Global B2B Buying Group Automates Accounting Processes and Cuts Month-End Close in Half with SAP Business One
Clients First helps ALLPRO streamline operations, empower employees, and deliver more value to members by leveraging all the extensive capabilities SAP Business One 9.1 has to offer.
When Clients First commits to a timeline, they keep it. When they commit to an experience, they deliver. They invest the time to understand what’s needed, and as a result, they’ve lived up to everything they said they were going to do and more.”
ALLPRO is a B2B buying cooperative that brings together independently owned paint and decorating product dealers throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Europe. The global buying group takes the billings from 200 vendors and leverages the volume to secure better deals for the company’s 292 professional paint shop members. More affordable paint products allow ALLPRO members to successfully compete with some of the largest paint manufacturers and home centers in the world. To manage day-to-day operations, ALLPRO relied on a stable, homegrown system for a number of years.
Over time, they were unable to upgrade the software and had to look for an alternative. With an eye to the future, ALLPRO took a proactive approach and decided to implement SAP Business One. Unfortunately, the partner they chose ended up delivering a system that didn’t work the way they needed it to and jeopardized the entire business. The SAP partner struggled to get the software to fit ALLPRO’s unique operations and eventually abandoned the company altogether —leaving them with a hefty bill and an inadequate system with manual processes and data inaccuracies.
ALLPRO was getting ready to walk away from their investment and go to a new accounting system but decided to contact one more consulting company about making SAP Business One operational for them. Once they met Clients First, everything changed. As Michael Beaudoin, Executive Vice President, explains, “One of the first things Clients First did before offering any advice was to invest the time understanding our business, our members, and our operations. Investing that time really gained our confidence and trust. That’s what made them different.”
With a clear understanding of ALLPRO’s business, the Clients First team was able to fix the issues with their existing SAP Business One system and get it functioning at the level of the previous system. Once it was stabilized, they worked with ALLPRO to help tap into all the capabilities that SAP Business One had to offer. By minimizing the amount of manual accounting work and automating transactions, they were able to save valuable time, effort, and reduce redundant employees.
To help ALLPRO get the most out of the system, Clients First delivered extensive training and support. They provided hands-on training to all of the staff, conducted seminars, developed a custom ALLPRO Book of SAP, and equipped two users with the skills to build queries and make SAP work on their own.
Eventually, Clients First convinced ALLPRO to upgrade to SAP Business One 9.1 to further enhance their ability to run their business and accommodate for growth. They challenged the group to use the many resources that SAP has in terms of finding information and delivering more value. The upgrade itself was seamless, where everything was done behind the scenes in a week without a single disruption to the business.
“With Clients First, I always felt like they were a part of our team and were looking out for our best interest,” said Mr. Beaudoin. “They would only make suggestions if it was something that would help us do our job better. I never felt they were trying to make a quick sell or extra dollar off us; it was about how successful they could make the experience of working with them.”
Before Clients First rescued their failing SAP implementation, manual processes and multiple reports to reconcile account balances were eating up ALLPRO’s time. It was taking the accounting team 10 to 14 days to close the month. With assistance and customized reports from Clients First to help with the reconciliation problems, ALLPRO is now able to close their books 5 to 6 days after month end.
In the previous SAP system, CFO and former auditor Johnathan Garrett had big concerns about data inaccuracies and whether the right information was being recorded. He says, “After we switched to the new version of SAP Business One 9.1 with Clients First, I had full confidence that the underlying accounting data was correct.”
Thanks to the support, precision of the information, and overall experience, Clients First continues to act as a part of the ALLPRO team today. According to Mr. Beaudoin, “I feel comfortable knowing that at any given time if I reach out to Clients First – they’ll be there. Because they’ve invested the time to get to know us, they sense when it’s an emergency and when it needs their immediate attention. If anything ever happened that stopped our system, they act as an owner of our company and would be there for us to help make it operational again.”
They invested the time to understand our people, our operations, and our general business—to the point where I feel that Clients First is a part of our company.