Founded in 1904, Total Energy Systems, LLC, provides top-notch generator sales and service to customers nationwide. The company has posted impressive growth over the last 24 years, beginning with the addition of a brand new 76,000-square-foot facility that opened in Green Bay, Wis., in 1999. Ten years later, TES bought a Kohler generator distributorship in Grand Rapids, Mich., and built its current headquarters location in De Pere, Wis.
The company continued down the expansion path when it acquired an established Kohler distributor in Wixom, Mich., followed by the introduction of two brand new facilities in Minneapolis and Milwaukee. With these moves, TES effectively positioned itself as the go-to power generation provider for customers in Detroit and in Eastern Michigan.
“We’ve gone through a huge evolution as a company over the last 10-20 years,” said Jerod Schoneman, TES’ General Manager. “We not only built out our generation distribution footprint, but we also started specializing in field service.” And with that, TES found a new market niche offering field service to a wide range of customers.
Wanted: A Strategic Partner for NetSuite Optimization and Automation
For decades, TES was using a manufacturing-focused enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform that offered limited functionalities and didn’t integrate with many other applications. In fact, the system couldn’t even handle the emailing of invoices to customers.
Invoices had to be printed out, stuffed into envelopes and sent via snail mail. This ate up much of the accounting department’s time and also slowed down the accounts receivable process.
The company also needed an ERP that could be integrated with its field service software and that would also support its operations group. “We also needed seamless integration to our ERP data, including entity information for customers, vendors, inventory and invoices,” said Schoneman. This led to a migration to NetSuite’s leading cloud platform with integration to its field service provider.
Once TES was live on NetSuite to support its growing operations, the company began looking for a strategic partner to help it optimize its technology investment. It found what it was looking for in ScaleNorth, a NetSuite Solution and BPO Provider.
ScaleNorth also has an “Innovation Team,” an alternative model to what most companies call “support.” The team is led by NetSuite experts and hands-on users of the ERP who have sat on the same side of the desk as customers like TES, and understand the value of acting quickly and responsively.
Rather than waiting to be “told” what to do, ScaleNorth’s Innovation Team takes initiative, serves as a sounding board for ideas and proactively explores the various ways of optimizing NetSuite.
Building Out Integrations to NetSuite
With NetSuite in place, TES is now delivering 90% of its customer invoices via email. This has saved the company time, ensures that its invoices are being delivered and has sped up its accounts receivable process by an average of four days.
The company also has a complete communication log right in NetSuite, which effectively replaces all of TES’ previous external resources and devices. “NetSuite’s system information log is great. Everything is time- and date-stamped, so you can see who did what when and track why something did (or didn’t) happen,” said Schoneman.
ScaleNorth also built numerous integrations connecting NetSuite with TES’ other third-party applications. Most recently, it hooked an OCR scanning application right into the ERP. This eliminates the need for printing and uploading documents, which are now fed directly into NetSuite. These are just a few examples of ScaleNorth’s capabilities when it comes to integrating new or existing applications directly into NetSuite.
Tapping into a Deep Pool of NetSuite Experts
For TES, ScaleNorth also added many enhancements to NetSuite’s base package. Schoneman especially likes the PDF and HTML templates that were developed to help streamline both internal and external communications and information sharing. “We’re sending out documentation that looks exactly like we want it to look,” he said. “Those are documents that touch our customers, vendors and other business partners.”
Having fast access to those PDF and HTML templates makes Schoneman’s job easier and frees him up to focus on more important projects. He also appreciates the training and support that ScaleNorth provided—and, that it continues to provide—as TES learns how to get the most out of its new enterprise system.
In some cases, that support is focused on individual users who call on Schoneman for help. “A lot of times, I’m just quarterbacking the request for our internal user and ScaleNorth is the one that’s actually pushing the buttons and doing the work.”
Schoneman said his lead ScaleNorth consultant always understands his requests and “never doesn’t deliver” on her promises. “There’s a very clear vision on both ends of the conversation in terms of what we’re trying to achieve,” he says. “She keeps me updated throughout the project.”
He also likes having access to ScaleNorth’s pool of qualified consultants, many of whom specialize in specific areas. “No one person can be an expert in everything,” said Schoneman. “I like being able to interact with other consultants depending on the scope of work.”
ScaleNorth Always has TES’ Back
By working with ScaleNorth, TES not only gets a modern, unified ERP to run on; it also gets a strong NetSuite systems integration partner that will always have the growing distributor’s back. Looking ahead, Schoneman plans to call on ScaleNorth for help implementing an ecommerce platform that he knows will be both time- and resource-intensive to set up and orchestrate.
“Our e-commerce platform is going to require a lot of work and I’ll be leaning heavily on ScaleNorth for help in developing that platform,” said Schoneman, who recently called on the NetSuite Solution and BPO Provider to help onboarding a new acquisition into NetSuite. The acquired company was previously using QuickBooks Online.
ScaleNorth is well-versed in the rigors of acquisitions, compressed timelines and the need for constant communication during these types of transitions. “I needed a company that could work through the technical details and get the new users trained and their questions answered,” he said. “It was well worth passing those responsibilities onto the ScaleNorth team, based on how fast they can deliver those solutions while also maintaining good communications about the project’s progress.”
Schoneman also needed an implementation partner that maintained strong, open lines of communication throughout the life of the project. “Right from the get-go our communication with ScaleNorth was fantastic,” said Schoneman. “We were never left wondering whether someone was going to call us back; there was constant contact.”
Looking ahead, TES plans to acquire more companies, which means Schoneman will continue to call on ScaleNorth to help get those entities onboarded into NetSuite quickly and seamlessly. “That wasn’t our first acquisition and it’s not going to be the last,” he said. “We’re definitely in growth mode and we know that ScaleNorth is in our corner and there to provide support from outside the organization.”