ASI Sign Systems, Inc provides interior, exterior and digital architectural signage to a vast portfolio of companies. Founded in 1965, the sign solutions company has expanded to 40 locations across North America, providing services to Fortune 100 and 500 companies.
As a sales and manufacturing company, ASI Sign Systems experienced significant growth, leading to extension of their operations across multiple locations in North America. With more than 50 employees on the payroll, their on-premise, proprietary system became confusing and time-consuming, creating difficulty and unexpected expenses.
“Prior to implementing Mothernode we were using proprietary software that was on-premise at each of our franchise locations. The software was used by everyone in the company within front and back office roles. Sales used it to produce quotes; project managers used it to fulfill orders; production personnel to produce and track product in the shop, and accounting to invoice customers. Management used it for reporting in various areas.The program was difficult to use. Over time, it became bloated and contained too much information that often overwhelmed users. It was buggy and required constant updates; processes for creating quotes and orders were complicated and confusing.
The program was only available on the Mac platform, which required more expensive hardware to run, instead of using more economical PCs. Because it was an on-premise software, it required its own server and someone at each office to maintain the software updates (a manual process, no auto updates available). Some dedicated administrators were less experienced and struggled when having to maintain their hardware and software, including backing up the database routinely. The application interface also required larger monitors to run and couldn’t be viewed on laptops correctly, and the application screens would run off the screen without the ability to scroll,” said Selwyn Josset, Vice President of Affiliate Services, ASI Sign Systems, Inc.
In addition to the operational hurdles encountered when using their proprietary system, sales representatives faced challenges stemming from the lack of data synchronization. The company’s sales process began to suffer as a result. “Sales reps mostly used the program for providing quotes or proposals. There was little to offer in the way of tracking your leads and opportunities. Any reminders were within the program and calendar information wouldn’t share with a rep’s Outlook or iCal. Any sales management tools were too complicated; they discourage users from using the program.
Sales reps had a hybrid version of the program that was made for their laptops which focused on sales activity. But this meant that every sales rep had their own database, which was separate from their central office database. They would have to routinely synchronize their local database with HQ to transfer information back and forth.Offices with multiple locations also struggled because their remote sales reps would have to send to the HQ office, electronic data files when processing new orders or updating client information,” said Selwyn.
When asked which pain points the company felt in regards to operations and workflow while using their previous system, and how the lack of organization compromised their revenue, Selwyn replied, “Even though there were centralized databases that each company could use to run their business, reps and multi-location offices were challenged when they would all have their own hybrid databases. Keeping everyone’s information current and consistent was still impossible; even though the databases were accessible over the internet, slow speeds and sluggish application made the process of remote access less than desirable.
In addition to accessing the remote server, users had to have a copy of the most current client on their workstation. There were too many interim processes to accomplish basic tasks, like having to email data files for users to import into their databases to communicate transaction records. There was no way for sales reps to be effective in their time management as well as track their pipeline of opportunities and new leads and follow-up items. There were too many bridges between data sources, calendars, etc., that made processes significantly ineffective. Segmented data also meant some customer order information was incorrect which lead to inaccurate reorders in many cases.”
The company’s customer service capabilities were also compromised because of the older system and its numerous shortcomings. “The old system allowed for sloppy data entry and users would quickly re-enter the same customer over and over, because it wasn’t easy to make a transaction from the same customer. Notes for one account were spread out through many,” said Selwyn. The writing was on the wall: ASI was in critical need of better infrastructure. They would look to Mothernode to run their business.
The Mothernode Solution
Once Mothernode was fully deployed and implemented by the company, many of their previous challenges were quickly resolved and the organization noticed immediate improvements. “The web based solution that combined all offices and users into one true database eliminated so much of the problems and unnecessary steps to keep data current. The interface and application as a whole is so much easier to use. The application interfaces with Outlook and iCal, which makes it easy to communicate appointment and follow-up information. Mothernode is also available on the iPhone and Android—which is a tremendous help to users on the go. Local ASI offices no longer have to maintain their database servers and backups, now that everything is in the cloud,” said Selwyn.
“Using Mothernode to manage our business within multiple offices has made everything so much more convenient and transparent. We’ve been able to collaborate much better than we ever have before, and provide a better level of customer service. Because Mothernode provides us with so many automated updates, we’re always kept informed of what is happening with our customers and their activity.
We really like that Mothernode creates all of our important reports automatically and emails them to our Management Team monthly and quarterly. This saves us so much time when it comes to running and reviewing reports for our different office. It’s as simple as reading an email. Using Mothernode has spoiled us over the years. It’s made so much of our daily business transparent, it scares me to think what we would do without it,” said the Vice President of Affiliate Services.
Benefits and Results of Using Mothernode
ASI Sign Systems uses the ERP edition of Mothernode for its daily operations. Among the various modules offered, the company depends on: Quotes, Orders, Invoices, Leads and Opportunities, Vendor Management, Customer Management and Purchase Orders. Selwyn credits Internal Notifications as the module with the largest impact on improving the company’s business processes, since the implementation of Mothernode.
“We’ve been able to eliminate so many emails for status updates, etc. Now everyone just depends on Mothernode to notify them of significant events when they happen; like when a new order is created or when a customer creates a new case; or when an order ships or a PO is received. No more guess work or wondering,” said Selwyn.
Managing and executing orders became easier with Mothernode and the company’s customer service and delivery model was impacted most by utilizing the Orders module. “The Sales Orders Module provides us with so many features that help us quickly execute and manage an order. Whether we’re creating POs or shipping items, the order is the center of our customers’ universe,” said Selwyn.
Web accessibility has proven to be a major benefit for ASI, especially considering its national and international presence. Since making the decision to implement Mothernode to run their business, the company has streamlined its operations and further bridged the gap between its processes and its people. The end result is better service, increased revenue, improved efficiency, and much more.
Benefits and Results (Recap)
80% improvement in productivity
100% improvement in internal collaboration
80% increase in information accessibility
80% improvement in the sales process
75% improvement in sales conversions