Customer Success Stories Successful ERP Implementation - Key Code Media
Media and Technology Giant, Key Code Media, Gains Real-Time Data Insights, Grows 70% with Acumatica Cloud ERP
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Acumatica Cloud ERP solution for Key Code Media
Burbank, California, with nine offices throughout the U.S.
Services, Telecommunication, Software & technology
Apps Replaced

Key Code Media

  • Implemented a single connected solution, providing customer relationship management (CRM), project management, and real-time financial insights
  • Acquired project accounting functionality that efficiently managed 300 to 400-plus lines for quoting and real-time project updates
  • Automated manual data entry-driven processes and eliminated the need to export data multiple times a day
  • Automated and integrated business workflows, which saved substantial time
  • Reduced technology infrastructure costs, seamlessly moving to the cloud
  • Delivered instant remote (WFH) access to all users when the pandemic hit
  • Supported the seamless acquisition of two companies during a pandemic, enabling Key Code Media to reap 70 percent increases in revenues and staff effortlessly
Ka Man Chan
"We only have eight hours a day and need to scale the business, so we must ensure we use our time well. With Acumatica, rather than spending that time inputting data, we use our talent to analyze data and make more strategic decisions"
Ka Man Chan, Chief Financial Officer
Key Code Media
ERP Solution


Founded in 2001, Key Code Media is a nationwide design-build systems integrator for A/V, Broadcast, Production equipment solutions.

More specifically, it helps businesses with equipment procurement and full design of facility upgrades- including TV & Film Production, Collaborative Editing, Video Studios, Control Rooms, Emergency Operation Centers, Conference Rooms, Classrooms, and more. Often, customers will come with an initial budget and vision, and the engineer team at Key Code Media will design, install, train and support the solutions.

Demand for Key Code Media’s services soared when the pandemic forced organizations to work remotely—prompting corporations, governments, universities, churches and schools to shift to virtual learning, online collaboration, and streaming.

Over time, Key Code Media launched Key Code Education, a school dedicated to training media professionals. They also have C-7/C-10 engineers, which helped expand its markets to tackle larger audio-visual projects for government and education clients.

“In the last five years, we’ve landed larger corporate customers, including Microsoft Corp., Walmart, Netflix, Facebook, Google, City of Los Angeles and Google,” says Ka Man Chan, Key Code Media’s Chief Financial Officer.

Separate Siloed Systems with Legacy Software

For 18 years, Key Code Media used Sage 100 for accounting, augmenting it with several other programs, including Saleslogix project management solution for CRM, and Microsoft Excel for project coding. As Key Code Media began selling larger systems to larger organizations, it needed a more modern, connected solution to support its growth and larger transaction volumes.

“We had siloed systems that weren’t linked. So, when we started offering larger projects with 300 to 400 quote lines, we couldn’t manage that in Excel,” Chan says.

Using multiple systems made it nearly impossible to get real-time project status updates, understand project profitability, and view project expenses. In addition, employees constantly imported and exported data manually.

“It was challenging to try and make everything work. Just getting a report proved difficult,” Chan says. “It was a siloed system, and it took a lot of time to understand where we were as a business.”

Key Code Media Needed Integrated Project Management, CRM, and Automated Workflows

Key Code Media wanted a single, connected ERP solution that could provide project management, CRM, and robust project coding. The company also wanted to automate workflows and eliminate manual duplicate entries.

Executives wanted an ERP vendor that was technologically advanced and customer driven. “We wanted to align with a modern company that listens to its customers and helps its customers grow by keeping up with industry trends and incorporating modern ideas into the product,” Chan says.

Key Code Media evaluated several ERP systems, including Microsoft Dynamics and Sage Intacct. But they fell short and could not fulfill the company’s requirements.

“I looked at how they fit our day-to-day operations, such as the functionality they offered and how they designed their workflows,” Chan says. “The sales teams weren’t transparent and would not reveal how the system accounted for drop shipping items that weren’t received in the warehouse or how they matched revenue to cost of goods sold.”

ERP Solution

ERP Solution

A Transparent, All-In-One Modern Solution

The Acumatica Cloud ERP team was very transparent and demonstrated how the business platform addressed drop shipping and matched revenue to the cost of goods sold. Acumatica also proved it was easy to use and robust, providing the project and customer management functionality Key Code Media sought.

Chan appreciated Acumatica’s low-code tools and open architecture, which enabled Key Code Media to expand its solution without hiring third-party software developers to customize the software.

“Acumatica doesn’t require you to go to a 4-year school to understand programming before you can configure the software,” Chan said. “You can go to Acumatica University and learn how to make small adjustments like changing the name of a field. It’s fantastic.”

Key Code Media executives ultimately chose Acumatica because of its comprehensive functionality and support for unlimited users, which would enable the company to scale the business affordably.

“The transactional pricing model made sense for me,” Chan says. “It is totally different from the other ERP vendors we considered. For example, 40 percent of our company are engineers, who will rarely access the system. They may need to enter a timecard or access the system for five minutes a day. Some subcontractors may only need to access the ERP once a week. So why should we pay for an expensive full-user license for each of them, like other ERP providers require?”



Business Grew 70 Percent as Pandemic Hit

Acumatica helps Key Code Media continue to provide exceptional customer service allowing employees to find customer information immediately and respond to customers in real-time. Acumatica gives customers greater visibility into equipment availability, delivery, project deliverables, and timelines. The ERP solution’s visibility and centralized access proved especially vital when supply chain issues wreaked havoc on distribution schedules.

Before the pandemic hit, Key Code Media made two acquisitions, increasing employment and revenues by more than 70 percent. They attributed their smooth transition into a much larger company to Acumatica.

“We were able to scale the business affordably with Acumatica and then pivot to working remotely simply by using a browser to access Acumatica,” Chan says. “If we didn’t have Acumatica during the pandemic, we would have had a major problem.”

“I can’t imagine if we didn’t change to Acumatica how we would have enabled everyone to work remotely, which we did with no downtime,” she continues. “This was amazing and helped our business operate efficiently while providing us access to data from anywhere in real-time.”

Employees accessed real-time data from anywhere and used the Acumatica mobile app to enter timecards. Previously, Key Code Media relied on an on-premises server with remote desktop access that crashed every night because it could not support the employee demand.

“Acumatica is easy-to-use and navigate, and I love the dashboards, which allow me to design reports with all my KPIs,” says Chan who likes that she can use Acumatica’s low-code, no-code flexibility to make changes herself. “The old system provided a business alert system that pushed out so many reports that it annoyed employees. With Acumatica, we can get information anytime we want it.”

Reduced Technology Infrastructure Costs

Since Acumatica operates in the cloud, Key Code Media avoided paying for a new server, hardware support, and maintenance that would have cost more than $30,000. In addition, moving to the cloud allowed the company to go paperless, sending invoices and other documentation digitally. They also eliminated the costs of two legacy software packages and related support costs.

Eliminated Duplicate Data Entry

Key Code Media no longer uses Excel to move data from ConnectWise Sell, a quoting system or collect time and expense reports, eliminating time spent manually transferring data. Instead, employees now enter information directly into Acumatica.

“Acumatica has made us more efficient,” Chan says. Take the finance team, for example. “One of our goals was to positively impact sales communications about providing credit approval for a new client’s onboarding. So, we customized our opportunity screen so sales can simply check a box to request a credit approval from the credit department, and we will proactively inform them of the credit approval process.”

The company previously exported timecards and entered them into Excel, which could take 10 hours because quote lines could reach 400 lines. “Now we can see everything in Acumatica instantly. We can look at one unified ecosystem and understand where we are instantly,” Chan says. “It’s wonderful.”

Improved Project Accounting

Key Code Media previously tried to use Saleslogix to track projects and provide CRM capabilities. “We couldn’t look at revenue generation or travel expenses or the cost of goods sold because all of our siloed systems didn’t talk to each other,” Chan says. All that information now resides in a single application, Acumatica, and is easy to access in real-time.

Key Code Media had no prior mechanism to understand project profitability. It had to try to look at sales orders or individual purchase orders, but it didn’t have a way to capture other time-related activities related to an overall job because of the multiple systems.

Now, Chan can view real-time project status updates, understand project profitability, and view project expenses, bringing together data housed in a single platform. Presale time is booked to a project, and when the opportunity becomes a project, the data flows with that project so they can see if they are making a profit overall. That’s a level of detail they didn’t have before and the CRM ties back into it.

Key Code Media can also track opportunities from that first sales interaction throughout the opportunity to the customer stage.

Futureproofing its Business

Key Code Media also chose Acumatica because the company listens to customers, understands their needs, and continues to innovate its offerings.

“Acumatica really knew the market and understood our business and how to leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning,” Chan says. “We only have eight hours a day and need to scale the business, so we must ensure we use our time well. With Acumatica, rather than spending that time inputting data, we use our talent to analyze data and make more strategic decisions.”

Incorporating modern technology, such as dragging and dropping documents to automatically enter information into the application, saves significant time. These efficiencies “are helping us to grow the business with Acumatica,” Chan says.

Continued Growth

Key Code Media plans to expand its footprint in the U.S. through acquisitions, organic growth, and expanding its services to existing clients. The company can now do so efficiently because Acumatica easily accommodates additional users and services.

“We are planning on adding IT services because our clients have specialized needs for higher bandwidth, security, firewalls, and storage,” Chan says. “We can easily add IT consulting as a revenue category within Acumatica.”

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