Strategic Decisions Pave Way for Fast Implementation
To launch Acumatica so quickly, the Power Storage team made several key decisions. Since they didn’t have quoting tools migrate from Interstate, they crossed that off the initial launch list. They prioritized basic accounting functions like accounts payable and accounts receivable, sales orders and projects. Expenses were added after those systems were up and running.
“We’re now working on adding time cards into the system, implementing CRM, sales order quoting, and then projects and the service module will be added,” Elledge says.
“Once we launched, it was amazing,” he says. “During the first month we billed $1.7 million straight out of Acumatica, and closed the month in 45 days. In January, it only took 30 days to close, February 15 days and March was 5 days. We’re still finding small things we need to fine tune around project accounting, the area of our business that’s most complicated.”
“Our top benefit was the cost and time getting up and running on the system,” Elledge says. “Now that we’re starting to build dashboards and people are communicating through the system, we’re changing the way we are running our business.”
Reduced Project Review Period from Six Weeks to One
Previously, it took six to eight weeks after a project ended to determine the true cost of a project. That’s because gathering information from six disconnected systems wasted a lot of time. Expenses through Concur came every two weeks. That information would then be matched with time from Workday, which also flowed once every two weeks. There were a lot of trailing cost due to these poor system integrations.
Now, when a job is done one week, the expenses and time are fully uploaded by Monday, so anything invoiced the previous week can be reviewed by a service manager. If the profitability or cost to budget is not correct, the sales team and service managers can instantly discuss how to adjust future projects. If the project comes in as estimated, the team can see immediately and congratulate each other. “We’re starting to see great conversations that are improving productivity and our gross profit because everyone sees the exact same information, in the same way on the same system at the same time,” Elledge says. “That’s extremely powerful.”
The team at Power Storage loves entering expenses into Acumatica. “It’s the easiest system ever, and I hear that over and over how easy it is to assign expenses to project, take a photo of a receipt from a phone, and in two minutes have it logged into the system,” Elledge says.
The company now has data instantly available so they can make dynamic, corrective actions in real-time, which has transformed operations and gross profits. If they’ve budgeted a project for 10 hours but learn someone logged 40 hours, or a project is scheduled for two days and it takes four, they can take immediate action – not wait for 8 weeks to get the information.
Field Services Will Improve Productivity
Power Storage’s projects last anywhere from four hours to 6 to 8 weeks to as long as 40 weeks, and the team uses Excel and Outlook to schedule technicians and projects. Power Storage plans to implement the Field Services module in Acumatica, which will allow them to better communicate with technicians and customers.
They will be able to send information such as who to contact on a site, what procedures they need to follow, what qualifications are needed to work on highly secure sites, what clearances they need and other project specifics.
Elledge looks forward to moving off Excel to Acumatica to streamline scheduling and communication and becoming more efficient. Invoicing sales and services separately and then being able to have each roll up into a project gives them one holistic view of a project.
Acumatica Provides Dynamic Detail So You Can Act Quickly
The ability to create dashboards with permissions lets Power Storage provide access to critical information on a need-to-know basis or throughout the whole company. Creating an accounts receivable dashboard not only help the accounting team pinpoint top collection priorities, and, by providing access to the sales team, Power Storage reduced past due accounts, for example.
“We have a nice-looking dashboard that shows what’s past due now and who’s out 60 or 90 days; it’s color-coded, and we can drill down and see notes about the account. We can also see the top 10 overdue accounts and past due by salesperson, which has helped us collect more efficiently,” Elledge says.
Connected ERP Software Outperforms Best of Breed Strategy
Elledge says companies looking for an all-inclusive solution that provides financial services and sales order management should consider Acumatica ERP.
“Nothing I’ve seen out there will do as much as Acumatica will do,” he says. “Acumatica might not have the single best in class in any one function, but it is above class in so many functions. Offering everything all in one system is more powerful than having disparate, best-in-class applications.”
At Interstate PowerCare, Elledge implemented a best-in-class strategy using Concur, Workday, Salesforce and others. “Now, if I tried to go back to Salesforce or Concur, I think I’d be run out of the company,” he says, adding, “I’m not overselling the importance of it. People underestimate how important it is to have one system you can modify to what you want to do compared to having piecemeal programs that do one thing special.”
Implementing Acumatica has allowed Power Storage to eliminate what Elledge estimates is some $40,000 to $50,000 in waste a month out of their systems from lost revenues to lost time trying to get the information they need out of so many different systems.
The entire Power Storage team is now on the same page, with access to real-time information which allows them to better communicate internally and with their customers, improving customer service.
For the first time, the company can make data-driven decisions with a high degree of confidence. “We can now see a clear picture of the business for the first time,” Elledge says. “It’s hard now to even remember all the steps we had to go through before Acumatica just to get a view of what was going on in our business, and I wouldn’t want to go back.”