When companies are acquired, it’s often the perfect time to upgrade the finance and operations system. That’s exactly how the senior management team at Power Sonic felt shortly after its acquisition by private-equity firm Blackbird Management.
The executives at Power Sonic—one of the world’s leading battery manufacturers for more than 50 years—wanted to gain greater visibility into day-to-day transactional efficiencies and increase its business intelligence capabilities. By making it easier to generate KPIs and analyze performance across the company, the leadership team knew it could make decisions faster to improve warehouse workflows and reduce operational expenses.
To take on this challenge, Power Sonic selected Microsoft Dynamics NAV as its new ERP platform. NAV offers key finance and operations capabilities out-of-the-box with minimal customization. NAV also easily integrates with Microsoft Power BI and third-party add-on warehouse solutions used by manufacturers.
This flexibility was critical given the aggressive timeline Power Sonic was under. The project needed to wrap up in three months. If forced to customize, the company could not deploy quickly and cost-effectively.
Unexpected Tariff Proves No Match
For help in devising a game plan to deploy Dynamics NAV, Power Sonic partnered with Western Computer. We provided the experience of working with manufacturer distributors as well as the ability to dedicate enough resources to complete the deployment within the three-month window.
Power Sonic also turned to us for help with third-party software solutions that could integrate with NAV as well as to configure Power BI reports. This addressed all the warehouse efficiency, shipment tracking, and business intelligence requirements. We also offered a Microsoft Azure instance for NAV to run on in the cloud.
A key hurdle we helped overcome was the handling of an unexpected tariff assessed by the U.S. government on items purchased from vendors in China. This required quick modifications to apply the tariff to the appropriate inventory items. We then adjusted customer billings based on the products sourced from China. The Power Sonic ERP system now automatically processes the tariff.
Warehouse Efficiency Improves 15%, Month-Close Timeline Decreases 66%
When Power Sonic went live with NAV, warehouse efficiency on order-execution improved 15% right out of the gate—mainly because Power Sonic can now run multiple pick-assignment functions per day. On the finance side, the month-close process went down by 66%¾from 15 days down to five.
Other key benefits come from the ability to map operating expenses to sales, and sales and operations reports that have proven to be a solid budgeting tool. The sales team can access performance dashboards on a daily basis.
These reports demonstrate what a big win business intelligence is for Power Sonic. The company can access visual KPIs in real-time through Power BI, delivered through standardized reporting catalogs to sales reps, sales directors, executives, and remote workers.
“We have instant visibility into what’s happening on the floor each day to see how busy we are,” adds Pete Hagen, a Project Manager for Power Sonic. “We know how many orders are planned to ship, how many orders actually ship, and we can analyze warehouse performance over any specific time frame or job function.”
A Successful Blueprint for Other Company Locations Around the World
It can be difficult to migrate to a new ERP system as fast as Power Sonic did, especially when moving off of a legacy system from a different platform provider. But now that the solution has been successfully deployed, Power Sonic is continuously learning how to improve workflow efficiencies.
Looking ahead, the company Sonic will partner with Microsoft solution providers in Europe to deploy NAV at locations in the UK, France and The Netherlands. Those providers can leverage the design blueprint we created, and we will continue also provide support to help streamline the roll-outs.
To find out more about how we helped Power Sonic improve warehouse efficiencies and gain greater visibility into KPIs, you can download the full customer success story. We would also be glad to schedule a call to discuss how we can help your company achieve similar benefits. Feel free to contact us to get the conversation started.