Lockwood Products needed:
- Unified interface for all modules
- Robust database for data storage
- Local product support
- Substantial customer base already using new system of choice
Lockwood Products needed:
Lockwood’s shortlist of must-haves for a new system included a unified interface for all modules, a robust SQL database for data storage, local product support, and a substantial base of customers. Lockwood started looking at systems, including Sage, Microsoft Dynamics and a few others.
He engaged the help of Bennett Porter, an IT firm he had heard great things about. “Bennett Porter was a huge piece of the puzzle when it came to choosing the new system,” Lockwood said. “We were considering another product—Sage, I think—but none of them seemed to fit the bill for us without making large concessions.” When Lockwood met with BP, they introduced him to Acumatica, showed him a demo, and everyone agreed it was a good fit.
“The fact that it had so many of the features we were looking—simple, web-based interface, local support and the ability to add additional users without extra fees—put Acumatica on top of the list by far,” Lockwood says. “Plus, import scenarios and the ability to create custom reports and custom screens with Generic Inquiries was key.”
“Acumatica allowed Lockwood to make wide-sweeping changes to the way he runs the company. Rather than simply replacing an existing piece of software or adding some functionality, Lockwood reevaluated many operational processes and made them more efficient. Acumatica allowed him to redefine roles within the company as well, he said. He made sweeping changes to warehouse, shipping, sales, inventory and employee processes.
Because Acumatica offers an unlimited licensing model, and does not charge a per-seat fee, companies like Lockwood can have an unlimited number of users in the system at the same time. With Acumatica, Chad Lockwood placed inexpensive tablets around the warehouse for employees to use at any time, moving financial system access to where and when it was needed, and also lowering the cost of software and hardware needed to maintain desktops for employees. Now, warehouse employees can check inventory or assembly builds on the spot at any time.
Previously, Lockwood Products could only run a nightly inventory report, so managers lacked insight into inventory levels and new sales orders. “With Acumatica, someone can log in at any time, refresh the screen, and see live data on product to determine what product the team should focus on, rather than building things we may or may not need depending upon how demand had changed,” Lockwood says.
Acumatica’s Generic lnquiries function allows Lockwood and its managers to find information fast and to create reports on the fly, things that were very difficult with the old set-up. “In the old system, any time I wanted to get data out, we had to write a Crystal Report, which is complicated and many times needed to be outsourced,” Lockwood says. “Since I’m comfortable writing SQL inquiries, I can now modify or write a new report from scratch and that’s been huge.”
Lockwood likes Acumatica’s consistent and customizable interface, which made it easy for long-time employees to learn and for newer employees to get quickly up to speed. “In our old program we were forced to use data fields for data they were not intended to hold because the fields we needed were not there,” Lockwood said. “In Acumatica if we need a custom field to hold some customer or product specific data we just add it through the customizations, these fields are also available in reports.”
“The decisions we make about customers, vendors, products, and employees depend on an accurate and accessible ERP system. Without good clear data you cannot make informed decisions. Acumatica has removed bottlenecks by allowing access to all of our employees from any device with a web browser. This has allowed all of the departments within our company to know that the work they are doing based on data from the system is correct,” says Lockwood. “Our ability to import and access our data accurately through an easily customized interface from any location will allow us to grow far into the future,” he continues.”