Fast-Growth Technology Solutions Provider Implements New Instance of NetSuite ERP
Computer Aided Technology pairs up with ERP Success Partners for a fast and seamless upgrade of NetSuite Cloud ERP & OpenAir Cloud Service.
A team of engineering and manufacturing experts, Computer Aided Technology, Inc. (CATI) has been focused on delivering and supporting the best product development solutions available since being was founded in 1992. Headquartered in Buffalo Grove, Ill., CATI’s portfolio includes solutions from SOLIDWORKS, Dassault Systèmes, Stratasys, ExOne, PostProcess Technologies, DriveWorks, CAMWorks and Creaform.
From small design firms to Fortune 500 companies, CATI supports thousands of market-leading companies in every niche of product development, design and manufacturing. It does this by providing tools, experience, knowledge and dedication needed to transform business visions into reality. With about 350 employees, CATI’s primary focus is on 3D printers and 3D computer-aided design (CAD) software.
“We distribute, consult on and handle maintenance for SOLIDWORKS’ 3D CAD software,” Jon Eifert, CATI’s Finance Manager, explained. “On the 3D printer side, we distribute, service and handle maintenance for Stratasys printers.”
The Power of One
Eifert joined CATI in 2019 after working for Fisher Unitech. When those two companies merged two years ago, CATI effectively doubled in size and has been growing steadily ever since. Fisher Unitech had been using NetSuite since 2005 and had along the way maintained a growing database and added customizations to its enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution.
“When the acquisition happened, we came to the agreement that we wanted to stick with NetSuite because it was working,” said Eifert, “but wanted to go to a new instance of NetSuite just to clean up some of the legacy data and start fresh with a new version.”
After talking to a few different NetSuite implementation partners about its goals, CATI drew upon an existing relationship that an employee had formed with ERP Success Partners while working for a different company.
“We really didn’t have a partner at that point; we’d only really dealt with NetSuite directly,” Eifert recalled. “ERP Success had completed some small projects for Fisher Unitech in the past, so we brought them in, talked to them and felt like they would be a good fit for the CATI NetSuite project.”
ERP Success Partners in Action
For CATI, ERP Success Partners provided implementation support and a few customizations. “We kept customizations to a minimum, just to make the system easier to maintain,” Eifert explained. ERP Success Partners also installed NetSuite OpenAir Cloud Service, a solution for resource management, project management, project accounting, and timesheet and expense management.
The company uses the ERP to manage all of its financials and commissions, and has integrated NetSuite directly into its Salesforce CRM. “When a sales opportunity hits 100% closed,” said Eifert, “it’s automatically carried right over into NetSuite.”
By working with ERP Success Partners, CATI was able to implement and begin using its new instance of NetSuite quickly. It kicked off the implementation in January 2020 and was live on the system by July 1 of the same year.
Already familiar with the ERP, the company knew exactly which modules it wanted to continue using and which it wanted to add to its new instance. “We knew what we wanted and what the system was capable of,” said Eifert, “but ERP Success Partners helped get our data converted, into Excel, exported and then brought into the new system.”
Happy With the Results
After experiencing a slight business downturn due to the global pandemic in early-2020, CATI is already 10-15% above its projected revenue estimates for 2021. It completed another small acquisition this year and is doing “very well as a company,” according to Eifert.
“Our market share has been growing, and we’re always looking to add or acquire companies to our portfolio,” said Eifert, who is always aiming to automate and streamline more processes in order to maximize efficiencies. He’d like to automate bank statements and bank transfers in the near future. “Outside of that,” he added, “I would say we’re pretty happy with what we have currently.”