Aquilon ERP Customer Success Story

Established in the 80’s our customer is a leading supplier of doors, frames and builders’ hardware to professional builders in Canada and the United States. Multi-family residential construction, with long planning horizons, represents over 90% of the business, while high-end single-family dwellings make up the rest. Thanks to its success, the company was able to move into a purpose-built facility, housing its three workshops: a wood door shop for all interior and exterior doors, a complete welding shop for hollow metal doors and frames, and a glass shop specializing in glass and mirror doors as well as custom glass room dividers. Situation The business is about 50% manufacturing and 50% distribution. A project quoting capability is critical to its operation. Quoting projects that will come out of the ground two or more years into the future is not an easy business. The challenges include future pricing, product configuration (there are thousands of options), and cost and selling price calculations. On top of this, the originally quoted configurations are often changed on the final order, and this must be taken into account and adjusted before production commences. Aquilon ERP Customer Success Story Company Confidential – Configure to Order system improves quotations, visibility of inventory and margins These issues complicated their inventory and replenishment planning systems, which we were previously run manually. Darren, the general manager, says that this increased the workload of staff, and the manual processes introduced many errors into the system. Configuration errors led to incorrect quotes, costly returns, and unhappy customers and this is the reason we started a search for a better solution, he added. Selection We needed a system that could streamline all of these issues, and that’s why we turned to Aquilon Software. Aquilon is well suited to product configuration, fast turn around manufacturing, and product distribution. And as a bonus, Aquilon already had experience with door shops. Together we improved and extended the functionality of the Aquilon software to streamline the processes. Much of the improvements made it into the general release of the software, but Aquilon also developed proprietary extensions that are exclusive to our implementation, which gives us a competitive advantage in our market. Solution Using Aquilon’s product configuration system, we can develop quotes quickly and accurately, with confidence. The configurator, incorporated into the sales order quotation system, caters for primary material, drop down lists for optional components, labor recovery, and specifications. All four of these categories are important when creating an accurate quote for a client, obtaining sign off, and most importantly ensuring that we provide production with accurate specifications for each door. We often win long-term projects. We need to release orders bit by bit, e.g. floor by floor, or unit by unit. More often than not the configurations change during the project. Aquilon has developed the necessary tools to create these releases quickly, accurately and with a minimum of keystrokes. As we create each release the system gives real- time visibility into our inventory requirements. For purchased items, the replenishment planning system calculates suggested order quantities for review and creates the purchase orders from the available information, all under our control. We can replenish special order items on the fly by using the sales order to purchase order copy function, and the replenishment planning system reminds us if we miss something. For manufactured items, the Production Planning Worksheet gives us a consolidated view of the products to be manufactured. When we get repeat requests for quotes or additional orders, we can rely on the archive history, which, along with the toolset in Aquilon, allows us to quickly and accurately produce new quotes and new orders. Because of our short manufacturing times (it is quick to machine, assemble, hang and pack a pre-hung door) we do not use the traditional WIP model. The Aquilon system costs and releases all operations and material as soon as the product is shipped, saving time and keystrokes and increasing our accuracy. We know exactly how we are doing door by door, project by project. Customer satisfaction With, on average, a project quote per day, estimating is key to our operations. Employees are very pleased with the new system and how it integrates with inventory, accounting, manufacturing, and distribution. With the ability to efficiently configure and price products for customers we have improved the turnaround and accuracy of our quotes, which has led to improved customer satisfaction, improved margins, a reduction in errors, and an increased bottom line. Tim, the former president, notes that many of the packages they looked at were suitable for either manufacturing or distribution, but not both. “Plus they were complicated. With Aquilon, the software is easy to use, and we have what we need across the board.” “Aquilon got it right first time,” says Tim. Years earlier, the company had purchased another ERP package, and the implementation was a failure. About Aquilon Software Aquilon Software is a leading small business ERP solution, delivering a comprehensive and fully integrated system for the wholesale distribution and light manufacturing markets, and in particular in the make to order, configure to order, and assemble to order markets. Aquilon is available for on-premise, hosted and web based systems. Clients can freely move between the platforms without additional cost. Aquilon is the best value for money for wholesale distributors and manufacturers in the small business market based on the breadth and depth of functionality offered. More information is available at