“We’ve exchanged our labor- intense, manual paper processes and are achieving major productivity, cost, and compliance gains. For example, 20% of our orders are credit card related and we used to have up to six sets of hands doing the necessary coding, processing, and financial transactions. What used to be a 30 minute process per transaction is now 30 seconds with SYSPRO ERP.”
– Rolf Wilck, IT Director, Speck Pumps
Speck Pumps-Pool Products, Inc. manufactures and sells an extensive array of pool pump products, filters, and equipment packs used in spas, residential and commercial swimming pools, as well as vanishing edge pools, fountains, and waterfalls. Additionally, the company is known for its world-renowned water treadmill, marketed as the BADU® SwimJet System, which creates currents strong enough to walk, swim, and boogie board against. The 100+ year old company was originally founded in Germany and today has U.S.-based manufacturing facilities in Jacksonville, FL, which serves more than 10,000 customers. It fills approximately 600 new orders each month for the residential and commercial swimming pool industries; and also provides pumps for industrial purposes like aquaculture, the rearing of aquatic animals or the cultivation of aquatic plants for food. Speck is also a pump and parts distributor for industrial liquid and vacuum pump technologies. Speck products are marketed globally, primarily through wholesale distributors, contractors, and direct to retailers.
It is sometimes difficult for successful, well-established companies to break from repetitive routines that have been in place for years, even when the processes are high touch and time consuming. Despite the availability of new technologies for automating manual tasks and removing information silos, changing business processes that appear to “work okay” are often overlooked despite their drag on the bottom-line. Convincing a well-intentioned workforce to update practices can be made a lot easier through a flexible, productive, and time-saving ERP solution that has measurable bottom or top-line impact.
While Speck Pumps-Pool Products is using multiple SYSPRO ERP modules, the company’s Director of IT, Rolf Wilck, has identified two areas where deploying SYSPRO to change dated manual business processes is clearly saving the company money on an ongoing, measurable basis: credit card authorizations and returns. SYSPRO has also brought the company up to legal and auditable compliance in these areas.
When running manufacturing for a geographically dispersed buyer base that incorporates multiple product lines, processes matter. If those processes are manual and conducted using decentralized information or department silos, each step leaks precious worker time. This was the challenge that Wilck set out to correct in several areas at Speck with a proven manufacturing efficiency formula: centralize data into a single repository that could be viewed and accessed appropriately by worker role, automate repetitive actions to wring out time drags and manual errors, and meet compliancy obligations with accurate, auditable data.
After eliminating a raft of disconnected financial reports, single-owner dashboards and sales commission documents that could only be understood by a single person and that offered no opportunity to identify or analyze cost-saving actions, Wilck has initially prioritized gaining new efficiencies from two SYSPRO modules: credit card authorizations and return merchandize authorizations, (RMAs). That operational focus, along with new IT hardware, software and networking purchases, kicked this pool pump manufacturer into high gear in its newer and better efficiency initiatives.
“We’ve exchanged our labor-intense, manual paper processes and are achieving major productivity, cost, and compliance gains,” says Wilck. “For example, 20% of our orders are credit card related and we used to have up to six sets of hands doing the necessary coding, processing, and financial transactions. What used to be a 30 minute process per transaction is now 30 seconds with SYSPRO ERP.”
Prior to deploying SYSPRO, product returns were also a nightmare from a logistics standpoint. Speck had a document management software product with disconnected forms, recording the return in one document, but then finding serial numbers in another, which were tied to warranty coverages in still another document. Then there was the accessing of the initial sales order forms, coverages selected by the buyer, etc. By leveraging SYSPRO’s serialization capabilities that combine the sales/selection forms, work orders, company and customer activities, manufacturers’ product part codes, etc., Speck Pumps has identified more than 120 man hours saved per month. Wilck estimates that the SYSPRO ERP Credit Card and Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA) modules alone are delivering annual savings equivalent to paying a full-time employee for five weeks.
While building better business models and margins is important to the company, this pump leader did not stand the test of time without a focus on also building great products backed by superior customer service. SYSPRO’s Contact Management System, which plugs into the company’s Outlook system, has completely automated each customer contact regardless of the contact method used – phone calls, email or person-to-person engagement. Quote requests, special customizations, individual deal terms, group and partner discounts – all of this can be instantaneously and logically arranged for easy access.
“We’re not only a better company operationally, we’re a better supplier to our customer,” Wilck says. “We’re using SYSPRO to continue the business philosophies that built our past, and that will help to keep us in business for the next 100 years, and more.”