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Hospitality Enters the Man Cave

Feature Article | September 17, 2014 by Jacqueline Prause

Fast-growth enterprise Redrock Camps streamlines processes, gains clear insights into operations with SAP Business One. SAP partner Zantek drives implementation success with SAP quality methods from SAP Partner Service Delivery.

Redrock Camps, a Canadian enterprise specializing in workforce hospitality services and modular work camp solutions, makes a bold promise to its customers: to provide them with hassle-free, reliable camp and catering solutions that will help them retain workers and keep them productive. It’s a compelling message that resonates with Redrock’s customer base – predominantly businesses in the oil and gas, construction, and mining industries.

Redrock was recently recognized as the number one growth company in Alberta by Alberta Venture magazine in its 2014 Fast Growth 50 issue, where it profiled the company in “The Man Cave: Redrock Camps redefine the work camp.” Based in Calgary, with warehouses in Grand Prairie and Edmonton, Redrock operates in some of the most remote areas of Canada to bring complete camp and catering solutions to its customers.

Founder and CEO Troy Ferguson gained firsthand knowledge about remote logistics and the requirements of managing a work camp during his early years working in isolated Canadian bush camps as a tree planter. That formative experience gave Ferguson some ideas about how to make a formidable environment more comfortable for the people who need to work there.

Redrock differentiates itself in the workforce hospitality market by providing uniquely non-institutional remote camp environments. With layouts, furniture, and decor more reminiscent of a comfortable cabin rather than a standardized modular unit, Redrock works hard to deliver a high level of hospitality to the workers it houses – over 90% of whom are men – by providing something akin to a “man cave” for them during their non-working hours.

A Redrock camp is distinguished in the industry for its use of more natural, wood-style flooring as well as softer lighting solutions in comparison to the industry standard for living spaces. Redrock’s attention to comfort and detail extends to the dining hall, as well, where it favors personable seating arrangements, like cozy booths. Darker walls, cabin decor, and the occasional antique add a genial touch to an otherwise austere environment.

Redrock Camps aligns IT with business strategy

Since entering the market in 2006, Redrock’s business has grown swiftly. In 2013, Redrock Camps doubled its revenues to C$43.6 million, up from C$25.6 the previous year. The company also more than doubled its asset portfolio to C$9.8 in the same period.

Ferguson has been preparing the company for further rapid growth. In doing so, Redrock recognized that it needed to better manage its food and supplies inventory for the many camps it operates. It also needed to streamline business processes and automate many administrative functions, as well as gain clearer insight into operations on a per-camp basis.

In his interview with Alberta Venture, Fergusontold why a world-class IT solution is critical to sustaining Redrock’s exponential growth and executing on its business strategy. “The problem in business is that the backend can’t keep up,” he said candidly. “What I’ve done is gone ahead of the curve and said we need to get our back room in order. I think the boldest thing I’ve had to make a decision on is put the ERP in place.”

SAP Business One emerges as solution of choice

In surveying the broad market of ERP solutions, Redrock used an external consultant to help select a suitable solution. From an initial list of eight potentials, Redrock shortlisted to issuing a request for proposal (RFP) to three leading IT companies.

Among them was Zantek Information Technology Inc., a full-service IT company for small- and medium-sized businesses in Western Canada. An SAP partner, Zantek has deep experience on SAP Business One and an understanding of local business needs.

The qualification process was extensive and involved in-depth, on-site software demonstrations, as well as several rounds of discussion and negotiation. Zantek was successful in convincing Redrock that SAP Business One was the most complete and tightly integrated solution.

Zantek achieves SAP Partner Quality program accreditation

At the time of the project, Redrock was growing rapidly, buying a competitor, moving to a larger facility, and amalgamating its warehouse space. Many internal processes were not fully established. And the project team included outside consultants with diverse backgrounds in IT. Consequently, project requirements were in a constant state of fluctuation.

Zantek worked closely with Redrock to tailor a scalable business management solution using SAP Business One. To enhance SAP Business One’s capabilities, the team introduced PDMX advanced warehouse management solution from SAP software solution partner Produmex.

It was during this time that Zantek joined the SAP Partner Quality program, one of a range of SAP quality services provided through SAP Partner Service Delivery. As part of the program Zantek underwent a thorough review of its internal systems and processes, including rigorous quality audits. Zantek worked closely with its SAP partner quality advisor, Ian McWalter, to build a robust quality framework within its project methodology.

The SAP Partner Quality program equips partners with tools and methods based on SAP best practices to ensure high-quality software implementations. Through applying a standardized approach to quality assurance, partners can better identify and mitigate project risks, as well as maximize project benefits to the customer. As a result, partners are able to drive customer satisfaction in their projects.

Zantek was successful in updating its methods and tools to reflect the 10 SAP Quality Principles, upon which the SAP Partner Quality program is based. Having met the requirements of the program, Zantek achieved accreditation in 2013.

Trust and careful planning guide success

The implementation at Redrock Camps was one of the first projects in which Zantek used the SAP quality methods. Zantek developed a detailed project plan based on standardized templates. Project risks were identified early and customer expectations were set accordingly. Maintaining a high level of transparency enabled Zantek to build trust early in the project by delivering what it committed to and within the stated time frame. This trust would be key to the ultimate success of the project.

Zantek closely monitored project costs, regularly comparing budget to actuals and advising Redrock early of any project over runs. It established bi-weekly status meetings with the customer to review project plans and identify upcoming issues in the project. In addition to careful planning and good management, one of the tools Zantek used to manage cost was a tightly controlled change request process. It also relied on its deep knowledge of SAP Business One and Produmex to find innovative solutions to maximizing the features available for Redrock’s benefit.

With all business processes developed, documented, and tailored to match the best practices supported in SAP Business One, Redrock’s new IT solution went live on June 9, 2014.

Benefits: streamlined processes, speedy access to information, improved warehouse management

From the outset, Redrock Camps has been very pleased with its new SAP solution. Among the benefits is a marked improvement in both back-office and customer-facing processes. . New improvements in warehouse management have resulted in lower costs and increased productivity through automation of receiving and shipping with bar code coding and scanners, better purchasing decisions and vendor management. Data extraction and indicators via queries and custom crystal reports are tailored to management specifications and provide concise, relevant information for decision making.

Redrock is pleased with the scalability of the software, feeling confident that SAP Business One is up to the task of meeting any future business requirements that may arise. Ferguson says, “With SAP Business One, we now have the information we need, at our fingertips, to accelerate order fulfillment, manage perishable goods, and create stronger relationships with our customers. We’re more nimble now.”

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