Customer success: Ethertronics taps ArcherPoint to go global
Wireless devices have become a way of life for just about everyone. You might not know it, but the technology in your cell phone, Bluetooth, GPS, or other wireless device is responsible for your ability to connect quickly and reliably. Nothing is more frustrating than a lost connection—or a connection never made. Companies like Ethertronics make those connections happen.
Ethertronics is a leading developer and manufacturer of high-performance embedded antennas for Cellular, WiFi/WiMax, GPS, Bluetooth and other wireless devices. Their award-winning technology has won them the business of names we all know – Samsung, HP and Motorola, to name a few – garnering an installed base of more than 100 million units worldwide.
Since cell phones became available and affordable to consumers in the 1990s, the wireless industry has experienced explosive growth and innovation. Today, the average person has a cell phone, a GPS and wireless connectivity on their computer. And anyone who uses these devices knows that the key to their usefulness is their ability to connect.
In 2001, Ethertronics began designing and manufacturing antennas for these devices. They had developed technology that they were confident manufacturers would be very interested in – the company could design smaller, more efficient antennas faster, making it easier for manufacturers to design better devices. And they were right. Manufacturers were very interested—so interested, in fact, that Ethertronics has grown into a $40 million company, with design, sales and manufacturing facilities in the U.S., Japan, Sweden, Taiwan, Korea and China.
This unprecedented growth has not come without its challenges, however. The very nature of doing business in an industry that is in constant flux due to changing technology, combined with multiple global operations and fast growth, created issues in every area, from accounting and manufacturing processes to issues around having operations in multiple countries.
In 2003, the company came to the conclusion that it could no longer work with its current accounting software and began the search for a solution that could meet its business requirements. The company chose Microsoft Dynamics® NAV because of its business management, manufacturing and multi-national capabilities, as well as its flexibility, making the software able to grow and change with the company.
But the right software wasn’t the only component of a successful solution, as Ethertronics had learned with previous solution providers. The company needed the right partner to design, implement and support their business technology. According to Marc D. Nichols, Ethertronics accounting and finance manager, “More importantly, we wanted a true business partner—not just a salesman—to help us take full advantage of the capabilities of our technology to help us address our challenges and meet our objectives.”
Ethertronics was looking for a partner to help them maximize their technology investment in Microsoft Dynamics NAV, and they chose ArcherPoint. “When we learned more about Ethertronics and their needs, we knew we were uniquely positioned to help them,” said Greg Kaupp, ArcherPoint partner and co-founder. “Since Microsoft Dynamics NAV is the only ERP platform that we support, we know it inside and out, which makes us better qualified to support it and get the most out of it for our clients.”
But that wasn’t the only requirement. Ethertronics was looking for an organization that would help them solve real-world business challenges—and not just technical ones. The entire ArcherPoint team has operational expertise as well as technical competence, because understanding business processes is just as important as understanding technology. This expertise made ArcherPoint the perfect partner to address business challenges.
Ethertronics also wanted a partner that was responsive. “Often, technology service providers forget that implementing an ERP system is more of a human exercise than a technical one,” said Kaupp. “We strive to communicate early and often with our clients and empower them to take ownership of their systems so they don’t feel like they are held hostage to an outside service provider.”
Most importantly, Ethertronics wanted to work with a true partner—one that was not afraid to engage in honest discussions of options and alternatives—even if those options meant less revenue for the partner. Nichols added, “I can count on ArcherPoint to see the big picture and give their opinion, even if it means advising us to spend less money or recommending someone else for a job if they think they’re better qualified. That is just amazing.”
The ArcherPoint dedication to the success of Ethertronics was apparent. To help the company transition operations in China to a Chinese version of NAV, lead developer Dave Kaupp developed an automated process to bring all the customized code from the U.S. database into the new Chinese database. This tool and the efforts of the ArcherPoint team enabled a smooth transition—even on the other side of the world—to occur in fewer than 24 hours, keeping operations running smoothly.
Since partnering with ArcherPoint, Ethertronics has looked to them to add such functionality as intercompany transactions, job tracking, business analytics and foreign financial reporting, as well as database conversion and technical support. In fact, Nichols said, “Every upgrade, either to updated versions or multiple country versions of NAV, has been seamless...and the technical support is exemplary.”
“What pleases me the most about our relationship with Ethertronics,” Kaupp said, “is the fact that we have played a key role in their rapid expansion and growth, and they continue to want to work with us. In my mind, that alone is testament to the level of services we provide.”
What’s different about ArcherPoint?
Our clients see their business systems as unique and important to their competitive position. They prefer software and technology to support their business processes, not the other way around. Our clients are looking for a strategic partnership with the company that implements their software, not just a vendor. They demand the most talented, experienced professionals who understand how to quickly, efficiently solve their business issues. If this describes you, we invite you to contact us to learn more about our people, company and solutions.
About Microsoft Dynamics NAV
Microsoft Dynamics NAV, formerly Navision, is the best-selling mid-market ERP product in the world. With over 73,000 companies and over 1,300,000 users relying on Microsoft Dynamics NAV solutions every day, it is the clear favorite among growing companies with unique requirements.