U.S Paint selected BatchMaster ERP for Chemicals to replace their existing AS/400 legacy system to support their continued growth. BatchMaster ERP is an end to end ERP solution, based upon the SAP Business One platform, that supports financials, sales, purchasing, supply chain and customer service, in addition to chemical manufacturing.
Since 1931, U.S. Paint has delivered high performance paints, primers, and clearcoats to manufacturers and applicators in the automotive, power sports and general industrial markets worldwide. U.S. Paint is part of Kansai Paint Group, a global network of affiliated painting and coating companies, located in St. Louis, MO.
For over 20 years, U.S. Paint has run their paints & coating business on the IBM AS400 Services Infinium platform. The legacy software was not written for formula-based manufacturers and required numerous customized routines for transactional processing and reporting to be written by their director of IT over this scan of time.
With the retirement of several IT personnel looming on the horizon early next year, management recognized that something had to be done to maintain the current software programming andto continue adding new functionality. Although the legacy software was upgraded by the original vendor about 3 years ago, the staff found that there were no significant software improvements made in nearly 15 years. Hiring individual programmersvs an IT development agency to rewrite the existing customized routines, using latest software language, had its search and retention issues. And in terms of technology, the staff compared the AS400 platform vs the latest on-premise and cloud platforms.
US Paint president decided to search for a new software vendor whose ERP solution could support their existing customized functionality right ‘out of the box’. Over several months, the selection team evaluated BatchMaster Software’s ERP for Chemicals, DataCor’s Chempax solution and several other ERP vendor solutions.
Bob Yoder, Director of IT, pointed out during the selection process that “BatchMaster’s formulation module works the way in which our formulators develop our paints”. In addition to dynamic formula balancing, the team saw that the software’s flexible production costing methods, considering inventory valuation, consumables and labor costs, will improve product quotations. The ability to generate and distribute key documents, both on demand and event driven, in addition to alert management capabilities via text and emails, would improve collaboration across all departments and with their customers. Automating their current manual SDS process was a requirement and BatchMaster ERP had a proven integration to Lisam Systems EH&S Compliance Solution, a leading global SDS authoring cloud application, to generate SDS documents and labels.
‘Future proofing’ was a key consideration in the purchase of a new ERP application, according to John Duchardt, President of U.S. Paint. He recognized that the SAP Business One platform is a leading ERP solution for growing small to midsized businesses and subsidiaries worldwide, with an extensive and growing ecosystem of 3rd party applications. John explained, “With BatchMaster Software and SAP continued investments, this ERP solution is a winning combination that can keep pace with evolving chemical regulations, best business practices and innovative technologies”.
“At the end, we decided to partner with BatchMaster Software who offered us an ‘off the shelf’ product; one that is formula centric, could easily meet our unique requirements, and position U.S. Paint for continued growth”, stated John Duchardt.
“BatchMaster Software is delighted to add U.S Paint to our large and growing base of chemical customers,” said Sahib Dudani, CEO of BatchMaster Software. “We look forward to helping U.S. Paints achieve its business objectives, while leveraging their invaluable insight into the paints & coatings industry to enhance our ERP for Chemicals solution.”
When Liz Wu took over as the Accountant at Continental Coatings, they were running BatchMaster Enterprise (BME) , which was integrated to their existing Sage 300 financial application.
Liz found the Annual Software Maintenance charges for both Sage and BatchMaster together was more than she could justify. Another one of her concerns was the time and effort spent resolving any issues encountered when either of the applications were upgraded. Lisa had to involve both BatchMaster and Sage customer support teams to investigate their own applications to identify the cause and resolve the issue.
Liz asked BatchMaster “Do you have your own financial modules?” BatchMaster said “Yes, we released the financial modules two years ago.” Liz continued, “Since there are only two of us using the financial modules vs 15-16 people using the BatchMaster modules, it made more sense to move everything to BatchMaster than, say, everything to Sage.”
In terms of the Implementation, Liz said “It was right on budget. Time-wise, it took a little longer, but only because we chose to upgrade our server at the same time. We upgraded from BME 8.50 to 8.70, added the financial modules, and changed the server all at the same time. It was still close, though. Our target was to start using the BM financials from January 1st, and we actually started entering transactions on January 15th.”
There were obvious immediate cost savings in ASM and support, especially since both the finance and other modules are now compatible with each other. Since the move from Sage to BatchMaster financials, Liz found she didn’t need to manually post any AP or AR invoices anymore – it’s all automatic. On the AR side alone, this saves her 4-5 hours every month. She discovered similar time savings on the processing side – all up Liz estimates she is saving a whole week every year.
Functionally, Liz is delighted with what BM Finance offers. “I was pleased to see that every function I relied on in Sage financials was available in BatchMaster Financials, and during the demos I discovered many additional features we didn’t have and could use. An example was Bank Reconciliation. My predecessors used an Excel file for this, with BatchMaster I just enter the numbers and it is all done on the system.
Actually, the ability to export to and import from an Excel spreadsheet is huge for me also.”
Continental Coatings are customizing some financial reports. They are extremely happy with how BatchMaster’s development team are able to continue to develop these modules quickly to meet their needs.
Liz summarizes “Any questions I have, support comes back very quickly and resolves the issue. If it is a function I need and the software doesn’t have it, they tell me it will be in the next patch, and it always is. Although BM Financials is relatively new, it keeps improving. I thing that is pretty good. I would never have any influence at Sage over their software. The BatchMaster technical team listens to us users, and anything we ask for that makes sense, we get in the next patch. That means BatchMaster is growing, and will continue to grow – because you guys listen!”
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