Formulating a Winner
“Our legacy software was no longer meeting our needs,” recalls Brandon Gabert, Information Systems Manager for Guardian Chemicals. “Our business processes were evolving and becoming more complex and the software couldn’t accommodate the growing and evolving aspects of our business.” Gabert says the company reviewed several leading ERP applications before deciding on Sage X3. “We also reviewed Microsoft Dynamics, SAP Business One and Chempax. When we spoke with The Answer Company, who represented Sage X3, we were instantly impressed by their knowledge of our industry. They spoke our language, and Sage X3 fit the sweet spot with the right functionality at the right price. It was an easy decision.”
The Answer Company met the company’s request for a rapid implementation. “We really got started in October and were live by the end of February,” says Gabert. “The Answer Company worked closely with our internal team. Their experience and the resources they dedicated to our project helped ensure it was a success.”
Best Possible Business Data
Guardian Chemicals sells directly to its industrial customers, not through a distribution channel. Gabert explains how this business model requires that the company have access to the best possible business data: “Unlike a typical manufacturer, we are also a sales organization and a distribution organization. We need all the tools and functionality from our software that those types of companies need, plus the full array of process manufacturing capabilities.”
Previously, the company had to rely on multiple, disconnected systems to serve the various aspects of its business. Work orders were tallied manually from one application, invoices from another application were added up for commission reporting and quality control tracking required yet another database.
Sage X3 delivers all of the required functionality in a single, robust and scalable solution. “We’ve reduced the number of data silos, giving us one version of the truth,” says Gabert. “We are even able to easily customize and configure the software to meet specific needs, and those customizations aren’t affected by software upgrades—which is fantastic.”
The company’s forecasting abilities have improved with Sage X3. By analyzing inventory stock levels, vendor lead times, sales order, purchase order and work order data, and historical trends, Guardian Chemicals is better able to forecast demand and improve its production planning.
“We’ve seen a definite rise in overall productivity,” says Gabert. “Our old system was cumbersome and difficult to use, so we relied on a small number of “gatekeeper” employees to do the majority of the work in the application. Sage X3 is so easy to learn and to use that we’ve opened it up to everyone. The employees responsible for a task are those doing the data entry. It simply makes sense, and it starts a chain of efficiency that flows throughout the organization.”
Ensure Quality from the Start
Previously, Guardian Chemicals stored its quality control (QC) data in spreadsheets. “There simply wasn’t a provision for holding and tracking that data,” Gabert says. “Sage X3 has complete QC functionality built in. From testing raw materials through the finished product, we’ve got the detailed information we need to ensure the consistent quality of our products.”
Simplifying the Complex
Sage X3 handles the company’s complex commission calculation matrix, and makes the commission data available throughout the month. “Before our salespeople would have to wait until the end of the month for a simple commission report,” notes Gabert. “Now they can monitor every order as it comes in. That has to be motivating.”
Partner Makes the Difference
“We have a great ongoing relationship with The Answer Company,” concludes Gabert. “We use them to brainstorm ideas and we value their advice. Frankly, there were other software applications that could have met our needs, but we selected Sage X3 because of The Answer Company. They remain a major player in our success.”