Family-Run Public Safety Company Takes On Growth With NetSuite
– Andrew Freibert, Manager
Family-owned Business Outgrows Legacy System
Saf-Ti-Co, a locally grown and family-owned business founded in the late-60s has evolved into the premier provider for traffic control, devices and signs in Kentucky. Focused on a commitment to safety with detail-oriented and personal touches with each project, safety has always been at the forefront of the company’s values. Growing up in the family business, this is something Andrew Freibert, Manager, understands all too well.
Freibert, “Safety has become a greater priority for all industries, significantly impacting the work zone, highway construction, and traffic control industries which have grown tremendously with the implementation of specifications and standards from the federal government. Under these standards, Saf-Ti-Co has flourished, investing in new technologies and providing more products to rent to their customers.”
Saf-Ti-Co + Oasis: A Winning Partnership
As a next generation owner of Saf-ti-Co, Freibert understood the importance of upgrading their antiquated accounting system and investing in a more robust technology. In 2017, Saf-Ti-Co was operating an antiquated version of MAS90 and knew it was time for a change – they either needed to upgrade to a less buggy version of Sage 100 or move to one of the more robust cloud systems that had been recommended to them by their trusted partner, Oasis Solutions.
With a vision of flexibility and not being tied to your actual office every second of the day, a cloud-based technology like NetSuite made perfect sense to Freibert, “Maybe we went a little bit overkill, but I just feel like to adequately look at robust systems like NetSuite, it takes a lot of time and mental energy and effort to really try to make an educated decision, so it took us awhile.”
This is where the Oasis Solutions team stepped in to provide their expertise and guide them through the process…
From upgrading MAS90 to the latest version of Sage to transitioning to Point of Rental to handle their rental and sales platform to Sage Intacct, the Saf-Ti-Co team explored multiple software options. Ultimately, all of these systems would require Saf-Ti-Co to build a hybrid system, but at the end of the day NetSuite offered the most customization in one easily accessible and flexible package.
“A lot of the functionality and customization that came with NetSuite really won us over for the rest of the business. I think that flexibility is really what put us into the NetSuite corner. It was kind of unusual. It was out there all along. We did a lot of homework looking at other systems and hybrid systems trying to find what would be best for the business at the end of the day. NetSuite was there all along, and we just hadn’t really entertained it.” Bryan Schmitt, Engineer at Saf-Ti-Co.
Having a local NetSuite partner to guide them through implementation and beyond, coupled with Oracle’s backing of NetSuite instilled confidence in the Saf-Ti-Co team that they could have both the flexibility and control in an ERP that they needed with this winning partnership.
“Not only did NetSuite appeal to us because of its flexibility and customizability, but because we knew we could continue our relationship with Oasis Solutions. Having a previous relationship with Oasis, we felt comfortable that we were going to have a local partner that could help us out. We knew that you all were a reputable company and that you all would not align yourselves with inferior software, so that gave me some extra confidence.” said Andrew.
From Andrew’s perspective, the implementation process was faced with a little trepidation as to how team members would react to the system change. “Imagine offboarding a system you’ve been using for 20+ years for modern technology. You have to consider how your team will respond. If we got to a sticky point, just needed to reach out to you all; hey, how do you all do this? Your response time has been really good… You’ve got a number of people there that are very relatable. Everybody was really positive to work with, educated on the system obviously and able to offer advice.”
“It’s been a positive experience. You guys have a good, diverse team there. You’ve got a lot of different folks there that bring different skills to the table but really benefit the customer in the end. A lot of different people with different tools and tricks in their sleeves to make a successful project with the customer.”
With the help of Oasis Solutions and NetSuite, Saf-Ti-Co is in a solution that supports the growth of their company and allows them the flexibility they need to move into the future.
“Already, we’re printing less paper. Moving to NetSuite forced us to analyze our processes and how we do things. NetSuite stores project information better than Sage. We can upload documents associated with certain orders and add notes to certain orders, whereas with Sage, you really wouldn’t have that ability to the extent that NetSuite offers.
Faster invoice processing is a benefit we’ve already started experiencing. We’re sending out invoices to customers faster than we were before, and I continue to see that improving over the next few years as well.” said Andrew.
Constructing A Plan for Future Growth
The Saf-Ti-Co team plans on continually looking at ways to adapt NetSuite into what they do as a business. And customizing it to make their rental operations more efficient.
“A good way to sum up what we’ve found with NetSuite: we can adapt NetSuite to fit our business whereas a lot of the other systems that we looked at, we had to adapt our business to work with the software. Other softwares were rigid and I felt like we almost had to adapt what we do and how we do things to fit the software, and I feel like that’s the opposite with NetSuite. We’re able to take that software and fit it into how we conduct our business on a day-to-day basis.” said Andrew.
For other businesses tackling the software evaluation process, the Saf-Ti-Co team recommends working with a local partner and understanding the value of your software investment.
Andrew Freibert, Manager at Saf-Ti-Co, “Start early, dedicate the time, and do your due diligence. I get that you all have a lot of clients around the country; having a local partner to go through this process made a difference for me. At first I had sticker shock over the cost of accounting softwares in general and NetSuite, but once you think about what it does for your business and how critical of a component it is, you always have to worry about costs, but don’t go low-end pricewise because there’s a lot of hidden value there.”