Fleetspec’s growth soars thanks to NetSuite and Createch’s partnership
Three years ago, the distribution and manufacturing company Fleetspec chose ERP software NetSuite to help it achieve its growth. The company's primary goal was to automate its processes, which is why Fleetspec turned to Createch’s experts to support this modernization progress - and they haven't looked back! Here, we reveal a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the process that led to the successful completion of this project.
Fleetspec: a solid reputation
Fleetspec, a family-owned business established in Quebec over 25 years ago, manufactures, refurbishes and distributes high-quality, heavy-duty aftermarket parts for trucks, trailers and commercial vehicles.
With safety as its top priority, the company places an emphasis on quality control. This commitment to quality, in turn, allows Fleetspec to offer its customers products covered by the same warranties as original equipment at competitive prices.
“We have a reputation for having very high-quality aftermarket parts,” affirms Mitchell Radowitz, Manager of Operations and Business Development for the company, which operates in Canada and the United States.
“We needed a better way to showcase this reputation to our customers and enable them to access our heavy-duty truck and trailer parts faster and easier.”
A growth to sustain… and a first attempt at it
Being a competitive company, Fleetspec expanded to include new warehouses, which required a shift in how production was managed. Until this point, the company had been managing its operations using Quickbooks, an accounting software that relies on multiple Excel files that were time-intensive and costly while also being prone to errors through manual updates.
Fleetspec needed to invest in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system to automate its processes and increase efficiencies. Unfortunately, the company was not given the right advice and embarked on a long and arduous implementation of an ERP system that did not suit its needs. Modules that were overly complex and designed to be managed by different departments, in addition to an unsuitable accounting system, were the main drawbacks for this medium-sized company: “It was far too complicated for us. Moreover, the tool was designed for large companies ［...］We used it for five years, and it was, unfortunately, a failure,” admits Radowitz. “In such circumstances, the decision to pivot with a different software package was not without risk for us at Fleetspec.”
Choosing the right partner
Audaciously, the company pivoted, making sure to surround itself so that it would successfully achieve its objectives.
Fleetspec chose Netsuite, software on which our expertise was recommended when looking for a tailor-made ERP. The meeting between Fleetspec and our experts at Createch sealed the deal for them to work with us.
“Createch seemed like the right fit for us based largely on the way their experts communicated with us,” explains Radowitz. “They were confident, and their sales pitch and arguments convinced us that NetSuite would be the best solution for us. And it turned out to be the case.”
Implementation: some very specific challenges to address
The implementation process began, revealing several challenges.
The main one was to reframe the accounting system that had been turned upside down by the old system, by carefully analyzing what was working and what was not.
The goal was to migrate a manually managed accounting system to an automated system while centralizing all orders in one place. This was a key issue for Fleetspec, particularly with regard to unloading costs: “As an importer, it was critical for us to keep a tight grip on inbound shipments”, says Radowitz. “They are an influential benchmark in the daily management of operations.”
Another aspect was to adapt the software to a niche accounting need—rebuilding products and taking deposits on them—without having to build a full-fledged solution to manage this activity.
To further add complexity to our assignment, the pandemic hit the same week that NetSuite was launched at Fleetspec. So the implementation began on the company’s premises and continued remotely.
Result: 5 exemplary victories
Setting up the accounting operations in the NetSuite software proved to be a challenge for our team, and we had to rethink our approach during the implementation to get the client to a successful outcome.
“Createch stayed with us until a solution was found, and managed to turn a difficult situation into something that worked,” says Radowitz.
Multiple incoming orders are now centralized in one single location, allowing Fleetspec to issue the appropriate invoice. “We can determine which ship is associated with an order, and track any product by shipping and unloading dates,” he continued.
We have also found a way to adapt to the client’s operational reality, while using NetSuite’s modules. “Createch managed to find a solution based on the chosen tool, without having to massively modify it,” he explains.
Generating statements more accurately and quickly, and sending them electronically, has also enabled the company to strengthen customer relationships while reducing the amount of paper and filing space required.
Moreover, Fleetspec’s phased integration of the software leads to time efficiencies in the operations thanks to the tool’s intuitive ergonomics. “Everything is clickable and easier to find, and we can see how the elements and transactions are connected to each other,” Radowitz describes.
Fleetspec can also fully rely on the data coming from the system, which was not the case before. Createch’s development team customized the tool to automate a key process pertaining to part replacement, thereby saving a lot of time and providing reliable data in real time.
In short, our collaboration with Fleetspec in the implementation of NetSuite has resulted, three years after its launch, in five major victories:
- A powerful accounting system
- Centralized and reliable data
- A tool that is adapted to the reality of a niche industry
- Enhanced client relationships
- Time efficiencies in the operations
Since adopting NetSuite ERP software, Fleetspec’s revenues have steadily increased.
“While it’s a learning curve, the tool meets our needs very well: we can now optimize our work without worrying about the reliability of the data. In essence, we let the system do its job,” says Radowitz, who has now moved forward with his team to implement NetSuite Commerce.
We at Createch are delighted to witness the strength of our support! Through our keen understanding of our clients’ business needs, we pride ourselves on making each implementation project a true success.