The story of how ISS came to be, why the company chose Acumatica cloud ERP as their business management solution, and how it became Acumatica’s 2021 Customer of the Year is inspiring.
Industrial Specialty Services (ISS) was named Acumatica’s 2021 Customer of the Year during Acumatica Summit 2021. Earning the award was no small feat. The company faced—and overcame—some incredible challenges during its implementation of Acumatica’s cloud ERP solution, and they did so with the help of two expert partners.
ISS: Starting from scratch
According to its website, ISS “delivers safe, smart and reliable integrated mechanical services and solutions to the refining, petrochemical, gas, power, pulp & paper, offshore and subsea markets throughout North and South America as well as other strategic international regions.” The company works on projects that are issued daily, range from two-to-20 days (or more), take place at customer locations, and are governed by rate agreements.
Though it sounds like an established organization, ISS has only been operational for a little under two years. It all began in January 2020 when CEO James Craig and COO Gary Gardner, working with a private equity (PE) group acquired a carved-out business unit from a $5 billion company in the energy services industry, per ISS’ Acumatica customer success story. James and Gary had no management team or personnel, and Operations, Sales, Marketing, HR, Engineering, Safety, and Accounting departments were non-existent. Add in the need for data and voice networks and infrastructure and enterprise systems for the company’s USA and Canada operations, and James was starting from scratch.
Did we mention that he had a critical deadline to meet?
He had six months, but James, who has experience with at least seven ERP implementations, was not intimidated by the complex process ahead of him. He already knew Acumatica’s cloud ERP solution was going to be his technology platform after implementing it in a previous company. And he tagged two strategic partners to aid his cause: Francisco Callegari, Management Technology Advisor at BDO Digital, and Eric Frank, CEO of NexTec Group.
Says James, “The partners we had, BDO and NexTec, both brought not only Acumatica experience, but they also had direct experience within our industry, so it was a great help in order to get everything stood up and done. And we successfully transitioned everything on August 1st.”
Did we also mention that a world-wide oil price drop, the COVID-19 pandemic, and three hurricanes hit while they were getting up and running? Even so, they carried on, working remotely by utilizing Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365 for virtual meetings, getting ISS operational with Acumatica’s cloud-based ERP solution in six months.
ISS: Hit the ground running with Acumatica Cloud ERP
ISS’ BDO client success story provides further details about the company’s digital transformation journey as well as Francisco’s digital strategy. “BDO Digital was a one-stop-shop to bring in all the necessary resources, from architecting the technology footprint to engaging with a tight network of partners and solution providers, such as Acumatica, NexTec and Microsoft, to deliver the technology my company needed.”
Though they had an inordinate number of challenges, ISS implemented Acumatica’s Distribution Edition, CRM, Financial Management, and Project Accounting software with NexTec’s help. It went surprisingly well, according to James.
“The primary idea was to create a solution that was designed around the cloud. It was a critical element because we wanted to get away from maintaining servers or being responsible for them,” James says. “We wanted to limit as much network infrastructure as possible, so we can stay focused on what we do best, which is servicing businesses in their plants and not running an overdone IT show. We needed a solution we could trust, and that we knew would work with the services we provide.”
They trusted Acumatica and were able to hit the ground running with:
- Control and visibility of business performance through a centralized ERP and collaboration platform
- Voice, data, and business application services based in the cloud, eliminating the need for heavy IT investments and lower overall salaries and wages
- Reliance on BDO for subject matter expertise and sustainable support services
- A cloud-based ERP platform that is flexible and scalable
- Operational efficiencies through user adoption
- The ability to access data in real time
- An intuitive and easy-to-use interface
ISS plans to add more Acumatica modules and third-party applications available in the Acumatica Marketplace. They also expect to take advantage of Acumatica’s unique pricing model, which charges for consumption vs. per user, to grow aggressively through acquisitions and organically.
James says, “We won’t need much more (infrastructure) to add a similar-sized company. As far as the back office goes, we can absorb a majority of employees and only need maybe two people in admin roles to handle safety requirements.”
ISS: Acumatica’s 2021 Customer of the Year
Their story is inspirational and a great example of what strategic partnerships within the Acumatica ecosystem can produce. Their story also highlights why ISS was chosen as the Acumatica 2021 Customer of the Year.
Acumatica CEO Jon Roskill presented James with the award during the Acumatica Summit 2021 Day One Keynote. “We love the partnership, and we love what you guys have done.”
Congratulations to James and his team! We can’t wait to be a part of your cloud ERP adventure.