MotoAlliance Turns Family Business into Global Manufacturer, Outgrows QuickBooks

June 27, 2017

Like many family-run businesses, MotoAlliance, a manufacturer and distributor of power sports accessories, had humble beginnings. Maury Kapsner, the president of the parent company M&L Industries, built a contract machining business and then started making accessories for all terrain vehicles (ATVs), such as bumpers and rack extenders under the name of MotoAlliance.

Like many small businesses that undergo a period of rapid growth, MotoAlliance discovered its existing QuickBooks accounting software(opens in new tab) could not keep up.

MotoAlliance designs power sports accessories with the input of riders and other enthusiasts, via online forums, dealer partners and social media. It then manufactures the products itself or partners with manufacturers in the U.S., China, Australia and France. Sales are done direct to consumer through an ecommerce website(opens in new tab), through 400 dealerships across the country, large retailers like Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops and a significant amount on Amazon and eBay.

As word spread and the company grew, keeping track of inventory management(opens in new tab) became a significant hurdle, said Kristy Kapsner, MotoAlliance Co-owner and Operations Manager. It could take days to weeks before inventory data was accurately mapped to QuickBooks, making it extremely difficult to track progress, particularly with the Amazon business, and impacting customer service by indicating items were in stock when they were not.

When it came time to replace the accounting software, MotoAlliance considered Fishbowl, a piece of software that integrates QuickBooks(opens in new tab) with ecommerce sites; and NetSuite, which had been mentioned by MotoAlliance’s EDI provider SPS Commerce.

Kapsner and the company’s IT manager both had degrees in computer science and were experienced with large software implementations. Together with a two-person team from NetSuite professional services, they were able to get a new ERP system up and running in three months.

“Now, we can believe the inventory numbers in NetSuite,” Kapsner said. “Everyone is going to NetSuite first. They believe it when it says we have an item. That’s been huge.”

With a single system for both financial and inventory data, the whole company now has a better understanding of operations. In fact, “because everyone has access to anything that inventory touches -- sales, return, shipment, refunds -- everyone understands the bigger picture and not just their own piece,” Kapsner said.

That’s made a big difference in operations. In December 2016, MotoAlliance had its biggest month ever. Last year’s biggest day for revenue was Cyber Monday. This year the company beat that by $10,000 and then beat it again a week later by $30,000. And, for a change, all that data was right at their fingertips with the push of a button.

The move to NetSuite has also paid off big by enabling MotoAlliance to avoid stock outs thanks to better forecasting. Indeed, MotoAlliance has nearly 1,000 different inventory items which are made more complex by the fact that so many are matrixed, with different colors, types of plows, mount plates and more. NetSuite tracks it all. That impact is seen particularly during the busy season.

In the last three years, MotoAlliance has seen its annual revenue rise 400 percent.

“Before NetSuite, someone would come in the morning, pull all the orders and then go order by order printing labels, packing slips, and sorting it all to hand out,” Kapsner said. “No one could start until all the labels were done. During the busy season, we couldn’t start until 11 a.m. Now, as soon as they come in, the guys have pick lists waiting for them.”

NetSuite has also enabled better reporting, to properly apply refunds, manage back orders, predict demand and grow. Additionally, with a foundation in place, MotoAlliance can look to the future towards integrating NetSuite directly to its Amazon and eBay business through a solution from NetSuite partner Celigo.

“The insight NetSuite gives us has transformed the way we work with our distributors and how we order from our manufacturing partners both here and abroad,” Kapsner said.

For more about how switching from QuickBooks to NetSuite can help your business, watch this webinar(opens in new tab).

NetSuite has packaged the experience gained from tens of thousands of worldwide deployments over two decades into a set of leading practices that pave a clear path to success and are proven to deliver rapid business value. With NetSuite, you go live in a predictable timeframe — smart, stepped implementations begin with sales and span the entire customer lifecycle, so there's continuity from sales to services to support.