NetSuite’s Ranga Bodla recently sat down with Jeffrey Gradek, President of Filter Services, a leading distributor and servicer of commercial and industrial filtration products, to discuss the company’s decision to move off Macola to a true cloud ERP system. Filter Services went through a rigorous analysis and evaluation of solutions from Prophet21, Microsoft Dynamics, IBS and NetSuite, and ultimately chose to go with NetSuite. Below are highlights from the conversation.
Ranga Bodla: What motivated Filter Services to look for a new system?
Jeff Gradek: We had the nightmare situation of coming to work on a Monday morning to find out that our file server was corrupted. This had happened before but this time, all the files, including backups, were corrupted; the company was gone. We wanted to be a successful filter company, not an unsuccessful technology company.
Bodla: Why did Filter Services decide on a cloud-based system?
Gradek: Initially, I investigated both on premise and cloud systems. The decision to go cloud was two-fold. I decided that I didn’t want to have a file server on premise that would take my sights off what we’re good at: filters. Beyond that, catering to a changing workforce was essential. Today’s workforce wants to work with cloud, and the cloud and its browser environment are more in line with the skillset people already have.
Bodla: Besides cloud, what were your other evaluation criteria?
Gradek: Macola’s system was clunky and relatively slow. The environment wasn’t intuitive, and it was hard to train people on. Our new system needed to be user friendly, easy to navigate and easy to learn. The system needed to be fast and agile, and able to address both sides of our business. A lot of vendors had separate services and distribution solutions, unable to accommodate both in one platform. We needed our services and distribution businesses on the same system. Finally, I knew that selecting a CRM would be a project of mine soon. NetSuite’s CRM being part of the platform was a huge selling point for me.
Bodla: What kinds of process improvements have you seen since running on NetSuite?
Gradek: The effects on our financial statement and cash flow were immediate. Financial statements are constantly up-to-date, and we can now close a month within just a few days. Having accurate, real-time data allows me to better budget and plan for the future. But what’s most exciting? We’re expanding and opening a new office in Indianapolis. The ability to have employees in other offices see the same dashboards as headquarters, and being able to manage them from a distance, is a game changer.
Bodla: Do you have any advice for current Macola, or other legacy system customers looking to make a switch?
Gradek: Choose the company that is going to put you in the best place to win 10 years from now. I wanted to partner with a company who’s investing in their technology, who’s growing, who’s listening to the market, who’s forward thinking and who’s going to have the best product for the next 10 years. That’s a large reason I chose NetSuite. If I were to choose a platform again today, my experience would dictate that NetSuite is still the right company to help us see success for the next 10 years.