Don’t Rock the Boat

Feature Article | December 10, 2003 by admin

Since 1987, Goff’s Enterprises in Pewaukee, Wisconsin (www.goffscurtainwalls.com) had created and serviced the market for industrial space partitioning systems (curtain walls), the kind you see in body shops or airport hangers. Although Goff’s Enterprises subcontracted manufacturing for eight years, lack of control over product quality and increased competition from tent and awning manufacturers sewed up the decision to start manufacturing what they sold.

Dis-Integration

As the company expanded – moving to a larger facility, adding employees, and building an extensive distribution channel – Goff invested a lot of money in computer systems – and computer systems consultants.
Some of the modules came from third-party vendors, and they didn’t play well together. CRM couldn’t talk with the accounting package, and almost all relevant data had to be entered at least twice. “We spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to get this integrated, and we still couldn’t get reports. We had to get another company to do our reporting.”

Don’t rock the boat

Goff’s Enterprises was successful and profitable – and Goff had come to terms with his software packages. “I felt we were out of the woods. Things weren’t perfect, but they were OK. I wasn’t in any hurry to drop money on something like software. I’ve been beaten up once too often for that.”
Tony was impressed when he saw a demo of SAP Business One, but he wondered about SAP. Were they serious about supporting businesses like his? Representatives from certified SAP business partners, such as George Yankovich and Klaus Schneegans from Praxis Software Solutions (www.praxissoft.net) and Phil Haine from Business-First LLC (www.business-first.us), were convincing, but Tony wanted to see for himself.
What he saw at SAPPHIRE ’03 Orlando sealed the deal. He realized that SAP, with over 30 years experience in developing and supporting business enterprise software, was ready to support his company.

A partner for growth

At the SAP Business Forum ’03 in Rosemont, Illinois on October 22, Tony Goff talked about SAP Business One and how it figures in his plans. He’s relying on SAP Business One to handle his complex manufacturing requirements, support his lead referral program, and boost his revenue for even greater business success.

No time to waste

June 2003 wasn’t the best time to purchase a new software package. Several key employees had left Goff’s Enterprises, and according to Tony, “There was some chaos in the company. However, the SAP partner was really, really good. Not only are they knowledgeable, but also they’re considerate of our time. They didn’t need hours and hours of my production manager’s time. They understood our business needs, and got to work.”

A powerful set of tools

SAP Business One includes a wide range of customization and integration features that do not require specialized technical knowledge or programming skills. Goff’s own staff can easily add new fields and tables, define field validation rules, and design custom alerts.
Goff noted that his make-to-order manufacturing process did require the use of SAP Business One Software Development Kit (SDK), a supplementary product that provides tools for software developers. A company can maximize its IT investment by tailoring SAP Business One and integrating external applications.

Real-time access to information

“When we saw Drag&Relate, I fell out of my chair. Drag, bam, sales. There it is.” With his old system, Goff had to pay a consultant $135 per hour to generate a simple sales report. With SAP Business One, any employee can get reports whenever and wherever they’re needed. “Ease of reporting is huge. It’s number one with us.”

Impact on the bottom line

Working with SAP partner consultants on the manufacturing process and lead referral program has already had a positive impact on the bottom line. “Just going through our two key processes to prepare for SAP Business One has helped us. We’ve had our biggest month ever in the company’s history.”
Tony’s especially proud of the lead referral program. “It’s clear, concise, and well-planned. We are presenting a professional face to our distributors.”
And there are productivity gains as well. “In the old system, we had to jump in and out of several screens just to set up a part number. But the process in SAP Business One is really set up well. It matches the way we work, with no wasted steps.”

Goff’s Enterprises: ready for the future

“Things are exciting around here now. We’re looking at new products and new markets. And we’ve built a strong business plan – and implemented it. We have the time now to actually look at what we’re doing – and why. We can get answers to some of our most challenging questions.”

Isn’t it time to rock your boat?

It’s exciting to talk with the owner of a small company that’s thriving. Tony Goff’s enthusiastic belief in the future of his company is infectious. What a difference from six months ago, when his mantra was “Don’t rock the boat.”
Are you in that same boat, waiting white-knuckled for the next wave of bad news to knock you out?
Go to our Web site at www.sap.com/smb and see for yourself how SAP Business One can help your company rock the boat – and stay afloat.

Brenda Mackay

Brenda Mackay

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