ArcherPoint Worldwide Team Upgrade Success: pc/nametag
Based in Verona, Wisconsin, pc/nametag is in the promotional product industry, specializing in products for events and registration. Since 1985, the company has been selling items such as tote bags, lanyards, name badge holders and nametags, used at events or meetings of any size, for any business or organization. Most products are sold via the web and catalog. pc/nametag has received multiple awards for Supplier of the Year from meeting organizations, including Meetings Professionals International and the American Society of Association Executives.
pc/nametag had been using Microsoft Dynamics NAV since 2006 (version 4.1) and was currently on NAV 2009 R2. One of the company’s growing businesses is the printing of nametags and inserting them into holders for its customers, so automation is critical. While NAV 2009 R2 was doing its job well otherwise, the company wanted to upgrade from the kitting functionality in 2009 R2 to the assembly order automation in NAV 2013 R2. Moving to the 64-bit service tier architecture was also important for the growing company, as posting was causing slowdowns and the more powerful architecture available in the later release would alleviate that issue.
Another major reason for upgrading to NAV 2013 R2 was the addition of Assembly Orders, which would fit the company’s Services process well. This granule, available in NAV 2013 R2, is specifically designed to handle assemble-to-order products, exactly what pc/nametag’s Services products are. After seeing the feature demonstrated by ArcherPoint, Darryl Anunson, IT Manager of pc/nametag, knew that it would give them better cost analysis and a more robust way to set up Service items and charges. The feature would also save the company time by eliminating the need to manually post Bill of Materials journal entries, which took about 5 minutes each time and was done for each order for services. The company was averaging 15 orders per day.
An upgrade was clearly the solution, so the company began researching at the end of 2010. Unfortunately, they discovered budget was an issue.
Approximately a year later, the company began researching options again. Their Partner at that time was not being responsive to requests for programming tasks, so they interviewed other partners. They landed on one local company of interest, but learned that it had sold its NAV practice to ArcherPoint. After interviews, site visits and
talking to references, they decided to move forward with ArcherPoint, which also demonstrated a good fit with their type of business—as well as an impressive list of upgrade references.
When it came time for the upgrade from NAV 2009 R2 to NAV 2013 R2, pc/nametag was still facing the issue of budget. As with many ERP upgrades, costs can be prohibitive. However, ArcherPoint had an alternative solution. ArcherPoint had built a team and a set of tools dedicated to NAV upgrades, making them much more cost- effective—and more efficient as well. This changed the game.
The Upgrade Process
To help make upgrading more affordable for any company on any version of NAV so they can take advantage of the latest NAV release, ArcherPoint developed a dedicated team with tools and methodology for the single purpose of streamlining the upgrade process, not only making it more efficient, but making it more cost-effective. Some of the ArcherPoint Upgrade Advantages include:
- Report Conversion Tools. Typically, one of the most cost-prohibitive processes in an upgrade is report transformation. An addition to using tools that automate other processes such as code comparison and merges, ArcherPoint has developed automated conversion tools that reduce the amount of time it takes to transform a report down to less than 2 hours for most reports.
- 24/7 Focus. Another advantage upgrading with ArcherPoint is the team. Every member has been trained specifically to focus on upgrading, but in addition, the team is set up to focus 24/7 on upgrades. By expanding the team internationally, ArcherPoint is able to employ a 24-hour project lifecycle, meaning project are completed faster, and issues reported during working hours in the U.S. are addressed by the next morning—all equating to a significant gain in efficiency.
- Planning & Continuous Communication. ArcherPoint keeps the client involved in the upgrade process from planning to completion, which ensures success. Using proven user-friendly project management tools and structure—which clients are trained in from the beginning—the ArcherPoint/Client team can review the SOW/expected ROI and set milestones and specific responsibilities at the outset, have regular meetings (which also reduces flurries of emails and miscommunication), all to keep the project on track.
“Unlike an initial implementation, an upgrade should feel like a non-event,” said David Kaupp, Technical Project Manager for ArcherPoint. “Our process should make the client feel like their upgrade is just like the more than 100 we’ve done before it—clean, smooth, without disrupting the flow of business—almost like an assembly line. That is our goal.”
That’s pretty much what happened, and Darryl could not have been more pleased with the process: “The structure was great,” he said. “I liked the project management tool because it was easy to work with and didn’t require a lot of set-up. The process made it easy to hit milestones, and we enjoyed working with the Chennai team because we would come in to the office every morning and the work would be complete and ready for testing. There was no concern about communication because the team leads here in the U.S. were our contacts, so the process went very smoothly.”
Despite its complexity, the upgrade project went live within just a few months of the initial planning phase. The project also included a technical upgrade to ChargeLogic. During the testing phase, because of the setup of the 24/7 team, issues that were discovered were typically corrected within a day.
Darryl was also very pleased with the results: “ArcherPoint understands NAV completely and has been a very good Partner, not only as a programming team, but as a consulting team. They show us how to leverage NAV and add-ons and can program when standard NAV or add-ons are not available. At pc/ nametag, we are always looking for better and more efficient methods of working, and we have a constant stream of tweaks or reports that we need or want to research. ArcherPoint helps us get these done and tells us when there are alternatives to customization.”
Before proceeding with the upgrade, Darryl put together some ROI points to show how the upgrade could pay for itself within the year. The time savings do not pay for the project entirely; however, there are additional locking issues he says he did not take into account that are saving pc/nametag even more than he expected, specifically around payment application. The points below have been achieved since the company has upgraded:
Potential time savings monetized due to reduction in keystrokes, complexity, or speed increase vs. 2009 R2:
|Functional Area||Time Saved in One Year||Potential Cost Savings Realized|
|Copy Past Multiple Lines||43 Hours||$1,075|
|DMS archiving||108 Hours||$2,700|
|Assembly Orders Time Savings||325 Hours||$8,125|
|Opening Posted Invoices||86 Hours||$4,300|
|Opening Contacts||65 Hours||$3,250|
|Accounting Posting Invoices||56 Hours||$2,800|
|Other Page Time Savings||115 Hours||$5,750|
ArcherPoint came in on time and within budget and with no unexpected issues. According to Darryl, the project was very well managed and the communications with the team were well handled. He continued: “I’ve worked on many projects, and there are times when it seems the communications may break down, sometimes due to my handling of the project, sometimes due to the VAR. This project had none of those issues, and I believe because it was well planned out from the beginning.
What’s next for pc/nametag? The company will continue working on improving their business practices and leveraging “the whole of NAV 2013 R2. There are pieces of the software that have been added that we believe will help us but have not yet implemented due to heading into our busy season.”