Noralta Technologies provides automation, instrumentation and electrical services to the energy industry. To continue its rapid growth, the firm had to remove obstacles posed by its inventory and financials processes, which in turn called for better business software. SAP Business One provided a sound basis for the process re-engineering that the firm was seeking. With its highly scalable new processes, Noralta is continuing its growth with confidence.
Over 13 years, Noralta Technologies has grown from a small instrumentation company to a multi-location supplier of technologies for the oil field. With each expansion step, Noralta’s business processes became more complex, especially in inventory management and financials. They maintained separate inventory records at each of its locations, which often used different terminology for identical items. Managing overall company inventory was arduous and carrying costs were excessive. Accounting processes were equally laborious, with over 12,000 general ledger accounts to maintain and accuracy a growing concern.
Noralta researched the software used by their customers and suppliers, some of which were growing at a similar pace. “Over and over we encountered the SAP Business One application,” reports Ross. “After looking into its functionality, we knew it would help us re-architect and simplify our processes. And with its user friendliness, we knew our managers could use it.”
For implementation, Noralta engaged ProjectLine, a firm with substantial SAP Business One experience. Using its well-established practices, ProjectLine went live on schedule and within budget in 3 months.
With its entire inventory finally on one screen, Noralta scoured their records, resolved conflicting item names, and shaved many steps out of inventory management – saving time and making records more current and trustworthy. “Full visibility corporate-wide lets us make better inventory management decisions,” says Ross. “As a result, we’re saving 20% of the carrying costs of our inventory, which run about US$2 million at any one time.”
Noralta renovated its financial practices to reduce general ledger accounts from 12,000 to 600, simplifying accounting and improving confidence in financial records. They sped up month-end and year-end closing, which now culminate with a 10-minute final closing function that used to take 4 hours. Overall ledger records had been 9 months out of date, but now they have closed the gap to 3 months and are on track to reach their goal of 1 month. Fine-grained information, like cost of sales on a per-truck basis, is now available for the first time.
Managers who relied on out-of-date paper reports now use strong reporting tools to view the data they need in seconds on their own SAP Business One screens. New users find the software inviting and straightforward to learn, swelling the base of licensed users to 24.
Our first year-end close with SAP Business One was so smooth that I called our implementer afterward to make sure that was all there was to it.