Why Ostara, a Growing Canadian Manufacturer, Chose Sage ERP X3 from The Answer Company

Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies Inc. (Ostara) is a process manufacturer and project management company in the chemicals industry. As a company with multiple locations, based out of Vancouver, British Columbia and an additional office in Brandon, Florida, Ostara began looking for an ERP system to replace its accounting system, Sage 50 Accounting.

Like many Canadian manufacturers with unique aspects to its business model, it needed a solution that is flexible, as well as able to evolve with the company as it rapidly grows. It found such an ERP system in Sage ERP X3, delivered by The Answer Company.

Why did Ostara pick Sage ERP X3?

Ostara is a clean water company that also has a manufacturing component to its business. The company has developed and owns technology that recovers polluting nutrients from municipal and industrial water streams.  “There were three major considerations in our selection of a new ERP solution,” recalls Robert Crystal, controller for Ostara. “It needed to have strong core accounting attributes, as we have multiple corporate entities and operate in multiple currencies. The software needed to handle our fertilizer manufacturing process, and it needed to support our construction projects where we install and configure our equipment. Finding an integrated software solution that can address all of these requirements is a challenge.”

 Sage ERP X3 Grows as Your Company Grows

Sage ERP X3 is a robust ERP solution designed for growing companies in the midmarket. Medium-sized enterprises need an ERP system that offers a variety of functionality now, with the option to increase functionality as the company grows, without breaking the bank. Sage ERP X3 allows for new users to be added with virtually no limit. With a distributed architecture, it makes it easy to adjust performance and storage infrastructure, as capacity requires. As new projects come to be, whether they are new companies or new locations, the system allows users to manage multiple sites from a centralized database, keeping everyone on the same page.

In addition, new applications can be added seamlessly with the ERP as the need arises. Applications related to warehouse management, manufacturing, shipping, human resources, sales, or other industry specific programs can simply be activated when the company is ready to configure and use them.

“At first, we didn’t need large portions of the advanced functionality Sage ERP X3 offers,” says Crystal. “As we grow and incorporate our business processes into the software, we see the tremendous flexibility and configurability of Sage ERP X3. It easily adapts to the way we do business, and can be reconfigured going forward as our business processes evolve.” Ostara is on a rapid growth trajectory, and wisely geared up its technology infrastructure to support that growth.

Sage ERP X3 Offers Project Management Functionality for Construction Companies

As a company that manages large construction projects, Ostara currently operates seven working sites in North America and Europe. Six more sites are currently under construction, including the largest nutrient recovery in North America, with Sage ERP X3 being rolled out at ach new site as they open. Ostara’s processes and technology help wastewater treatment plants reduce nutrient management costs while meeting increasingly stringent discharge limits. In 2014, the company treated a combined volume of more than 60 billion gallons of water.

“We sell equipment and then install and configure that equipment,” explains Crystal. “Using Sage ERP X3 MPM, we can maintain a sub ledger for each project, tracking actual costs against budgeted costs, to help ensure each project stays on track. In addition, by using the actual costs associated with similar projects, we are able to improve our bidding accuracy on future projects.”

Sage ERP X3 allows companies to organize projects from quote to production following a budgetary structure and scheduling. It helps company gain greater visibility into projects by updating the progress of a project in real-time. With role-based KPIs for each person involved in the project, along with personalized dashboards to monitor business performance. Sage ERP X3 enables users to organize operations through service requests, assigning specific resources within the company to different areas of the project.

 Sage ERP X3 has Robust Manufacturing Capabilities

Ostara’s technology, the Pearl® Process, helps protect precious water resources by transforming these nutrients into a slow release, eco-friendly fertilizer, marketed as Crytal Green®. The fertilizer produced from these processes improves crop yield and performance, while reducing the risk of nutrient leaching and runoff.

Sage ERP X3 offers support for process-based manufacturing functionality like managing formulas, recipes, batch production and lot control. With forward and reverse traceability for any item, raw material, ingredient and end-item with automated recall capabilities, it delivers manufacturing functionality essential for mid-sized enterprises looking to get to the next level.

In Sage ERP X3 Version 7, Ostara found a solution that brings all its business practices together, from manufacturing to distribution to project management. Sage ERP X3 is a fully integrated business solution capable of handling end-to-end business processes and it can be accessed from anywhere with any device. It meets their accounting and financial needs, provides a way to streamline operations, and organizes their data so that it can be accessible and provide value to the company.

“We selected Sage ERP X3 because it is one of the few solutions that incorporates such diverse functionality in a single solution,” says Crystal. “It offers a Manufacturing Project Management (MPM) component, full process manufacturing and distribution capabilities, along with sophisticated financial reporting tools. Plus, The Answer Company impressed us with their knowledge and commitment to our satisfaction. They have a strong reputation, excellent references, and they are local, which was very important to us.”

For more information on Ostara’s experience with Sage ERP X3 and The Answer Company, read our case study for the project.