For more than 30 years, Arrowquip has been providing industry-leading practical and innovative livestock handling solution to farms around the globe. From a full line of loading chutes, scales and related equipment, to assistance with grants and financing, Arrowquip is deeply imbedded and roundly respected in the farm equipment industry.
Much of Arrowquip’s meteoric growth has come in the past three years. When its growth trajectory began outpacing its business management systems, Arrowquip made the smart decision to implement Sage X3, aided by the powerhouse consulting team at The Answer Company.
Taking the Bull by the Horns
Like many growing companies, Arrowquip had been relying on entry-level accounting software to manage its finances.
“We also used a homemade ERP application and zillions of spreadsheets,” recalls Dennis Grant, Process Engineer for Arrowquip. “It wasn’t very effective, and it certainly wasn’t scalable.” Grant joined Arrowquip in part to spearhead a new ERP initiative, selecting a modern, robust system capable of supporting the company’s manufacturing, finance, and customer service functions — one with the scalability to keep up with current and projected growth.
Sage X3 and The Answer Company Hit the Bulls Eye
Grant engaged a professional consulting firm to research and recommend the best solution. “We initially narrowed the field to Infor, Microsoft Dynamics and Sage X3,” he says. We spent six months evaluating the contenders, interviewing with the publishers and reselling partners, and watching demos. Ultimately, the consulting firm and our team both felt that Sage X3 and The Answer Company was the best fit. The product’s power, scalability, and strength in manufacturing were all factors in our decision.”Once the decision was made, the implementation proceeded at full speed and Arrowquip was live in months.
“The Answer Company had a highly structured approach to the project,” Grant says. “They planned well and took the steps needed to keep us on track. They put a financial wizard on the task, and an amazing project manager. The whole team was conscientious, dedicated, and capable of getting the work done.”
Another factor leading to the overall success of the project was the decision to appoint an internal project champion. “It’s vital to have someone in that role,” Grant says, “a point person to coordinate resources and gain input and consensus across the organization.”
Speed, Accuracy and Agility in the Manufacturing Process
Arrowquip largely builds its equipment to order but does maintain a small stock of its most popular products and sub-assemblies. The company’s goal is to keep its warehouse stock at a minimum to reduce carrying costs, ordering raw materials to arrive just in time to meet demand. Sage X3 supports those efforts with functionality including MRP planning, automatic reorder points, and additional visibility throughout its warehouse locations.
Today, manufacturing transactions and inventory are recorded in Sage X3 in real time, leading to more accurate inventories and production schedules. Immediate access to work order statuses and accurate product costs, helps Arrowquip address manufacturing problems immediately if they arise. “We use barcodes on our work orders and production tickets and our team scan the work in and out of each station,” Grant explains. “We keep things moving smoothly, and we always know precisely what we’re working on and where in the production cycle work orders are.”
The fast pace of Arrowquip’s production line — the company fills an average of five truckloads every day — requires the level of cohesion and accuracy Sage X3 delivers. “We need data in real time,” Grant says. “Finding out tomorrow is too late. Sage X3 provides that immediate visibility that keeps us running strong. Now we have exceptional visibility and control and have cut inventory shrinkage down to under 1%.”
Cohesive Sales and Support Tools
In addition to supporting its manufacturing operation, Sage X3 CRM is the tool Arrowquip’s sales, marketing, and customer support teams use as they respond to inquiries, pass leads on to their dealer channel, and track product warranties.
“We didn’t have cohesive tools like this before,” Grant says. “Sage X3 gives us new insights, too, like visibility into how our dealers are nurturing those leads, leading to new sales.”