At A Glance
Company: RLE Technologies
Location: Fort Collins, CO
Challenges: RLE needed an integrated, Web-based solution for sales order processing, CRM and help desk functionality with an intuitive user interface
Before turning to NetSuite in February, RLE Technologies – which manufactures water leak detection and web-enabled monitoring products – found itself in an IT quandary. The company had been using Great Plains software with its pervasive database; however, with Microsoft’s recent efforts to migrate users to SQL Server and .Net, RLE was facing massive upgrade costs.
According to Matt Lane, MIS director at RLE, “For us to move it was going to cost $20,000-$25,000 just to do the upgrades on top of the $40,000 we had already spent on systems to get that software up and running,” he says. “The user interface with Great Plains was not very intuitive for our users so we had a massive amount of training we had to do with Great Plains. We had major consulting bills from outside consultants who would show us how to do simple things like run and customize reports.”
For RLE, the solution was to be found with NetSuite.
“NetSuite’s interface was easy and intuitive, says Lane, and we didn’t have to buy any additional hardware or software,”. “We didn’t have to pay for additional functionality as it came out. We have developed a custom manufacturer program that is Web-based, so our employees were used to using their Web browser to run Web applications.”
NetSuite’s sales order processing is one of the many areas where RLE found vast improvements versus its previous Great Plains solution. Sales associates enter quotes and opportunities into the system, which can then be viewed by the entire company as a pipeline center for forecasting. For example, employees in manufacturing can view a big order that a sales associate has just entered and immediately begin to stock up the necessary raw materials to fulfill the order.
“When the purchase order is placed, it is simply turned into a work order,” Lane says.
“From order fulfillment, it is turned into an invoice. It goes to the account receivables people, and we are done. Before, it took three or four different software packages to accomplish the same thing. All of our departments know what the other departments are doing at any given time. It cuts down on our processes by 50 percent.”
NetSuite’s CRM features have allowed RLE to boost its customer service efforts substantially by providing employees a single view of customer interaction. Before using NetSuite, RLE sales associates were using Best Software’s ACT! contact management software. However, that customer contact information was not integrated with the customer service help desk’s view of the customer, Lane says.
“Before, the sales associates were calling customers to ask how the installation went, not knowing that the customer had called in to technical support with a problem,” Lane says. “NetSuite gives us one view of everything that is going on with our customers. All of our information is now integrated into one solution.”
Via NetSuite’s knowledge database, RLE is building a help desk database so customers can trouble-shoot their own problems.
“The help desk database will actually give us a lot of time savings from a technical support standpoint,” Lane says. “Time is money. That will equate to a substantial savings compared to what we are doing now.”
[Photo courtesy of mercurynews.]