BPI, Inc. employs BatchMaster ERP to meet the demand for its specialty mineral products used in steel, refractory, and specialty applications

BPI, Inc. employs BatchMaster ERP to meet the demand for its specialty mineral products used in steel, refractory, and specialty applications

BPI Minerals Featured

BPI, Inc. employs BatchMaster ERP to meet the demand for its specialty mineral products used in steel, refractory, and specialty applications

BPI, Inc., aka By Products Industry, processes non-hazardous mineral by-products into materials used in steel production and other applications that require refractory materials. The company handles raw, by-product and finished materials in ways that are environmentally safe. Each year, BPI ships more than 100,000 tons of finished product. The Pittsburgh-based company was founded in 1982 and has seven manufacturing plant sites in North America, with plant sizes up to 400k sq ft on 30 acres, served by a combination of rail, truck, and barge transports.


BPI was a user of Sage PFW (aka Platinum for Windows) who began searching for another software system after learning that all support for PFW would cease in March 2014. With limited support, and no further patches or updates for PFW being issued and knowing that the PFW application running on their local server would not be compatible with the new Windows versions, there was a sense of urgency from ownership to find a growth-based ERP software solution that would integrate all their business practices into a single system. The company needed to be able to support their unique operations, as well as run in the cloud, to save money and resources.

Toni Vance, BPI’s current Manager, responsible for the ERP applications, had previous Sage consulting experience, and managed BPI’s Sage PFW application. She knew BatchMaster Software provided the formula-based, process manufacturing capabilities in Sage PFW, and that these functions were critical for BPI’s success moving forward. Based upon Toni’s recommendations, BatchMaster Software was one of the ERP software vendors evaluated by the BPI team.

BPI was interested in BatchMaster ERP because it was built upon the SAP Business One platform, a leading enterprise solution for SME organizations worldwide. With BatchMaster’s ‘best of breed’ ERP solution, BPI could take advantage of and enhance SAP’s leading sales, purchasing, accounting, supply chain, and customer service capabilities. During the software demonstrations, BPI’s team saw that the BatchMaster solution was superior in the areas of formulation, packaging management, costing, inventory, production, quality, planning, scheduling, lot traceability & recall, industry specific compliance, and mobile warehousing. Overall, BPI determined that BatchMaster ERP offered more advanced and automated features than what BPI had currently in Sage PFW, as well as the other software vendor ERP’s being evaluated.

“During our evaluation, we had found BatchMaster ERP was by far the best solution for managing multiple, unique formulations for each of our clients. The software had all of the required functionality to manage our day-to-day inventory and production activities, from raw material receiving and blending, to finished good production and shipping. BatchMaster’s cloud ERP solution was selected because the software was very formula-based, process manufacturing centric, whereas the other vendor ERP applications were not”, explained Vance.

In 2015, BatchMaster Software was selected because the company’s industry specific ERP was designed to meet BPI’s critical business needs within a single, cohesive platform. Deployed in the cloud, the software would be maintained and upgraded by the BatchMaster support team, allowing the BPI team to focus on their core competencies. In addition, data migration and conversion were key concerns, and uniquely, BatchMaster had the software utilities to migrate master data files quickly and easily from Sage PFW into BatchMaster ERP.

Seamless reporting was an important feature for BatchMaster ERP to handle, which was addressed, in the initial phase of implementation. Although BatchMaster ERP offered numerous standard reports, the BPI team and BatchMaster consultants worked together, initially, to create specific customized system reports. BatchMaster ERP utilizes Crystal Reports to manage system reporting, so with the purchase of Crystal Dashboard Designer licenses, and some training from the BatchMaster consulting team, BPI could create and maintain their own customized reports.

Toni Vance emphasized how efficient and responsive the BatchMaster implementation and support teams were, “The BatchMaster implementation team had a strong understanding of our needs before they were even on-site, which made for a fast, painless transition to the new software. Their cloud hosted support is phenomenal, literally responding to our support questions within minutes.”

As BPI’s project lead during the ERP implementation, Vance offered these tips to future BatchMaster customers who are planning their software implementation:

  • Focus on data conversion and migration in the initial stage of implementation because data drives processes and reporting. In addition, this is the time to cleanse one’s current data.
  • If one has the budget, then hold user training sessions on site to get the maximum benefits.
  • Perform thorough testing of the software. Ensure one has the proper sample data and considers the exceptions.


BatchMaster ERP Chemical Industry Solution manages mineral operations across seven BPI plants that process inorganic solid by-products, including magnesium oxides, zirconium oxides, aluminum silicates, calcium silicates, calcium aluminates, silicon carbides, iron oxides, sulfur, aluminum, silicon, ferroalloys, soda ash, cryolites and carbons.

At a high level, the software effectively manages the delivery and storage of inorganic solid by-products. Specifically excelling in managing the formulation of BPI’s specialty mineral blends, as well as, the crushing, grinding, blending, drying, briquetting, and sizing stages during production. BatchMaster ERP also manages the recording of quality control test results, and the storage and shipping of finished good products to customers.

BPI also recycles non-hazardous industrial minerals in their plants, and they are able to take full advantage of BatchMaster’s inventory and production capabilities to identify and manage these types of co-products and by-products without issue.

Another challenge for BPI was their steel mill, foundries, abrasives, and cement production customers all have specific quality standards that must be met. As part of the company’s comprehensive quality program, BatchMaster’s inspection plans and QC tests ensure that the mineral by-products they process for these critical industrial applications conform to each of their customer’s chemical, physical and sizing specifications. The unique variable characteristics of raw material and finished goods lot-controlled inventories are now captured and managed from the point of receiving thru production to shipping. In addition, due to the nature of these minerals, and the company’s concern for the environment, safety and environmental related checklists and SOP’s are strictly followed when handling specific ingredients.

BPI has recently upgraded their BatchMaster ERP version to take full advantage of features that can further improve usability, productivity, and overall performance.

“With BatchMaster ERP, all departments have visibility and notifications of new sales, PO, batch jobs and shipments. Sales order processing is immediate, customer delivery times are quicker, and inventory management has been streamlined. Our departments are running more smoothly, which helps everyone deliver a higher level of customer service. With greater visibility to real-time, accurate information, our staff can make more informed decisions, faster and with less stress”, says Toni Vance, BPI Manager responsible for ERP applications. “BPI has a unique and powerful software system that helps us use what we have today to its full potential, allowing us to become more innovative in the industry”.

For more information, contact:

John Garcia, jgarcia@batchmaster.com
(949) 583-1646 Ext. 289

Process Manufacturing ERP Software