As the Manufacturing Sector Bounces Back from 2020 Shutdowns, Decision Resources, Inc., Continues to Deliver Results with No Surprises
16 Go-Lives in 18 Weeks
Decision Resources, Inc., (DRI) completed 16 enterprise resource planning (ERP) system go-lives in the first 18 weeks of 2021. With another 18 go-lives scheduled for the second half of 2021 and more expected to be scheduled before the end of the year, DRI is on pace to complete over 40 ERP go-lives in 2021 – the most in the company’s 43-year history. The DRI services team is rising to the occasion, guided by its expertise in manufacturing processes and technology. The company continues to maintain its status as a top Infor partner by keeping projects on target and ensuring customers are getting the most out of their ERP software.
A Surge in ERP Implementation Projects
As the U.S. continues its return to normal following the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is no surprise that ERP implementation projects are on the rise. Many of DRI’s customers delayed implementation projects in early 2020 due to shutdowns and production halts. On the other hand, some manufacturers experienced a spike in demand in 2020, which resulted in a push to update technology. Here are just a few scenarios that DRI has encountered in the last year.
- A hand sanitizer manufacturer chose to upgrade its software to take advantage of new functionality, despite being busier than ever.
- A furniture manufacturer serving the hospitality industry opted to proceed with its ERP implementation, despite significant slowdowns, in order to prepare for a return to normal.
- A food manufacturer serving grocery stores chose to delay its ERP implementation in order to keep up with increased demand.
- An electronics manufacturer selected and implemented CloudSuite Industrial in the midst of the pandemic and had an extremely smooth and successful go-live.
The increase in ERP implementation projects was caused by a combination of delays, shutdowns, and demand fluctuations in 2020. Fortunately, DRI’s team of project managers, consultants, and software developers is extremely organized, knowledgeable, and dedicated to helping manufacturers become more efficient. Their expertise was exhibited in two unique go-lives completed in the first half of 2021.
A Speedy Upgrade During a Demand Spike
As COVID-19 case numbers rose in the U.S., so did demand for goods like cleaning products, anti-bacterial soaps, and personal protective equipment. For one DRI customer, a manufacturer of hand sanitizer, demand skyrocketed. The company was using an older version of CloudSuite Industrial ERP and realized an upgrade would expand functionality and improve efficiency. Despite being busier than ever, the decision was made to upgrade to the latest version of CloudSuite Industrial.
The ERP upgrade was met with many challenges. First, increased demand for its product meant the project team had significant scheduling constraints. Further, DRI was unable to travel onsite due to travel restrictions. Finally, the software upgrade needed to be completed as quickly as possible to take advantage of the new functionality. Despite the challenges, it took only three months of work to complete the upgrade. The customer is now live on version 10 of CloudSuite Industrial.
The software upgrade allowed the manufacturer to eliminate nearly all of its customizations and simplified its use of the ERP system. The built-in functionality is robust and extensive and has allowed the customer to get rid of several third-party tools. Custom reporting has also been eliminated. Instead, users rely on CloudSuite Industrial DataViews to extract data quickly and reliably. (DataViews are advanced data grids that you can create to query a custom set of data.) Finally, the new functionality provides scalability to better handle future demand spikes and long-term growth.
The upgrade was a major success by any standards, but the fact that it was completed so quickly under exigent circumstances is a testament to DRI’s skill and effectiveness as an implementation partner. Wes Jacobs, business consulting manager for manufacturing and operations at DRI, attributes the success of the project to one of DRI’s core values: embrace the power of one team. This core value states that the best solutions come from working together and utilizing diverse experiences to provide value to DRI’s customers. “The DRI team did an exceptional job of exhibiting a ‘team of one’ on this project,” said Mr. Jacobs. “That’s why it was such a great success.”
A Complex Implementation
While the hand sanitizer manufacturer eliminated its existing customizations, another DRI customer was adding customizations.
In late 2019, a manufacturer of sauces and condiments signed on as DRI’s newest customer. Prior to its ERP selection project, the company had acquired another business. The two businesses were running on separate, nonintegrated systems. The goal of the ERP implementation was to get both sites running on the same system.
Both segments of the company had well-established business processes and were unwilling to depart from those set processes – even though tweaking those processes would improve operational efficiency. So, the onus was on DRI to modify CloudSuite Industrial to match the existing processes. This required significant customizations. But, as always, the DRI team worked diligently to learn the ins and outs of the organization and completed the necessary customizations to ensure the ERP system flowed seamlessly with existing processes.
The implementation was complex, but it has also been extremely rewarding. The customer’s project team has been committed and engaged throughout the implementation. Users have embraced training and taken ownership of the new ERP system. And DRI has proven, yet again, that it can meet project requirements no matter how complicated they are.
The food manufacturer went live on CloudSuite Industrial in January 2021 and the two sites are successfully running on the same ERP system. The success of the implementation is a direct result of DRI’s responsiveness and dedication to the customer.
Delivering Results with No Surprises
Each ERP implementation project presents its own unique challenges, from tight deadlines to limited availability to extensive customizations. But one constant remains: DRI’s services team will rise to the challenge and meet the project requirements. Successfully completing 16 go-lives in 18 weeks demonstrates DRI’s commitment to delivering results with no surprises. “Proving that the team could handle the volume of work and the tight schedule – nearly one go-live per week – without missing a beat, is a statement to the skills and experience of our team,” said Ron McClellan, director of services operations at DRI. “Software is important. But it is the DRI services team that ensures our customers are taking full advantage of the software. That is what DRI really brings to the table. We help customers use that tool, the ERP system, to make their manufacturing business better.”