Operating for more than 60 years, Micromeritics is today the world’s leading supplier of high-performance systems to characterize particles, powders and porous materials with a focus on physical properties, chemical activity, and flow properties. Their industry-leading technology portfolio includes: psychometry, absorption,
dynamic chemisorption, intrusion porosimetry, powder rheology, activity testing of catalysts, and particle size. Based in Atlanta GA, the company has R&D and manufacturing sites in the USA, UK, and Spain, distribution and direct sales and service operations in more than 60 countries throughout the Americas, Europe, and Asia.
Originally a family-owned company, Micrometrics was sold to a large corporation who immediately found a variety of different business systems at each of their global locations, none of which integrated with the others. This, combined with excellent growth, encouraged them to invest in IT infrastructure, business and manufacturing systems for their new acquisition to improve standardization across the company and keep up with demand.
A consulting firm was brought in to help select the right enterprise resource planning (ERP) and related systems. Eventually they helped narrow the selection down to three candidates, SAP, Oracle, and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central.
It soon became apparent that Oracle and Microsoft could provide many of the same services, but the Microsoft platform delivered them at a fraction of Oracle’s cost. Upon deciding that Business Central would best fulfill their needs, Micromeritics began asking about potential implementation partners. Consultants recommended Velosio.
After doing his due diligence with several implementation candidates, Micrometrics Director of Global Business systems Shaun Pervis agreed with the consultants, explaining, “We found Velosio to be the best and, to me, choosing your implementation partner is almost as important as choosing the software itself. I’ve been doing implementations where you have good software but a poor implementation partner. It just really doesn’t go well.”
According to Pervis, “What differentiated them from some of the other firms we talked to was that their salesperson always had a highly technical person there as well whenever we met, and their technical person was great.”
Pervis concludes, “You have to have that strong partner to help you to not only understand the system yourself, but also to teach the functionality of the system to the users and to help you solve the problems.”
Micrometrics Director of Global Business Systems, Shaun Pervis
Pervis was also impressed that Velosio was able to field all their questions, including those particular to their complex manufacturing operations. “They were very responsive, very clear on their answers, and that just made a world of difference.”
Velosio implemented Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central for Micrometrics, kicking off in June 2020 and going live in February 2021.
Out-of-the-Box Functionality Required
The system that had been in place for decades was constantly being customized to accommodate various operations, to the point where it resembled a patchwork quilt of software. As a result, Shaun Pervis was absolutely clear about their primary requirement: No customizations.
Planning to deploy the same system in eight other offices around the world, and acknowledging that it would be software delivered as a service from the cloud, Pervis was committed to getting everything done with the Business Central platform as it came “out-of-the-box”. He was also prepared to modify their own processes to conform to the system which he reasoned would naturally reflect best practices.
Several months after go-live, Shaun Pervis was pleased to report that they had been able to work around any process that varied from their own, and that they had not made a single customization!
His primary challenge had been user adoption. Accustomed to the way they had been doing things for many years it was a significant challenge for them to change. Pervis was consistently clear with them that there would be no customizations and they’d have to learn the new way.
Taking Advantage of the Power Platform
The one exception to Pervis’ “no-customizations” rule was in reporting. Rather than modify reports within the Business Central system itself, Pervis and his team had taken full advantage of Power BI and other components of the Power Platform to perform the analytics and create the unique reporting and analytics they wanted. They have also created several customer-facing documents including invoices, labels, and statements.
A Positive User Experience
Concludes Shaun Pervis, “I feel confident in recommending Microsoft and Velosio. I hear a lot of input coming from the users here that they are very happy with the consultants that have worked with them last year. Overall, it’s been a very good experience.”