When the Coburn Company implemented Microsoft Dynamics AX in 2011, the solution required a number of customizations to make it truly work for the business — such as integration with third-party technologies like Coburn’s shipping solution. These customizations and the limitations of an on-premises solution made it extremely challenging to keep AX up to date. Over the years, Coburn worked with an increasingly aging technology solution.
When Microsoft released its cloud-based ERP, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, Wipfli recommended it to Coburn. As a cloud solution, Business Central receives automatic updates. It’s modern, easy to use and integrates incredibly well with other solutions because many third parties offer extensions. Companies can simply browse the AppSource store and find integrations or even new solutions to further meet their needs.
For Coburn, Business Central was an opportunity to lay a foundation it could enjoy for years to come. Without fear the new solution would age or eventually lack support, Coburn could get the foundation in place and then take incremental steps to extend the system and improve its capabilities.
With these benefits in mind, Coburn made the decision to transition to Business Central.
But as planning for the implementation began, so did the COVID-19 pandemic. Although on-site visits had to stop, Coburn leaders were pleased with how the Wipfli team pivoted quickly to ensure they were still getting the communication and responsiveness they needed to keep moving forward.
“A characteristic I’ve noticed of Wipfli is they’re very keyed in,” said Thayer Coburn, Owner and Director of Operations at Coburn. “ There’s an emotional aspect for many users when you’re upgrading, and it’s stressful for people. I’ve been really satisfied with the emotional intelligence of the implementors we’ve worked with.”
After a relatively smooth implementation, including implementing a new ecommerce solution, one obstacle the Coburn and Wipfli teams had to overcome was integrating the shipping solution — the same one that had required customization in AX. It did not have a ready Business Central extension in AppSource. Instead, Coburn worked directly with the vendor to create the integration, and the Wipfli team stepped in to help when the vendor appeared to struggle.
Coburn’s new shipping solution is much easier to use and has received great feedback. In fact, each solution and extension Coburn and Wipfli discovered on AppSource to further meet the company’s needs proved more and more that Coburn had made the right decision transitioning to Business Central.
Leadership no longer has to worry about tech decay and trusts that as their business evolves, Business Central will evolve alongside it. Regular updates help employees adjust to smaller, more gradual changes, which reduces stress and helps them understand faster or easier ways to do tasks they were used to always doing a certain way.
Ease of use is a big factor with Coburn. Employees like how much easier it is to bring data in and out of Business Central, which has reduced manual work and saved them significant time and effort. Business Central makes it easier to make changes to policies, programs, customer and carrier information, and more. Plus, as a cloud-based solution, it has made it easy to work from home during the pandemic.
With Business Central, Coburn has gained the benefits of greater flexibility and extensibility, with a foundation they can continue building on into the future.
The Coburn Company, Inc. has been a leading manufacturer and distributor of quality milking equipment and livestock supplies since 1925. Its products can be found in every U.S. state as well as over sixty countries throughout the world.