Manufacturer Sees Profit Margin Rise 20% After Replacing 3 Separate Systems With NetSuite ERP

First Line Technology develops and manufactures products for federal government customers and first responder organisations. It also trains customers on these solutions that help them be safer and more effective at their vital jobs. After nearly two decades of running on multiple business systems plus plugins and point solutions, First Line adopted a single ERP system. Dollar value of sales increased, and gross profit margin rose from about 40% to about 60%—and is still rising.


First Line Technology logo

Company

First Line Technology

Location

Chantilly, Va.

Industry

Manufacturing

Employees

20 to 49

Number of Subsidiaries

2

Applications Replaced

Microsoft ERP
QuickBooks

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“I could not find a better customer support team across all the products we work with IT-wise. ACS has brought in experts to fix issues quickly and use the time we’ve paid for in the most valuable way.” Amit Kapoor, President, First Line Technology

Innovating for First Responders

Disconnected systems
President Amit Kapoor described First Line’s previous, disjointed platforms as a “complete mess.” QuickBooks handled the general ledger and invoicing. Microsoft Dynamics covered CRM, with plugins and layers such as ClickDimensions marketing software atop it. MISys handled material requirements planning (MRP). As a result, First Line faced a serious data sync problem.
Boosting efficiency across the board
While evaluating Microsoft Business Central as a potential ERP system, First Line realised over-customising could create more chaos and a long, painful implementation. Implementing NetSuite ERP involved far less customisation than it would’ve with Microsoft, since best practices for business processes were baked into the system. First Line adapted some of its processes to align with those best practices, driving efficiency increases of up to 100%. Specifically, internal order cycle time decreased from 32 minutes to under four.
A true partnership
First Line works with NetSuite Advanced Customer Support (ACS) to get extra product support as well as candid process improvement recommendations, which Kapoor regards as one of NetSuite’s highest value-adds. Meanwhile, leadership continually reviews its initial training using NetSuite Learning Cloud Support (LCS) to glean maximum value from the system. This boosted knowledge of the platform can then spread throughout the company.
Opening up the possibilities
First Line cannot tolerate any internal barrier to serving its customers, whose jobs often spell the difference between life or death. Kapoor believes his team’s decision to move to the unified NetSuite system has First Line operating closer to peak efficiency, with leadership using real-time data to take the company’s pulse at any time. With this revitalised insight and visibility, First Line is implementing the Entrepreneurial Operating System, a framework that helps businesses define and execute on their goals. Meanwhile, it’s using NetSuite to focus strategic planning on the most profitable opportunities and refine the business.

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