In 2011 Englert, a franchisee of gutter and roofing manufacturer LeafGuard, unexpectedly went out of business. This meant that LeafGuard faced the prospect of having important sales territories unserved by a distributor of its patented covered rain gutter system.
The business made the decision to serve these territories itself, making it the first time that an Englert business had run its own retail operation.
To do this effectively, LeafGuard required an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution. After a thorough evaluation of the market, the company decided that Microsoft Dynamics AX was a perfect fit, and in late 2014 began implementing it.
However, it quickly became clear that the business’s chosen implementation partner lacked real expertise in the system.
“It was a very painful implementation, very late, and with a lot of the support coming in the form of overnight e-mails arriving from India,” summed up Tere Valcarel, LeafGuard’s CFO.
LeafGuard’s IT director reached out to industry contacts, with the suggestion quickly coming back that it would make sense to look at the ERP recovery capabilities of eBECS. It transpired that this company had seen and revolved such situations before.
“We accepted that the recovery process would be painful, but knew that it was important to support our people, and give them the confidence that they could get the answers that they needed immediately, rather than waiting for an e-mail to arrive from India the next day,” said Valcarel.
The work undertaken took several forms including fixing the configuration and customisation issues and assisting LeafGuard to offer much-needed user training – not just in terms of headquarters employees, but out in the field.
But a critical part of the role, highlighted Valcarel, was simply hand-holding: being there, at the end of a phone, or connecting through screen-sharing software, and helping users to work through difficulties.
The situation soon stabilised: “We’d already made the financial commitment in the product, and incurred costs,” Valcarel points out. “The work with eBECS was about making it work, and learning what we needed to know—as quickly as possible—in order to become self-sufficient from the support point of view.”
But as a result, she concludes, the relationship with eBECS has strengthened and deepened: eBECS, she stresses, is seen as a partner which can deliver.
“What we were looking for initially was a responsive partner who could help us when we needed help. The fact that we were extremely pleased and satisfied with that help has led to a relationship that has continued and evolved.”