We needed a more reliable, powerful and flexible ERP app that scales well to support a large number of concurrent users, and heavy sales and shipping activity. With xTuple, we gained important features needed to move our business to the next stage.
Located in Oklahoma City, Richart Distributors is a manufacturer and reseller of the FLOMORE brand of oil field pumps, valves and gauges. Since 1964, Richart has been a vital source of quality products, supplying them to the industry by utilizing the distribution networks of the supply industry.
Many of Richart's key products are high-value wellhead components, made-to-order to customer specifications. These items, and many others, are held at the company's five warehouses across North America. Richart needed real-time inventory tracking across the multiple warehouses, by serial number.
After talking with Xtreme Technologies, Richart's outside IT services partner, the company decided it was time to look for a new ERP solution. The company focused its search on manufacturing-oriented packages, with a reputation for ease-of-use and excellent customer service. Richart's Chief Financial Officer, Brenda Jameson, noted, "We're in the oil business, not the software business. We need something easy to use."
Jonathan Williams, Chief Technical Officer for Xtreme, was initially drawn to xTuple for technology reasons and the high level of customer service, both before and after the sale, noting, "xTuple's rich graphical client hides an incredible amount of power and sophisticated manufacturing functionality underneath a simple, intuitive interface."
"The first thing Richart did was integrate its demand side, in the form of sales orders, with work orders and production scheduling," said Mike Atherton, xTuple Product Evangelist and Senior Consultant/Trainer. "Very quickly the company was able to institute Materials Requirements Planning (MRP) — fully integrated purchasing, shop floor scheduling — the complete manufacturing process. Other xTuple customers have opted for a more gradual phase-in of new functionality — but Richart embraced MRP from the beginning, and it's already paying dividends for them."
Further xTuple benefits include
- Fully-integrated accounting modules makes critical customer information more accessible
- Richer, more intuitive user display make data entry much easier
- Ability to track serialized items means that sales and customer service staffs can see where a finished product is, and who has it, in real time
- Greater productivity and efficiency
- Establish better controls for everything from raw materials and purchased items to finished goods
- Reporting capability generates new and powerful reports based on both cycle counts and integrated information
- Strong ongoing support for both partners and end-user customers
Jameson feels that her company has only scratched the surface of what's possible with xTuple ERP. They are moving ahead with a follow-up effort to bring their third-party distributor warehouses into the xTuple system as well. Williams notes that Richart's newfound strategic capabilities are due to the willingness of Jameson and her team to consider fresh alternatives: "It's hard to over-state how much you can benefit by starting with a clean slate. That's what xTuple has done with their product, and Richart has done the same thing by embracing the system, the larger xTuple community, and the whole concept of open source. Not everyone is able to make that kind of leap. But once Richart said 'yes' to xTuple, everything opened up. This system gives Richart almost unlimited room to grow."
An ISO Update from Richart Distributors *
“We've always been customer-focused,” says Richart CFO Jameson. “ISO was a logical next step to improve on that focus and ensure we continue to consistently achieve the highest levels of quality and service.”
Recently the company received its ISO certification and attributes their implementation of xTuple ERP with smoothing the transition to ISO. The firm has integrated its operations across all departments and several remote locations on xTuple. From customer and supplier information, order fulfillment, purchasing and manufacturing to inventory planning, supply chain management and financial reporting, all functions at Richart are knitted together on the xTuple platform.
“This integration was key in facilitating our move to ISO,” says Jameson, “For example, we make significant use of the incident tracker in the CRM module (Corporate Relationship Management) to manage non-conformance issues related to suppliers and customers. In one place we have a complete history of the issue, who was involved, when, and how it was resolved.”
In addition, Jeremey Duffle, Operations Manager, points out that xTuple is the control for numerous documents and other corporate information. “We use xTuple's capability to store documents such as product drawings for example in each item's item master record. By doing so it becomes the control copy from an ISO perspective and managing it becomes much easier.”
Lauren Wier, Richart's ISO Quality Management Representative, explains how xTuple enables Richart to achieve its on-time shipping objectives: “First, xTuple integrates customer service, order fulfillment and manufacturing enabling us to respond quickly to customer requirements. In addition, we have access to all of the historical data xTuple is collecting. This enabled us to develop performance reports that compare our actual performance to our performance standards so we know if we are on track and quickly make adjustments if we discover a deviation from standard.”
Another feature that Richart found instrumental to the ISO certification process was the workbench style screens that xTuple provides. The customer workbench screen allows xTuple integration to provide a real-time historical, operational and financial view of every customer.
“Take, for example, the customer workbench,” explains Alicia Raymond, Richart's Customer Service Manager. “With this one screen I can tell you just about anything about a customer; past, present and future."
"We demonstrated to the auditors,” continues Raymond, “that our information was in one place and easily accessible, as opposed to being displayed on several different screens — or worse — stored in several different programs, spreadsheets or access databases. We find the workbench style screens invaluable.”
The company has experienced significant growth in the years since it implemented xTuple. “Without xTuple and the way it ties our operations together I don't know how we could have managed this growth,” mused Jameson. “And, we saw another return on that investment when it was time to step up to the next level and get our ISO certification.”
Richart Distributors uses xTuple MRP for Lean Inventory Management
"If you fail to plan, then plan to fail," says Mike Atherton. During Atherton's webinar on "How to Choose the Right Materials Requirements Planning (MRP) System for Lean Inventory Management,” Richarts' Jeremy Duffle was invited to describe in this video how – and why – to use MRP.
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