What 2W Has Done for Me
Posted by Guest Blogger: Chuck Zich, COO of Colony Display
A few years ago we had implemented an Epicor ERP system and for a variety of reasons it just didn’t give us the result we were looking for. In the aftermath, we were using a bit of Epicor, a bit of our old ERP system, and spreadsheets. Some of challenges we faced were our own internal issues, lack of IT knowledge, and quite frankly, we chose the wrong implementation partner.
We muddled along like this for about a year. Eventually, company leadership realized our business processes were broken and had to take steps to get us back on track.
I was appointed COO and was tasked with getting our business processes sorted out which included tackling our ERP system and to figure out how to correct the mess our technology had become. I quickly realized in order to do so, I was going to have to understand how to use the Epicor ERP system that was installed and to understand what changes were going to be made within our organization. The first step, was to bring in outside expert help.
I was not willing to work with the same group after the botched installation, so I did a Google Search and selected 5 or 6 Epicor partners to interview. After interviewing everyone, I choose 2W Technologies, INC. as our Epicor ERP Consultant. The first thing that impressed me was 2W Tech’s response time. They contacted me immediately and were in our office within a day. To me, this selection was a no-brainer. I met with the 2W Tech folks and was basically sold on first meeting. They did not come in with a fancy power point presentation and a slew of intelligent words. They simply walked in with a notepad and pen and engaged me in conversation. They did not try to sell me, but rather understand what our organizations issues were and what our end resulted needed to be. They didn’t just tell me what needed to be done, but showed me examples on how this would happen.
Colony Displays business is unique. We are a customer driven business that isn’t able to be standardized. So this means our inventory is our number 1 issue. The first thing 2W Tech did was come in for a week and to evaluate how we were using our systems and how we were operating. The next step, was to create a project plan. This plan identified the areas Colony needed to improve in; also identifying the parts me and my staff needed to do and the part 2W Tech would be responsible for. This entire process took us a few months and this particular task was the most difficult one in the entire project.
In the meantime, 2W Tech had to come in to address the hardware issue. The architecture needed set-up and the servers needs mapped to work appropriately. The infrastructure at time of initial installation was not properly set-up to ensure proper utilization of the ERP system. 2W needed to correct this issue, so that Colony could get all our systems working together properly. After getting the hardware set-up properly and the data cleaned, the next step in the plan was to create a checks and balances system. Colony had to create a methodology so that there had to be a process followed in order to make changes to parts or to the inventory system. Once this was complete, we started to have noticeable improvements within our inventory system.
Our inventory levels were cut in half, and are well on their way to being cut by 2/3 of what they originally were. The cost savings achieved by decreasing inventory levels on hand were huge.
Next, we needed to get our people comfortable with Epicor. After the initial failed installation, there was no formal training that was offered to our users. The few that choose to use the system, did so on their own accord. 2W Tech started teaching our people how to use the system the way we had set it up. Now with 100% of users on board and set methodology throughout our organization, issues we were experiencing before just started ironing themselves out.
As of today, Colony Displays inventory is 85% accurate, compared to starting at ground zero when 2W first came into our organization. We are currently looking to roll out MRP and will also look for other opportunities to advance our business. 2W Tech is providing guidance and advice along the way. We are confident whatever project is next will go smoothly due to 2W Techs strong Epicor knowledge and project management skills.
2W Tech properly managed expectations at the launch of this project. They said “You guys will be slower than us”. They knew their stuff. 2W Tech was there with us the entire way, they applied pressure at the right times, but gave us space to get our jobs done. Their response times to not only their part of the project, but to us when we had questions or concerns was fantastic. We never felt like we were in this alone; we always felt they were our partner and had our backs. I can’t thank 2W Tech enough for their partnership and look forward to many more IT projects together.