Based in Stafford, Bison Machinery, a supplier of manufacturing machinery (sheet metal, fabrication, sawing and engineering), is part of the UK Machinery Group, a consortium of individual companies with a wealth of history dating back to the 1800’s.
As with many organisations, it relies on several different systems to manage its business, which it has built up over time. With a strong relationship with the Access Group, the company has been using Access Dimensions (accounting) and GoldMine (CRM) for the past five years, along with QuoteWerks (quoting), and the online services of UPS (delivery and dispatch) and CreditSafe (company information and financials).
“A couple of years ago I got a bit disillusioned with all our separate systems and thought, perhaps, we should invest in one ERP system that did everything. I conducted quite a bit of research, but I finally realised that I was never really going to find one system that would achieve everything we wanted – you’re always going to have to have extra software somewhere,” explained Guy Bushnell, Director, Bison Machinery. “Our people are also used to our systems. GoldMine is fairly old but our reps are well versed in it and they’re used to it.”
Finding an integration solution
Deciding to stick with the systems already in place, Guy realised that he needed to look for a solution that could help integrate all the systems and automate numerous processes to streamline the business and remove the reliance on manual inputting that was occurring on a daily basis
“Due to manual inputting, it was possible that the figures we had in our CRM system were out of date. This meant that we may have thought that a customer was solvent, whereas, in reality, they were heavily in debt and not in any position to buy anything,” said Bushnell. “As for QuoteWerks, manually re-keying orders into our SOP system occasionally led to items being missed off an order that had been included in a quote. This scenario could, potentially, be expensive to put right and could result in us losing an order. Additionally, with people manually entering addresses into the UPS system, there was always the potential that errors could be made and orders sent to the wrong address.”
Guy was aware of BPA Platform due to Codeless Platforms’ relationship with the Access Group. However, during his research for an integration solution rediscovered it directly and realised that it could be the solution he required.
“It came across as a good solution. If you can get the best software for different areas of the business and integrate them well, then why not follow that route?” declared Bushnell. “It’s also a significantly lower cost for us to integrate existing software than to invest in a completely new ERP system.”
Using BPA Platform to improve business processes
Having selected and deployed BPA Platform, Bison Machinery focused on the three key areas that needed integration and automation. The business has subsequently integrated Access Dimensions with QuoteWerks; GoldMine with CreditSafe; and Access Dimensions with UPS.
“BPA Platform is a great tool to have. We justified the purchase of the software based on these three tasks that have been achieved. It just seemed a good fit, with the knowledge that we can do further work in the future,” said Bushnell.
The deployment of BPA Platform has subsequently improved the entire quote, order and delivery cycle for Bison Machinery. Reps can now send out pro forma invoices straight away following the confirmation of a quote, meaning that the company can take a deposit or payment for a machine immediately.
“The problem we had before the integration was that if we won an order we had to manually rekey everything into Access Dimensions as a sales order, and then send a customer a pro forma invoice,” explained Bushnell. “Now that we have integrated QuoteWerks with Access Dimensions, BPA Platform automates that process. It basically eliminates a lot of manual input and prevents any items on the quote being missed from the order.”
“Imagine the sale of a £20,000 machine. A customer might want an option with it. This is then included in the quote that the customer accepts. If, by accident, this option is not included in the sales order, and it’s a factory fit option, we aren’t going to find out until the machine is installed. We would then have to order a new machine with the option fitted and swap it out to rectify that mistake, which obviously costs a lot of money.”
Download the case study below to get an in-depth analysis of how Bison Machinery has been able to:
- Improve its sales and delivery process
- Remove manual data inputting
- Set up alerts to get rid of old stock
- Benefit from new marketing opportunities