Business-First Puts Business on the Front Burner

To thrive in today’s marketplace, small and midsize businesses face two especially hot challenges: Increasing profitability and improving operational control. Business-First, with offices in Eagan, Minnesota and Chicago, Illinois, works with companies in the US industrial Midwest to help them meet these challenges. They do it with the SAP Business One solution, an integrated, affordable business management solution built from the ground up to meet the immediate and long-term needs of the midmarket.
SAP Business One provides a true and unified view of operations across customer relationship management, manufacturing and finance. Using the SAP Business One solution and Business-First’s trademarked Tri-Gap Methodology, the team starts with business process improvement, providing on-demand access to critical, real-time information so executives can make better, faster and more profitable decisions.
In fact, Business First’s sizzling success at helping its customers automate and streamline business processes earned it SAP’s recognition as the partner that achieved the greatest sales record, along with high customer satisfaction and strong business relationships.
As the saying goes, the proof is in the pudding. Business-First works with customers within their budget constraints, sensitive to their specific situations. Theirs is a customer-centric, partner-lead, and SAP Business One-based solution. The team includes expert, experienced consultants and solution components to provide a single, complete solution that allows midmarket companies to partner with larger companies or compete head-to-head – at a fraction of the cost.
Here are three companies that leverage the value of their SAP Business One solutions from Business-First:

No obstacles to fast growth at the Barrier Group

The Barrier Group is a startup company providing a world-class cyber security solution that includes round-the-clock monitoring of its customers’ networks. Business-First stepped in to help them face a difficult challenge: Small company, rapid growth and limited budget. Most importantly, the company wanted better insight into and control over all business processes so it could be highly responsive to customer emergencies in the event of security breaches.
“We needed a solution to help us operate swiftly, effectively and professionally,” says Steven Sahl, The Barrier Group’s President and CEO. “SAP Business One provided a powerful solution that could be implemented quickly and affordably. It enables us to manage our business effectively and provide the rapid response that our customers require.”
Focusing on The Barrier Group’s core business and service needs, Business-First implemented the Business One solution in less than 45 days. Now The Barrier Group operates smoothly, with rapid and accurate service call processing, a 360-degree view of each customer and improved communication.
For example, customer service is critically important. When a client has a problem, in seconds and less than five clicks, Barrier can access active information and pertinent history to respond effectively. The company can also track all serial numbers, version, configuration and model numbers, and complete customer histories. Business-First was able to extend the basic capability of SAP Business One to provide this information using out-of-the-box Business One tools. No custom coding was required. With the on-demand access to critical, real-time information from its Business One solution, The Barrier Group has what it takes to provide the premier quality service that its big and small customers expect.

Progressive Rail – on track for growth

Progressive Rail, a fast-growing short line railroad comprising seven operating companies, offers comprehensive transportation solutions that give customers a significant tactical advantage over competitors that rely only on trucks. In addition to transportation, Progressive can provide transloading, food-grade storage, just-in-time services, and logistics.
Growing rapidly by providing services 24/7 with state-of-the-art equipment and satellite tracking capabilities, Progressive turned to Business-First with three major business process improvement priorities. Top of the list was to fully integrate financial and sales management functions, systematize and automate inventory management, and track and manage project flow.
Working in conjunction with services consulting firm MSGi, also an SAP business partner, Business-First delivered the Business One solution that meets Progressive’s priorities and implemented it for the first company in just two weeks.
Now, with a 360-degree view of its customers and overall business, Progressive Rail can manage all of its diverse interests using a single software solution and a relatively small group of people. Currently there are seven users doing the work for all seven companies. They particularly value Business One’s ability to provide consolidated financial statements.
Progressive Rail’s vice president, Tim Wiens, notes that the Business-First/MSGi implementation of the Business One system laid a new foundation for his organization. It enabled the company “to pull the reins in and figure out a new direction for the business.”

Fired up at Comprehensive Inventory Solutions

Comprehensive Inventory Solutions (CIS) specializes in aggressively priced dry, refrigerated and frozen grocery inventories for retail and food service companies throughout the US. CIS asked Business-First to implement a solution to help it expand, communicate better and process orders accurately in a single system that all employees could use. Tracking inventory online was also an imperative, as was supporting same-day order turnaround, managing sales commissions – and more.
In addition, CIS wanted a partner that would provide support and strategic direction, since the company had no internal IT support team. In summary, CIS needed a real-time, online business solution with remote access and powerful management reporting capabilities – and it needed it implemented quickly.
Business-First got CIS’s new SAP Business One solution up and running within just 45 days. “We really were impressed when just 100 days after starting the project we were able to go to a show and take orders online and in real-time, through wireless access,” notes George Michaelson, CEO. “When a customer came by to check on the status of his order, we were able to bring up that order and help him add to it. No problem! The updates were done on the spot in real-time, confirmed and shipped that same day – without a call to the office.”
With the new solution in place, CIS has been able to grow the company with a lower cost curve. In fact, within four months it grew 17 percent with NO increase in costs.
What’s important to these businesses and many others is the combination of solid technology, scalability and affordability that SAP Business One provides. With Business- First’s help, they are leveraging this power to put their core businesses on the front burner.
Find out more about Business-First at:
For more on MSGi, go to:
Read about The Barrier Group at:
More information about Progressive Rail can be found at:
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Christine Macfarlane
Christine Macfarlane