"We are safe in the knowledge that whoever we speak to at Frontline knows what they are talking about from a technical perspective. They have taken the time to understand us fully as a business which has been vital in establishing a successful relationship” Carla Giles, General Manager.
Assembly Techniques offer a complete kitting service for small consumables and they supply into the building trade, waste & water, pharmaceutical and mass spectrometry industries, amongst others.
Based in Dukinfield, Cheshire, they employee nearly 40 staff and have been in business since 1987. Assembly are an ISO 9001-2008 approved company committed to quality of service.
SAP Business One was implemented at their site to improve business processes and move away from a heavily bespoked solution. After a poor experience with their original SAP Business One partner, Frontline were selected to take over Business One support for Assembly.
Changes were proving costly with a heavily bespoke system.
Assembly were using Merlin Business Software which had been customised over time and decided they needed to upgrade their software.
Carla Giles, General Manager stated that the company “wanted an off the shelf, tried and tested solution rather than being the guinea pigs”. Due to the bespoke nature of the Merlin software, it was proving a costly exercise when changes were required.
SAP Business One is an off the shelf product with over 55,000 implementations worldwide and this was a key factor in Assembly considering Business One.
In addition to this, the company had a requirement for MRP functionality in particular with regards to a multi-level BOM with links from each level.
A simple, easy to use system across the business
Assembly looked at a number of different software packages before selecting SAP Business One because of its standard functionality and user interface. Carla believes the user interface was key to the software being adopted across the business, “the look and feel is great, it is really simple to use for people across the organisation which was very important for us”. Carla goes on to state that another benefit of SAP Business One is being able to modify elements of the system to suit Assembly’s processes such as UDFs, “you feel like you are getting a bespoke solution but it is all out of the box”. Carla commented that the reporting functionality within SAP Business One is very simple to use, “having SQL & Crystal Reports at your fingertips is very helpful allowing you to manipulate the data in the system”.
Finding the right partner
Assembly Techniques originally implemented SAP Business One with another SAP Business One partner. After a while a decision was made to move support due to a lack of expertise, poor level of service, not getting as much out of the software as was originally expected and also an issue with geography. When discussing the difference in support approaches, Carla said they are miles apart, “our previous support partner could take a day or two to respond to issues, with Frontline it is rare that we don’t get a response within an hour of an issue being logged”. Carla goes on to say that the level of knowledge within the team at Frontline is fantastic, “it gives us the confidence that we can go to Frontline with any issues and know we will get a resolution”. Carla states that “we are safe in the knowledge that whoever we speak to at Frontline knows what they are talking about from a technical perspective”. Through Frontline’s Connected Delivery approach they have “taken the time to understand us fully as a business which has been vital in establishing a successful relationship”.
Return on Integration – hours of employee time saved
Since moving support partners Assembly have carried out additional work on their SAP Business One system including batch sending of invoices. Due to the nature of the business they also required a fully functioning link for multilevel BOMs which has saved hours of employee time. Carla goes on to say that with the use of off the shelf tools such as TaskCentre and the Boyum Usability Pack (B1UP) the software now “prompts users to complete the next steps in a process rather than waiting for them to update the system, which has improved efficiency, accuracy and productivity”.
Carla finishes by saying, “these additional tools just sit in the background with automation and customisation activities going on behind the scenes so users assume it is standard SAP delivering the functionality”.
These additional tools have helped SAP Business One become completely integrated within Assembly Techniques business, delivering a Return on Integration.