Posted by Jack Bryant, Services Industry Marketing Manager, NetSuite
A few years ago, Barcoding Inc. did what many companies must do to thrive in an increasingly competitive marketplace: It added a service component to what had been a product company.
Doing so meant new layers of complexity piled on an already strained IT environment. Barcoding, which sells barcode technologies from a huge network of suppliers and distributors, already had been struggling with a disconnect between its CRM and ERP systems that forced it to do a lot of manual re-entry of order data.
"There was no mechanism that supplied a clean transition," said Dan Perlak, VP of operations for Barcoding, during a recent NetSuite webinar, Quote-To-Cash Made Simple that highlighted the capabilities of pairing NetSuite with sales quoting software from partner Quosal.
Now, in addition to that complex challenge, Barcoding would be relying on those same systems to scope out, quote and invoice service projects, too. Perlak said it was too much to ask, and that the company didn't want to be pigeon-holed into doing business a certain way.
"We needed an ERP system that enabled us to be flexible," he said. "NetSuite let us be more than one kind of company."
Barcoding unexpectedly ended up deciding to deploy both NetSuite and Quosal simultaneously due to a strategic need. Perlak said that because the company wanted to create a wide-open quoting environment for its sales reps, not having a filter to screen data that automatically entered NetSuite could spell disaster.
When he found out that the tight integration between the products would apply the necessary checks and balances, "there was no reason not to do it," he said.
Six months later, the deployment was live, and one of the things Perlak immediately liked about the new environment was the way it conforms to the business it's supporting rather than the other way around.
"If we want to track a specific sales order based on a custom field, we can add that quickly," he said. "We can create workflow rules that are specific to individuals or processes that are special to us."
In the 20 months since the implementation, the benefits have multiplied, and are delivering bottom-line impact.
For instance, as Perlak relayed, the company's reps are paid commissions, and they used to have poor visibility into the status of invoices, which was a source of some frustration. Now, with NetSuite and Quosal, the reps can see outstanding balances and order notes, and even intervene at times to speed up the remittance process.
And that's lead to a happier, more informed, and thus more successful sales team.
"Having that visibility into what's going on within the organization all the way through to the payment makes us much more educated across the board," Perlak said.
Barcoding also has seen an important opportunity arise on the international stage. While it's been primarily a U.S.-centric company until now, Perlak said Barcoding is being asked more often to work with overseas distributors or even new overseas entities of existing customers.
Whereas the complexity of such an arrangement would have overwhelmed its previous systems, the company is now able to explore those opportunities.
"NetSuite and Quosal give us the flexibility to still get a quote out and figure out logistical challenges later," Perlak said.
On the customer front, the tight integration between NetSuite and Quosal is letting Barcoding do things like automatically pull data from suppliers and distributors into orders early in the process. That has enabled the company to take a page from Amazon, addressing a growing requirement of its customers to conduct transactions more like consumers.
In fact, Barcoding's entire experience, from its first marketplace challenges to its becoming a joint NetSuite-Quosal customer to the consumerization of its sales business-to-business sales approach, reflects a truism of business today: Expect the unexpected.
"In today's business world, the only constant is change," Ranga Bodla, head of industry marketing at NetSuite, said to open the Webinar. "New business models are emerging every day."
To hear more about how NetSuite and Quosal are helping companies like Barcoding keep up with the pace of change by supporting new business models, engaging and enabling employees, and extracting more value out of data, watch the on-demand webinar, "Quote-To-Cash Made Simple."