Cory has been with the company since his hiring in 2004 as a software developer. At the time, Surlean Foods was operating on an AS 400-based ERP system and was moving to an ERP integrated with a Manufacturing Execution System (MES). In 2013, the fast-growing company was starting to see the shortcomings of their two-headed ERP system as the regular accounting solution and a separate MES. There were two separate databases and two disparate pieces of software that were not well-integrated and did not produce the same answers.
Recalling those days, Cory says “I was spending a significant amount of time trying to make the systems match in the decade since we integrated them back in 2004-5. There were many pain points; we tried to get our software vendors to fix their problems and weren’t getting anywhere with them, so we decided to look for something new.”
“We finally got to the one answer we were looking for. We were able to finally have meetings that were productive instead of trying to find out why one number doesn’t match another.”
Cory’s first step was to hire a consultant. This new partner set the company’s parameters for a new ERP solution and found solutions that fit Surlean Foods’ budget. They developed an RFI questionnaire with the system requirements. “Chief among them,” Cory says, “was a single system, not one with an MES bolted on. Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) was another requirement. The AS 400-based system was open sourced, an appealing point at the time we purchased it, but the flip side to that was no support of something that our in-house developers had modified. The MES system was also lacking in support.”
One of the most critical requirements would be support. “We needed a good support team on the vendor side to keep the ERP maintained and up to date. Our system had gotten way out of date by 2010. With the previous vendor, they required that each facility use a separate database, which presented a challenge when we had unique database table identifiers that needed to be shared between the facilities. Once we were expanding to a third and fourth, this became a problem.”
“Because we now had a single system with a support group built on APIs, it really became a time saver and company efficiency booster.”
“Deacom has been really huge in being able to customize some very easy to understand dashboards and reports.”