KBL Environmental Ltd. provides waste management and recycling services to customers in the oil and gas, mining, exploration, government, industrial and commercial sectors throughout Canada’s northern territories and western provinces. To support its expanding, complex and highly-regulated operations, the company recently migrated to Sage 300, and selected The Answer Company as its long-term business partner.

Software Hampering Growth

“Our business was growing. We were expanding from one office to three and into new territories,” recalls Kevin Stapleton, Controller for KBL. “To facilitate that growth, we needed better financial reporting and more accurate job costing data than we were getting from our old application.”

The company relied heavily on spreadsheets to compensate for the shortcomings in its accounting package, which led to duplicate data entry, manual data tracking and a delay in obtaining vital financial and operational data. “Our operations are unique and complex, and our software just couldn’t keep up,” says Stapleton.

Ideal Partner and ERP Solution

KBL reviewed several ERP applications, including Jonas Enterprise Software and Microsoft Dynamics, before deciding on Sage 300. “We had several vendors present to us, but The Answer Company came on site and toured our operations to learn how we operate. They impressed us with their knowledge and their plan for addressing our business challenges,” says Stapleton.

The Answer Company’s recommendation for Sage 300 was in part due to the product’s flexibility, configurability and customizability, making it ideally adaptable to KBL’s business operations. Since The Answer Company retains an in-house team of talented software engineers and consultants capable of adapting the software, KBL always has the support they need.

Stapleton notes that the conversion to Sage 300 went exceedingly well. “The Answer Company helped us migrate recent data from our old system into Sage 300, and completed the customizations we needed,” he says. “It was a seamless transition.”

Unique Business Model Requires a Flexible Application

KBL’s business model is unique. In a traditional operation, customers pay to receive products, but KBL’s customers pay KBL to take away waste products. Similarly, the company generates purchase orders not to obtain products, but to ultimately dispose of the waste it collects. This directional switch in the flow of inventory required significant customization to Sage 300, and The Answer Company’s development team designed and engineered the programming changes to match KBL’s operation and objectives.

Improved Data Access

Users at KBL’s satellite offices now access the ERP application through the company’s Virtual Private Network, eliminating the need for files and information to be sent to the main office for data entry. “We now have access to better, more reliable data— more quickly than before,” says Stapleton. “Not only can we make faster business decisions, but we can provide our customers with better and quicker service as a result.”

Financial reporting spanning each of the company’s locations and divisions is much improved with Sage 300. “Having all of our corporate data in one integrated system gives me greater confidence in the accuracy and auditability of our data,” says Stapleton.

Meeting Compliance Mandates

The hazardous waste material KBL collects is regulated by the Canadian government, and KBL must provide reports detailing the quantities and varieties of waste it collects, holds and disposes of. Previously, maintaining this level of compliance was a tedious and time consuming manual process. With Sage 300, the data required to prove continuing compliance is tracked automatically as part of the products’ movement through the collection and disposal processes.

KBL is required to provide its customers and government agencies with various documentation at the time of collection, including bills of lading and manifests. The Answer Company configured Sage 300 to produce these documents automatically as part of the order entry process. “Previously, our staff would handwrite these documents,” says Stapleton. “Now it happens as a part of the workflow, saving us valuable time, ensuring greater accuracy and providing us with a valuable traceable audit trail.”

Tracking Job Costs

When KBL staff works on site for a customer, the Sage 300 Project and Job Costing component helps the company accurately track labor, materials, burden and overhead associated with the work. Staff labor hours flow seamlessly into the Sage 300 Payroll module, eliminating the need for duplicate data entry. “We now have a real-time snapshot into the profitability of each of our projects,” notes Stapleton.

He concludes, “We have a high degree of trust in The Answer Company—they’ve earned that trust. As we continue to grow, The Answer Company will continue to play a critical role in that growth.