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Proslat Replaces NetSuite and Boosts Customer Engagement with Open Source ERP

Proslat develops and distributes strong, environmentally friendly PVC slat wall panels and other storage products. Proslat sells custom storage solutions for residential and commercial applications, including garages, homes, closets, and retail stores.

Proslat’s storage options include hanging wall slats, overhead racks, motorized lifts, and several lines of cabinets. Their innovative products are available on Amazon as well as at The Home Depot, Canadian Tire, Walmart, Target, Costco, Bed Bath & Beyond, and many other retailers.

Since the 2010 launch of Proslat’s patented wall panel, the company has continued to grow steadily by offering reliable, high-quality products.

SITUATION

Proslat initially invested in a basic implementation of NetSuite. Then, Proslat conducted a business case ROI analysis to determine whether they should buy more expensive NetSuite licenses to meet their needs for more advanced functionality from NetSuite.

Proslat soon discovered that Odoo provides better performance at a lower cost than NetSuite.

Prior to implementing Odoo, Proslat used an electronic data interchange (EDI) system to receive purchase orders, provide shipping notifications, and send customer invoices. The EDI processes for receiving orders, sending shipping notifications, and invoicing customers were for more time-consuming and manual than necessary. Proslat needed a better EDI architecture for faster onboarding of new customers who needed to integrate with Proslat’s EDI system, as well as to lower the cost per each new EDI customer.

Proslat planned for the ERP migration project to include changes to several business processes. Our Open Source Integrators (OSI) team architected Odoo to give Proslat users visibility into capacity planning data available in Odoo and migrate away from manually forecasting production lead times on spreadsheets.

We were also able to provide Proslat with custom solutions to improve supply chain management. Proslat procures some of their products from offshore sources and needed Odoo customization to improve supply chain management and mitigate the impacts of long procurement lead times of up to 75 days.

Proslat expected Odoo to deliver insight into profitability by product category and help Proslat maximize its sales opportunities. We needed to unlock the data in the ERP to provide Proslat with improved intelligence on its customers.

Proslat sought to find more sales opportunities and increase cross-selling and up-selling revenues by implementing Odoo. Proslat management asked us a key business case question, “How much more could Odoo help Proslat sell without Proslat needing to add sales staff?”

Our bottom line goal for Proslat? Migrate the key ERP functionality and data from NetSuite to Odoo in just 60 days.

​APPROACH

To meet the aggressive deadline, Proslat’s Vice President of Operations, Michael Presseau, worked closely with our Open Source Integrators consultants. Together, the Proslat and OSI project teams performed a thorough analysis of Proslat’s requirements. The combined team agreed to complete more than 100 Odoo customization and solution development tasks, plus integrations with other technology platforms.

OSI Vice President Jennifer Campbell said, “During the project start phase, the Proslat team was exceptionally decisive. They defined which project tasks needed to be done within the 60-day Phase One effort and which could be delayed to a Phase Two or Phase Three.”

In Phase One, we completed the Odoo setup, financial accounting and tax management, product inventory and warehousing, purchasing and CRM project tasks. Our combined team queued the EDI implementation, integration of Odoo with Proslat’s eCommerce website to automate order fulfillment, more detailed accounting configuration, improved batch picking, and delivery fulfillment functionality for completion in Phase Two.

The Proslat team excelled at collecting data, cleaning data and preparing valuable data for migration from NetSuite to Odoo. The Proslat team effectively scrubbed the chart of accounts & balances, product master lists, BOMs, kit BOMs, lists of vendors, and contact data for suppliers and other databases.

Because of Odoo’s open source nature, it is easier to import data into Odoo than most other systems. The Proslat and OSI technical teams used their unrestricted access to the Odoo database, and the efficient Odoo data import API, to migrate the right data into Odoo at the right time to meet our deadline targets.

To achieve Proslat’s goal to going live with the new Odoo system on January 1, our OSI consultants worked steadily through the year-end holiday season. The cutover from NetSuite to Odoo was smooth and on time.

​NEW YEAR, NEW ERP

Proslat had many reasons to toast that New Year’s Eve. The new Odoo system passed all the initial tests and Proslat was ready to fulfill the many customer orders the new year would bring.

Michael Presseau said, “OSI’s biggest success was to get Proslat transactional by January 1. I don’t know if the readers of this case study realize how important that is. Other businesses we know of lost 10% of their sales during system migrations. Proslat didn’t lose a dollar of sales.”

Of course, the rapid implementation presented some challenges. “It was harder than expected,” Presseau said. “We didn’t have an opportunity to learn the system well enough in the quick implementation. But it worked. We didn’t lose any sales. Without the OSI team’s expertise it wouldn’t have happened.”

Proslat began Phase Two with a deep dive to review sales, production, and fulfillment bottlenecks. Proslat management effectively identified which processes were draining efficiency; these inefficient processes were perfect candidates for automation made possible with Odoo functionality.

After two months of Proslat using the new Odoo system proficiently, we began the EDI implementation with Proslat. Once Proslat’s major customers were consistently able to place EDI orders, the company was able to internally reassign associates to work on higher-value tasks, due to reduced reliance on manual processes.

RESULTS

Today, Proslat is successfully using Odoo for:

  • Accounting
  • Sales
  • CRM
  • Inventory Management
  • Manufacturing
  • Purchasing
  • RMA
  • Marketplace integrations with EDI

Proslat started the project with an implementation budget target. Our OSI project managers worked collaboratively with Proslat to manage the scope, schedule, and budget.

This teamwork insured that all of Proslat’s Phase One and Phase Two requirements were met within the budget target. The project team prioritized appropriately and postponed non-essential tasks that wouldn’t fit within the budget target.

Throughout the project, our OSI team members provided extensive knowledge transfer to the Proslat technical team. With this “training in the trenches together” approach, Proslat developed in-house Odoo customization and development capability. Proslat went on to complete some Phase Three projects without the need for further guidance from us.

Michael Pressau said, “Our experience using IT consultants in the past was they didn’t have the expertise for that which they were claiming. After asking previous consultants a technical question, I got the impression they had to Google some answers. OSI consultants know what they’re talking about. When they billed Proslat for consulting time, I knew we were investing in OSI working on our case rather than researching how to work on our case.”

How well is Proslat’s new EDI system working with Odoo? “EDI orders are coming in seamlessly,” Presseau said. “With the EDI foundation Proslat built with OSI, when Proslat gets new EDI customers the new integrations will be simple.”

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