We had payback on the tool in 6 months. For example, we processed 845 sales orders at one time uploaded with Innowera Process Runner, saving 45 hours of manpower. We’ve been able to take on more projects. And users love it!
– Holly Bierer,
Power Equipment Company
Power Equipment Company is an American success story. In 1948 two young entrepreneurs including its first employee, Dave Olson, who still runs the business today, recognized the superior technology of McCulloch chain saws when they were introduced. They saw the potential to take it to market and obtained distribution rights to take the superior line of products to market.
In 2012 Power Equipment Company decided to purchase SAP to run their business which employed just over 25 employees. Like others who implement SAP’s ERP there was a large change in processes to manage the business. As business grew and sales order volume continued to increase their team was stretched to keep up with the volume of transactions and the data routines involved in sales, operations, finance, inventory and many other parts of the operation. Power Equipment had to hire outside consulting and development to help to keep up with the workload and help manage complex data operations.
This growing wholesale distribution company was struggling to manual load and update data in SAP, with complex routines, and a heavy reliance on outside consultants. The company needed a tool to streamline data management and was easy for any business user to manage.
Innowera Process Runner enabled their teams to manage data faster by their business users.
Lower Costs of Ownership, Lower Reliance on IT to assist with data, Improved Time to Market for products, Improved Data Quality.
Business Problem: Data Challenges Grow
Holly Bierer, an entrepreneurial IT Company executive with Power Equipment, kept asking herself, is there a way for a smaller team to do more with less people and time involved? That was her dilemma.
Holly needed a way to load data quickly and in mass. In a typical month they were processing over 3500 sales orders, and over 2600 purchase orders. In addition, their business required that a lot of product information was updated often. To keep pace with those updates, each month she added about 500 new material masters.
In addition to their regular ongoing data needs, there were number data cleansing projects. SAP experienced resources were challenging to find, so she needed a tool that you didn’t need to be an SAP expert to run. Holly’s saw that if she could reduce the time on the repetitive tasks, she would free them up for more important, strategic needs for Power Equipment.
The Road from Reactive to Proactive Data Management
To reduce manual operation and these dependencies on outside resources, and to harness the growth of their operations, Holly began to look for a solution. Holly soon discovered a technology that could help her team manage SAP data a whole new way. Innowera Process Runner seemed to be the tool they were looking for to enable their business and IT teams to manage data efficiently and fast.
Holly and her team wanted an SAP tool that didn’t need specific technical skills, one that anyone could use.
When she downloaded the free trial of Process Runner she realized anyone in her company could use this too. Process Runner didn’t require specific skills. You just needed to be able to use Microsoft Excel.
Ideally, she was looking to increase the productivity, but also improve the processes and accuracy of the data. She knew that if data improved, so would the value of the data.
Holly researched all the known available options in the market. LSWM from SAP was an option, but it took special skills to use and had limitations with scenarios she ran frequently. It would require more consultants, and that was not an option. She also looked at several data management tools. But the choice was simple. The simplicity of Innowera’s Process Runner was a no brainer.
The Answer was Innowera Process Runner
Innowera was well suited for non-technical workforce. Her teams could leverage Excel familiarity to automate data. She liked the ready-to-run templates on the Innowera Cloud. It gave her a road map for automation. The Power Equipment team like how Innowera gave them all SAP technologies in one tool, which no other vendor did. This allowed them to provide more comprehensive automation without buying multiple tools. Overall, Innowera gave her the broader coverage for business processes automation.
Another factor for Holly, is that she trialed the product and found Innowera’s support team highly useful when she had a question. She knew this would important over the life over he use of Process Runner.
Process Runner was an ideal fit because it enabled all users she needed because it was built for business users. The license options were so flexible she could make the implementation affordable. Also, as she looked at her future need such as workflow management Innowera stood out from all the others. She looked at the functionality of Innowera Easy Workflow and knew this would be an easy add on down the line.
Soon after purchase her team got to work with Process Runner. From on-boarding of new products and creating many materials to adding suppliers, pricing updates, to schedule creating schedules, loading stocks, to name a few, Process Runner quickly went to work processing data for Power Equipment.
Primary business drivers for change:
- Increase accuracy of the data and overall process
- Decrease the effective hours to manage data
- Reduce the Time to Market by lowering manual data input
- Address E-commerce needs that were anticipated
- Make the process simpler for product information system updates
- Enable internal teams to do their own work without the need for outside vendors.
- Obtain a tool that was adjustable to her changing business needs
It was not long before the tool paid for itself. Six months and Process Runner had totally paid back the initial investment.
At one time, Power Equipment uploaded 900 sales orders at one time. It took 10 minutes to create the script and 45 to 50 minutes to run Process Runner. This job alone saved the company 45 hours of manpower to enter in the sales orders.
Process Runner has also allowed Holly’s team to take on new projects with faster results. Users have become confident in their ability to get work done. It’s also improved the quality and in the end the value of the data that goes into production. Holly said simulating the processes in advance is highly valuable to creating new solutions for their needs.
Holly believes that one huge factor in their success with Process Runner has been the number of areas that they have improved processes including these:
- Supplier Data Management
- Customer Data Creation
- Master Data Creation and Management
- Changes to Materials
- Transform Data
- Roll back with Mass Data Changes
The results have included some major improvements in the performance of the business including:
- Lower IT Reliance to assist with data
- Lower Total Cost of Ownership of SAP
- Improved Time to Market for her Products to Customers
- Improved Data Quality and Data Value
Today they are a more agile, flexible organization whose users love the autonomy Process Runner has provided for them. Getting work done faster with higher quality has helped Power Equipment achieve its goals. Plans are continuing to take this automation to other departments. The road ahead looks bright.
Power Equipment Company at a Glance
Power Equipment Co. Since 1948 a Wholesale Distributor of Outdoor Power Equipment. One of the first McCulloch Chain Saw distributor in the US. Power Equipment Co. carries seven different line of products; chain saw, lawnmower, trimmers, ZTR mowers and small gas engines.
Elite Creations, a division of Power Equipment Company, is a premium incentive company providing product for employee rewards, loyalty reward programs, casino events and corporate events. Elite carries 20 different product lines from West Bend blenders to Body Solid Treadmills.