The Client: Robco Specialties
Luckily, Robco Specialties doesn’t joke about heating, or any of their other offerings. They have relationships with the finest manufacturers selling steam and hot water system related goods. These systems are used in everyday products and places such as pharmaceuticals, food and beverage, paper mills, hospitals, and more. Robco serves as the liaison between manufacturers and the end users. They educate on, and offer, the products and services that go into running a building: hot water, plumbing, heating, and steam systems. So, it’s safe to say that Robco takes not just heating, but their entire ensemble of services very seriously. As a result, a very solid foundation has been built, and growth is ongoing.
Yet, in today’s competitive market, it takes skill and, what is becoming increasingly important, a scalable software system for business success. Paapri’s implementation of NetSuite in combination with Robco’s expertise yields the best outcome. We had the chance to speak with Anthony Abbate, CEO of Robco Specialties, to learn more about his personal experience with our services and NetSuite’s software.
Challenges: Struggles of Several Systems
There are a lot of components to running a building. Similarly, there are many departments that need to be managed for a business to run smoothly. For example, a business owner is responsible for their accounting, marketing, Human Resources (HR), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), inventory, and more. As a business grows, these departments grow as well. Most start-ups use multiple systems to complete these tasks. Some popular examples include QuickBooks, an accounting software, and Salesforce, a dependable CRM. With a cheaper price and reliable services, these are great options to start with. However, it is common for users to notice shortcomings in them over time. One of the limitations Anthony faced was “a lot of redundant data entry”. He couldn’t “migrate data easily” and often had to manually “take the same data from one system and move it to another”.
“Getting all our information into one platform and being able to create detailed reports without having to extrapolate data from three to four different areas made everything a lot easier”
– Anthony Abbate, CEO
Solution: An Integrated Software and A Two Way Street
The time spent manually entering data, a lack of customer support, and an inability to track inventory are all problems business owners may experience. During our conversation with Anthony, he mentioned these exact issues due to operating on multiple software services. His solution? Switching to Netsuite, which is a “complete, all-in-one solution that combines a lot of different services into one system”. There are plenty of cloud ERP services on the market, but NetSuite is ranked number one. Anthony backs up his decision to choose NetSuite by describing a few of its many advantages: “The customizability of NetSuite and to be able to scale as you grow was something that really enticed us. NetSuite was a way to automate everything we were doing in the past. It was able to integrate our entire financial operations system”.
The path to reaping the benefits that NetSuite offers is not the easiest. Specifically, the implementation process determines whether one’s experience is a horror or success story. Having been the first time implementing an ERP system, Anthony did his research; after reading a couple horror stories, he was “a little nervous going into the process”. That being said, Anthony was one of the most well studied and prepared clients we’ve had the opportunity to work with.
Our expert consultants and their work rose above Anthony’s expectations, and he did the same with us. He elaborates, “Paapri made the implementation process a lot better than what I thought it was going to be. It wasn’t simple and there was a lot of work but it was easier than I thought it would have been”. The amount of work can be staggering, but it isn’t only on Paapri’s shoulders. Our clients have a large amount of responsibility on their end as well.
Regarding the aforementioned horror stories, Anthony observed that they all “have one common theme: the customer wasn’t giving the necessary data to the developer [consultant] to finish the job in a timely manner.” Anthony’s mindset of staying on top of his responsibilities and understanding that it’s an equal partnership led to such a smooth implementation. Explaining his methods for success: “I made sure that I gave Paapri everything that they’re asking of me. I made sure I dedicated the time.”
“The less flexible I am, the longer and more tedious the implementation process is going to be. So, I just knew the quicker I could get Paapri information and the quicker we could have meetings, the quicker things could get done”
– Anthony Abbate, CEO
Anthony stepped up his game and we had no problem matching him. This joint effort led Robco’s implementation to success. Anthony conveyed it best when he said, “I don’t expect you all to be experts in what we do just like I’m not an expert at coding NetSuite. So, it really took both of us [Robco and Paapri consultants] to educate each other on how Robco does things and how that can translate to NetSuite’s services”. In an effort to fulfill our promises, our consultants “did a really good job understanding us [Robco] and getting everything done appropriately.”
Partnerships don’t have to end after NetSuite is up and running, and we strongly advise they don’t. When asked what the biggest difference in his business is after Paapri’s services, Anthony replied that, “with a phone call, Lauren [Customer Experience Manager] or the development team are there to, at a minimum, help us, answer our questions, and solve our problems all the way up to implementing a new phase of NetSuite. It gives us a good peace of mind to have somebody that keeps their promises”. Paapri’s job is to ensure that our customers see the optimal results and get a return on their investment, so we are there every step of the way.
Results: Delayed Gratification and Future Projects
As the implementation for Robco is fairly recent, they have not seen many substantial improvements yet. Once NetSuite goes live, employees have to spend time getting familiar with the new system and checking that all data or processes have been transferred over before seeing the meaningful upgrades. Even Anthony says that “you have to be comfortable [with the system] before you can take advantage of the automation”.
Although Robco’s team isn’t yet completely familiar with their new system, Anthony “knows it’s going to make [their] lives easier and [they] can already see it with some of the transactions that are basically all clicks”. Instead of having to deal with multiple systems to complete a transaction, Anthony can just click a few buttons to get the results he’s looking for.
There are “millions of things NetSuite can do”. Anthony has high hopes for his new software and has planned out many future projects. These projects all have one goal: to make Robco and their customers’ experience better and easier. One specific example of how they would do this is by linking NetSuite to their website; this allows customers and vendors to log in, see purchase orders (POs), see inventory levels, and pay bills. Expanding on this concept, Anthony says, “We definitely want to use NetSuite to integrate into the overall customer and user experience with the front end of our webpage.” Robco has integrated credit cards and United Parcel Service (UPS) to their NetSuite system, which for Anthony, “has helped out tremendously”. Making transactions online is the next step for their business and Paapri customizing NetSuite is helping them get there.
Another project Anthony is looking forward to is automating Robco’s collections processes. NetSuite has a lot of different automation tools which create custom and automated reports for customers. This would be a crucial add-on for Robco because it “will help [them] keep track of collecting [their] money”.
Conclusion: A Powerful Partnership with A Strong Software
Anthony Abbate, the CEO of Robco Specialties, upgraded his software to an integrated, powerful solution that enables him to do everything with a few clicks. What was really special about this partnership was his attitude towards the implementation process. He put in the time and effort required and understood his responsibilities. Therefore, he’s already receiving numerous benefits and will certainly experience countless more with his future projects.