accounting package to run own small business
Before Acumatica, we had no way to access the local resources on the network when we were away from the office. Now we have access to all of our customer information and technical documents—it’s as easy as picking up the phone or using the app.
Dan Wilkins, President at Bell and Company

Dan Wilkins
President

ERP Solution

Wilkins chose Acumatica’s cloud-based ERP for these reasons:

  • Tight integration between sales and purchase orders
  • Unlimited user pricing
  • Highly configurable
  • Ease of use and flexibility
  • Detailed help and information available on every screen
  • No additional hardware investment with the cloud version

Of his decision, Wilkins says, “I did demos with a lot of the ERP companies, the big ones, Infor and SAP. What I found with Acumatica and their partner Accounting Systems, Inc. (ASI) was their willingness to answer all my questions and do multiple demos. From the start, I really felt like they were here to fully support us.”

“I’m the co-owner, the president, salesman, purchasing agent, and the IT department; we don’t have the luxury of an IT team like bigger companies have,” he says. “But we were able, with the help of our partner, Accounting Systems, to implement the software in a manner that I wanted and to configure it how I wanted.”

“Acumatica is so easy to use that a lot of small companies can now adopt an ERP, host it in the cloud and save money by not having to buy new hardware or servers.”

One of the most laborious tasks when implementing a new software solution is loading historical data and product information into the software. Although companies can elect to start anew and run parallel systems, others, like Bell and Company, prefer to load past data to better understand how the company has historically operated. “Importing all our Business Accounts and Items into Acumatica was more straightforward and easier than I expected,” Wilkins says.

Benefits for Bell and Company

No fees for growing the business

One of the key reasons for adopting Acumatica was its unlimited user pricing, Wilkins says, which makes it very affordable as the company continues to grow. “Competitors wanted us to pay per user, which wasn’t affordable,” he says. That’s because Wilkins not only plans to have the company’s employees use the system, but also to create customer and vendor portals and extend access to his accountant.

“With Acumatica, I liked the fact I did not pay per user. I also liked that they use AWS for their backbone and hosting,” Wilkins says. “Customer and vendor portals were a big item for me, and with other software companies, I found that if I wanted those, I would need more user licenses.”

Mobile access improves customer service

Bell and Company’s sales team has become more efficient by being able to access contact information from the field, manage workflows through one system, and access sales and purchase orders quickly.

“Our customer base is located along the Gulf Coast. Before Acumatica, we had no way to access the local resources on the network when we were away from the office,” Wilkins says. “Now we have access to all of our customer information and technical documents—it’s as easy as picking up the phone or using the app. The responsive design is great, so whether you’re on an iPad, an iPhone or a computer, the system responds to whatever device you’re on. It has really changed the way we are able to support a customer.”

Easy-to-use system streamlines implementation and employee training

One of Wilkins’ primary requirements was a system that was easy-to-use. “Being a small company, we didn’t have an IT budget to have an expensive implementation or dedicated personnel to manage the software all the time,” Wilkins says. “I knew if the software was too cumbersome and hard to follow that my employees would not use the software to its full potential.”

“The uniform design and layout of Acumatica was what I was looking for,” he reports. “Because the software is broken down into modules with the same layout for each module, the learning curve during employee training was streamlined.”

Additionally, “the help pages in Acumatica are really useful. From anywhere in the software, you can click on help and a page pops up explaining the current page you are on and the function of each field. That’s helped everyone out tremendously.”

“You often hear about the complexity of ERP systems. With Acumatica, I think we got the full capability of an ERP with the simplicity that allows not only me, but our whole sales force to take advantage of the system.”


Application replaced: QuickBooks

Most companies got their start using Inuit’s QuickBooks for their financials. But there comes a time when QuickBooks is just not enough. If you’re ready to take the next step, see what Acumatica has to offer.