Growing Manufacturer Leverages SAP Business One to Improve Operational Visibility and Scale Production
Clients First helps Steele Canvas transition from QuickBooks to modernize their systems and inventory processes with SAP Business One.
“Clients First was our #1 choice because we were on the same page from sales through on-site consultation. Things were clear, and there was a genuine willingness to understand who and what Steele Canvas was as an entity.”
Steele Canvas is a 100-year-old company that crossed the millennium successfully but was stuck technologically in 2001. The company had moved from a DOS system to QuickBooks to track sales orders and production. Their system provided no real inventory or order tracking, and the team didn’t have the tools to manage both large bulk orders and smaller eCommerce customer orders at the same time.
Tracing the stage of item production and trying to manage process efficiencies was extremely challenging, especially for the production manager, who was pivoting priorities daily. At the same time, Steele Canvas was moving into its next phase of growth. The new sales manager was putting in the legwork to expand the Steele Canvas brand and bring in more sales than the company had ever seen.
The owner and CEO, John Lordan, decided that for Steele Canvas to continue to evolve, their practices and systems needed to as well. An inventory system that would track raw materials, sub-assemblies, and finished goods was essential, and the system needed to be compatible with EDI, shipping, and bar-coding solutions that were on their wish list for the future.
When it came down to selecting an ERP solution, Steele Canvas’s biggest considerations were scalability, integration with their existing software, and price. After evaluating Acumatica, Sage, Microsoft Dynamics, and NetSuite, they found the solution they were looking for in SAP Business One.
Once the team had decided on SAP Business One, choosing an implementation partner was especially challenging. According to Jessica Frank, the Procurement Manager and IT Business Analyst at Steele Canvas, they met with a couple of partners that weren’t compatible from pricing or company fit perspectives. She said, “Clients First was our first choice because we were on the same page from sales through on-site consultation. Things were clear, and there was a genuine willingness to understand who and what Steele Canvas was as an entity.”
After kicking off the project in September 2020, Steele Canvas was up and running on SAP Business One in 7 months. “Despite the legwork that was done in advance,” Jessica explains, “there were a lot of questions we didn’t know to ask until we were neck deep. Every question we had, we worked through with Clients First, and we were able to walk through multiple options for each one.”
Since go-live, SAP Business One has performed exactly as expected, and the employees at Steele Canvas are comfortable with the system. It accurately tracks inventory and gives MRP recommendations for the items that need to be created.
According to Jessica, Steele Canvas has seen significant increases in operational visibility, process improvement, and productivity across the company. “The implementation has given us much better visibility into the orders that are pending and where they are in the process,” she said. “MRP has given the production team accurate insight into what needs to be produced for best optimization and efficiency, and the MeC Shipping module has immensely improved the shipping process and tracking number submission to our various eCommerce sites.”
As Steele Canvas’ sales have grown, SAP Business One has kept up and given the SCB team the platform to be organized and make orders on time. As time goes on and as the SCB team gets better at using the system and acclimating to the new business processes, the company will only get more efficient and better equipped to handle the growth that they have been experiencing.
“Find yourself an ERP partner that will work with you. We had several internal bumps in the road during our implementation, and Clients First was there to give us our options and walk us through the difficulties.”