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How NetSuite helped this manufacturer’s representative overcome four big challenges

Oct 02, 2019
By: Shelly E. Worrel

For manufacturers, an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system can be life-changing. Its automation, process improvement, visibility and tracking abilities make the ERP capable of significantly boosting efficiency and productivity — not to mention how it enables data-driven decision-making.

But that isn’t always the case for manufacturers with outdated ERP systems, or ERP tools that just aren’t working for them in the right ways. Yet the requirements of this digital age we live in now, and the ability to keep up with growth, mean manufacturers can put themselves in the best position for success by using a modern ERP.

Let’s dive into the world’s most deployed ERP system, NetSuite, and how it helped Michel Sales overcome its challenges. Michel Sales is a fourth-generation manufacturer's representative serving the plumbing, heating and HVAC industries through wholesale distribution. 

The organization was looking to solve four specific challenges, many of which manufacturers also face:

1. Meet the needs of its modern workforce

Most significantly, Michel Sales’ leaders chose NetSuite in order to get its systems caught up with the amount of growth the organization had experienced. Its old ERP was slowing them down, and it couldn’t deliver the visibility they needed from a financial standpoint to improve proactive business decision-making.

A modern ERP system includes a lot more functionality than older systems, especially when it comes to automation. Plus, older systems are no longer supported, meaning you won’t gain any new functionality or even any security patch updates to keep you secure and up and running.

Read more about updating technology in our article: What to consider when coping with legacy systems

2. Gain financial visibility to make better business decisions

Since implementing NetSuite, Michel Sales’ leadership team has gained much greater visibility into their data. NetSuite not only collects a wide amount of data but also allows you to customize dashboards to view the information most relevant to your role. You can also drill into financial reports, helping inform leadership and allowing them to make more proactive business decisions.

Read more about how NetSuite improves visibility in our article: Gain visibility into the costs and progress of your engineering projects with NetSuite

3. Compile data to manage growth

NetSuite is now the backbone of Michel Sales’ accounting system. Successfully measuring throughput, customer transactions, productivity, quality, purchasing patterns and more, Michel Sales leverages NetSuite for thorough demand planning. Its team is able to track demand-planning attributes on their items, such as the lead time and how many items are on order versus what are on hand. They also get notifications when they need to purchase raw materials. And because they didn’t have this information with their pervious system, it’s a huge win that allows them to better manage their continuing growth by ensuring they can meet customer demand while managing inventory levels. 

When you implement an ERP system like NetSuite, everyone in your organization can work with up-to-date facts and figures. Depending on their role, they’ll know the status of customer orders, inventory, shipping and more. Plus, NetSuite automates much of the communication involved in processing an order and then sending alerts, emails, updates and other information to the right people at the right time.

Read more in our article: 3 ways businesses are using NetSuite to grow their customer base

4. Improve the efficiency of processing orders in its warehouse

It’s also important to have the right implementation partner when you select an ERP. Michel Sales benefitted from Wipfli’s manufacturing and implementation experience in how to improve its pick and pack stations. And after reorganizing its warehouse with efficiency in mind, Michel Sales began using bins and integrating that bin information into NetSuite so that employees could become much more efficient in filling orders.

That’s not all NetSuite can do. Read more in our article: How NetSuite shortens lead times and reduces on-hand inventory

How NetSuite could be your best ERP for manufacturing

Could NetSuite deliver the same success for your manufacturing organization that it did for Michel Sales? Contact Wipfli to learn more about how NetSuite is designed to overcome manufacturing challenges, and click here to read the full Michel Sales success story.


Shelly E. Worrel
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