How did you select the Sage software as your preferred solution?
We initially began with obtaining a server on premises. We had talked to the company that was providing us with our computers and the server, and they recommend a company and solution that would do what it was we wanted. They ended up recommending ASI and the Sage platform for our particular needs and requirements.
Did they recommend alternatives or was it exclusively Sage?
No, there were two or three other options and they didn’t pan out very well. They weren’t very flexible. Once you bought the program, there really wasn’t any way to add to them if you wanted to. The great thing about Sage is its modular form. You can add or subtract or modify it any way that you want to. It’s an extremely flexible solution and we saw great value in that.
Did you conduct any research of your own in order to identify potential partners for the implementation?
I talked to several of our existing customers that we work with closely. There were other folks that had worked with Sage, that have Sage, that need updating. They’ve had it for quite some time. It has worked extremely well for them. The ASI group came very, very highly recommended from several of our loyal customers.
In terms of the project itself, could you describe the scope of the project, the kind of components that were included, such as design, development, support, etc?
Considering we started with a manual program, everything was fairly new and fresh to us. I’m not a technical expert. ASI was extremely helpful to work with as far as being patient, coming in and doing a whole survey as far as exactly what we had, what we had to have, and what we needed. We began to modify the existing Sage solution to accommodate our very, very particular needs.
The first thing was starting with our inventory, the item maintenance and history, creating our production sheets, our sales orders, etc. We had to replicate their formatting so we didn’t have to worry about re-training my entire staff. It took a couple of months to do that and to work the little bugs out of those programs. They operated at the speed in which I was comfortable with. Since I wasn’t a technical expert, it took me a little bit longer to go through. I generated full scenarios of what could or couldn’t go wrong, what would or wouldn’t go wrong, until I thought I had all the bugs worked out. At that point we began working towards implementing the entire Sage system into our business process.
It was quite a long process, but it took us, from when we initially saw the program to until we actually started working with it, about a year. Once we began working with it and modifying it, it took another six months before we actually implemented it the entire organization.
Could you provide a sense of the size of the initiative, either in monetary terms or in the total personnel that was dedicated to the project?
The total personnel from our side included only myself. I personally went through all of the scenarios because I know everyone’s responsibility. I didn’t require internal expertise since I’m extremely familiar with the entire business process, from start to finish. The development team on the ASI side was typically 3-4 consultants, working on and off depending on the technical requirements. They were extremely insightful and walked me through the entire process before the actual implementation. The ongoing support has been extremely great as well.
In monetary terms, we invested approximately $35,000 into it, which was certainly worth it.
When was this project was completed?
From the time we began working on it in November of 2011, we actually completed the implementation on June 15 of 2012. We’ve had ongoing support and maintenance since that point.