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The undeniable attraction of NetSuite
“NetSuite has been a future-facing investment for us. It is a complete solution, it covers everything we do.”Chris Patterson, Managing Director
Since its beginnings 30 years ago, Marque Magnetics has solely focused on magnetics engineering and design. Their products include transformers, inductors and coils, and they have a global customer base including Fisher & Paykel, Siemens and Gallagher.
As well as their headquarters and production facility in Auckland, the company has two high-volume manufacturing sites in China. They have 24 local staff and a further 100 people overseas.
The need for integration
Marque Magnetics implemented an ERP in 2005 and ran Salesforce CRM solution alongside (but not integrated). They used multiple spreadsheets for reporting. In early 2016, they made the decision to replace these systems with one fully-integrated solution.
“Our main reason for changing was that our existing ERP didn’t provide us with the integrated CRM functionality or the file saving capability we needed,” says Chris Patterson, Managing Director of Marque Magnetics. “We wanted to consolidate the needs of our sales, engineering and production teams into one system so we could coordinate our activities more effectively.”
Another issue was that the old system was hosted on an in-house server. “We were always wondering when our server was going to crash. It happened once before, and while it didn’t impact our ERP, it took a week to replace the server. So, we were understandably nervous,” says Amanda Croft, Marque Magnetics’ Operations Manager. “The cost to replace the server, and our lack of in-house IT resources were a concern for us.”
Looking for a smarter total solution
After a lot of research, the company narrowed down their choices to NetSuite and an updated version of their current solution. They decided to switch to NetSuite, and chose Fusion5 as their implementation partner.
“There was a financial element in our choice,” says Patterson, “but from my point of view the primary consideration was NetSuite’s user interface, flexibility and the reporting options. These factors brought it over the line for me. If we implemented the latest version of the ERP we’d been using we would basically be replicating the issues we already had with the lack of integration.”
Patterson says that the company’s sales process is highly technical. Their salespeople and engineers work hand-in-glove, so both teams need copies of emails, quotes and technical information readily and easily available. Neither the old nor new version of their existing ERP could support this requirement.
Fusion5’s NetSuite team started the implementation in March 2016 and the project went live in September 2016.
A multitude of business benefits
Marque Magnetics now uses NetSuite to manage customer relationships, projects, production, engineering, the design process (including documentation), materials and specifications, through to finances.
Croft says that NetSuite offers a continuous process between the financial side of the business, sales and purchase orders and invoicing. “Our old system was reasonably basic by comparison,” she explains. “We can place a sales order in NetSuite and it automatically generates a purchase order. Then you link the purchasing and sales orders to the incoming supplier invoice. There’s a nice seamless integration throughout the whole process. It frees up resources and saves us valuable time.”
As NetSuite is a true cloud solution, it provides access from practically any device when the Marque Magnetics team are travelling. After struggling with the company VPN for years, Patterson is now a happy man. “I just use my phone now - I don’t even carry my computer. The ability to use the app is great for me when I'm travelling.”
NetSuite is accessible in China, so that makes life even easier, especially with the announcement that the Chinese Government intends to block all VPN access to the internet in 2018.
As well as supporting mobility, Croft appreciates the other benefits that NetSuite delivers as a cloud solution. “The cloud is ideal in the sense that it keeps backups and you don't have the headaches of all the hardware.”
And NetSuite’s dashboards are a big hit with Marque Magnetics. “The dashboards are brilliant,” says Patterson. “We didn’t have them before, and we’ll be using them more and more.”
Searchable and centralised data
Marque Magnetics’ projects can take between 6 months to 3 years to complete. Maintaining an auditable and accessible trail of information is important to the salespeople and engineers involved in the process, who are keen to keep it moving. “Before we had NetSuite it was a nightmare to find out who talked to who. Now we know.”
The way the data in NetSuite is centralised and searchable is of critical importance to Patterson. “It’s the interaction, the interconnectivity of being able to see all the emails to and from a customer. You can search a part number and see all of the communications ever shared about it in one place.”
This is a big step forward for a company previously reliant on a ‘hit and miss’ approach to filing information. “You could think of the part number, but you couldn’t think of who it was that you talked to about it. Or you could think of who it was you talked to, but you couldn’t think of the part number. Now you can easily put that information together with a quick search.”
A complete solution
Marque Magnetics is planning to move their New Zealand premises in 2018, as they continue to successfully compete and grow. And of course, they love that NetSuite will scale right alongside them.
With plans to eventually roll out NetSuite to China, the ability to manage multi-site and multi-language sites with NetSuite OneWorld was part of its appeal for Patterson. “We can run it in China and it will display in Mandarin, and we’ll be able to look at it in English. It’s amazing.”
“NetSuite has been a future-facing investment for us,” says Patterson. “It is a complete solution, it covers everything we do.”
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