Zeller Corporation in the US has been providing engineering solutions to global customers for half a century. The vision that informs their business approach has inspired success — to be the best supplier and distributor customers have ever partnered with.

While their objective is simple, achieving it demands passion, excellence and a total knowledge of their business.

The challenge:

Success is built on business insight and calls for the company to stay on top of the most effective and innovative Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and business intelligence (BI) solutions. Zeller’s legacy system was sufficient, but had flaws: a report generation process that, although complex, processed all data in the same way and delivered two dimensional and time-delayed outputs. Zeller’s pursuit of excellence, however, meant that ‘good enough’ simply wasn’t good enough.

The solution:

A robust assessment process was nearing completion when Phocas entered the competition. Zeller’s IT Manager Janet Martinez says, “Phocas changed the game. Once we saw its capabilities and competitive pricing structure, we knew that Phocas offered the functionality, flexibility and business insight we were looking for. Critically, the depth of business intelligence was matched by simplicity of use.”

“Simplicity is based on Phocas’s intuitive and easily customisable software, but also on the very personal approach we take to our clients’ business needs,” says Phocas’s Myles Glashier, Chief Strategy Office and Co-Founder. “Working hand- in-glove with Zeller, we started by transferring their historical data, and then tailoring the software to their understandably exacting requirements.”

Training needs were minimal. Zeller employees were able to operate the system from the moment it went live. “Our CEO has been using it since day one,” says Martinez. “It allows him to slice and dice the numbers in ways that are meaningful to our business, and gives a multi-faceted overview of what’s happening internally, and how we are meeting our customers’ needs.”

Before Phocas, Martinez was the only member of the Zeller team able to query the business data, forcing her to produce 13 reports every month. This represented a major time investment and delivered static, snapshot, data with no analytical capabilities. Today, 20 members of the Zeller team, including branch managers, sales staff and senior management, access the company’s data in real time, with the ability to drill down and transform it into information that helps to drive productivity and profitability.

Zeller Corporation CEO, Gary Haseley says, “Phocas offers a significant reward for a small investment. Just a few of the returns Phocas has enabled at Zeller include: identifying opportunities such as slipping custom- ers; highlighting instances when we have missed rebates; and operationally it saves us about two days a month on standard reports we produce. I highly recommend Phocas — it has the power to transform your business.”

“Critically, the depth of business intelligence was matched by simplicity of use,” Janet Martinez - IT Manager, Zeller Corporation

The results:

Phocas, in combination with Microsoft Dynamics GP, provides a complete picture of Zeller’s business, and a single, easy to use interface where the company can find all the answers in real-time. Zeller’s complete business understanding delivers benefits to customers, not least helping them to get their products faster — and with the additional advantage that Zeller’s invoices are paid more quickly. The company also saves around 20 hours of IT time every month, allowing IT staff to redeploy to more productive operations.

The future:

Ongoing support from the Phocas team is uncovering new potential for Zeller. “Phocas is already proving itself a priceless business asset, but the more we use it, the more ways we find to use it,” adds Martinez. “With sales and forecasting now in place, we are looking to add open orders and inventory data so we can bring the same level of visibility to these areas. We are also looking to open it up to more users, bringing the power of real time information to our sales teams on the road. Whatever we need, the Phocas team makes it happen. The sky’s the limit.”

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Tags: Case Study, Industry - Wholesale Distribution, Job Role - IT, Industry - Electrical, ERP - Microsoft Dynamics GP

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