Deacom has announced US Polyco has selected DEACOM ERP to replace several legacy systems. US Polyco is a full lifecycle manufacturer of polymer modified asphalt. It designs, customises and tests products used across the US. Its products are made to cope with the extremes of temperature found in the US. It has strong growth ambitions, looking to double its production capacity in 2018.
Founded in 1994 it is now owned and run by Tom Nichols, CEO and President. However, 23 years after it was founded its processes were supported by several different solutions. These systems would not support a second manufacturing plant easily. This meant it needed to reconsider the applications that supported its business.
It selected DEACOM ERP as it provided a single system to meet the business needs. Marvin Small, CFO of US Polyco commented: “Deacom’s ERP platform, provides us everything we need from within their core system. It allows us to bring all departments and facilities onto a comprehensive software system. We are excited about the potential to drive lot traceability, strengthen process controls, and scale our business without being held back by our technology.”
Deacom ERP will provide a system to support processes US Polyco from the design of its products to sales. The ERP solution has capabilities that include accounting, sales, purchasing, formulation/R&D/Quality Control, production, inventory, CRM, reporting and business intelligence. US Polco will replace time consuming manual processes with more automated and stronger process controls. Small added: “Not only does Deacom’s platform solve a lot of the challenges we face today, but also those that we expect to encounter over the upcoming years due to the expansion through facilities, product lines, and workforce.”
According to Deacom the solution was specifically chosen because of: “Deacom’s large functional foundation, process manufacturing expertise and specialization, ability to scale the business with the latest technology.”
So what were the real reasons?
While Deacom provided the answer to this question one might speculate that US Polyco would have had a more pragmatic answer that would have included cost. However, it is almost certain that Deacom’s “process manufacturing expertise and specialization” also helped make the decision.
While few of the questions that were asked were answered in great depth, it did reveal some useful insights. Despite the plans to double production, US Polyco is opting to install the solution on-premises. This may be due to internet connectivity. However, it is more likely a conservative attitude of a manufacturer wanted to see, touch and feel its systems. According to Linkedin, US Polyco has around 29 employees and the Deacom license is likely to support in the region of that number.
The DEACOM implementation team will work closely with US Polyco staff during the project. This close relationship will start during the data conversion process. Interestingly they are running mock go live scenarios across the application as part of the implementation process. This is an interesting approach and will take months to complete. This de-risks the project but also potentially defers plans for any growth of US Polyco.
Going live on any ERP in a process manufacturer is always a nervous time. When questioned about this period Deacom’s answer was: ”During the implementation months, we spend a lot of time with the customer team running through mock go-live scenarios and practicing real-life situations that may occur in the process. Deacom’s team of implementation specialists are on-site during the days surrounding Go-Live to provide any support needed during the cut-over. This day is typically scheduled on a day that is not business-critical (often over the weekend).”
What does this mean
Deacom appears to have won this deal through a combination of rich functionality and trust in their expertise. That relationship will have been nurtured during the selection process. The ability to demonstrate that they understand the business processes that US Polyco has and needs to improve will almost certainly have made a difference.
There is still a market for traditional on-premises deployment. The Deacom team will have an even stronger understand of the US Polyco business once the deployment is complete. As SaaS companies look strike a balance between rapid deployment and industry specialisations, there is still a place for a closely coupled approach that on premises deployments infer. The key to success though will be how Deacom continue to assist US Polyco after they go live. This includes how they deliver updates and how those updates are taken advantage of. It is a problem that SaaS aims to diminish both in terms of cost and complexity.
As an asphalt manufacturer US Polyco has decided to keep its systems close to home on terra firma rather than in the cloud. It is a decision that fewer companies are making. While the tipping point may have been reached there are still companies who will prefer on-premises deployments.