As a growing company, HAF Equipment wanted to implement software that could enable a larger business transformation. It was looking to improve visibility throughout the organization and provide wider access for employees to track inventory, invoices, purchase orders and other important parts of the day-to-day business. It was also taking employees 4-8 hours of data manipulation to determine how much a large capital project would cost.
HAF Equipment made the decision to implement Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. However, the implementation wasn’t successful for two large reasons.
First, the firm it was working with created a lot of workarounds within Business Central to align with current HAF Equipment processes.
Second, the firm did not provide adequate training to HAF Equipment employees to prepare them to transition to Business Central and understand how to properly and fully use the software.
As a result, HAF Equipment struggled with Business Central and essentially had to work around the software instead of within it. The initial workarounds its partner firm developed also led to an entire day’s worth of downtime after Microsoft pushed out one of Business Central’s biannual updates.
To get HAF Equipment where it wanted and needed to be, the company turned to Wipfli.
Strategy and results
After going onsite to better understand HAF Equipment’s business and processes, the Wipfli team realized just how much Business Central could solve its current challenges, including eliminating manual processes and the need to export and manipulate data in Excel.
The first step was to provide HAF Equipment employees with the training they needed to fully utilize the software. This included eliminating some of the workarounds the previous firm created and instead changing HAF Equipment’s processes to align with Business Central’s capabilities.
“The training was night and day,” said Kim Mikolz, Director of Finance at HAF Equipment. “If we asked how we could make something work, Wipfli gave us options. Sometimes they said, yes, we could program it to change, but if you changed this business process, it would work seamlessly in the system. Instead of doing custom configuration that wouldn’t help us long term, Wipfli explained why things do or don’t work a certain way.”
By helping HAF Equipment change and streamline processes, Wipfli was able to demonstrate the range of benefits Business Central offers and then train employees on how to gain those benefits on a day-to-day basis.
Wipfli also introduced HAF Equipment to Business Central’s jobs functionality, which was perfect for the business and was already part of the software but hadn’t been leveraged up to that point. It provides HAF Equipment with a much easier way to define and build jobs, make purchases, create invoices and, overall, create greater visibility within the organization.
To prevent Business Central downtime, HAF Equipment also engaged Wipfli’s managed technology services. As a result, going through a second Microsoft update was seamless for HAF Equipment’s employees.
Part of that is having an experienced team on their side, and part of it is giving them the tools they need. For example, Wipfli hosts webinars detailing the changes Microsoft will make in an upcoming Business Central update. HAF Equipment’s business analyst watches the webinars, summarizes the changes for the rest of the organization, previews and tests the updates in Business Central’s sandbox environment, and asks the Wipfli team questions so that HAF Equipment is fully prepared to go through the update.
Overall, working with Wipfli has led to more robust business practices and, by better utilizing Business Central, has also delivered better visibility into transactions, better tracking of designs and projects, and ensuring better change management by getting design and production engineers involved with the whole cycle, from processing through shipment.
HAF Equipment manufactures and develops dry powder process equipment and systems for the food, dairy, chemical and functional foods industries.