Control System Labs & Odoo: Masters of Management

Company NameControl System Labs
Country: USA
Industry: Industrial Repair
Main Apps Implemented: Accounting, Inventory, Project, Purchase, RMA, Sales, Timesheets, Website, eCommerce, Barcode, and more
Company Size: 25
Implementation Partner: Bista Solutions

Overview

The hardworking team at Control System Labs (CSL) quickly grew tired of their inadequate management system, so they went searching for an ERP provider that could centralize their islands of information, create a tailored RMA process, and help them with job management.

In their search, they stumbled upon a client testimonial video showcasing Bista Solutions’ amazing work with another client (in a similar industry), and they were sold!

As a four-time 'Best Odoo Partner in North America' winner, the Bista Solutions team was able to quickly utilize their experience (and expertise) to help CSL obtain (and implement) the ERP system their company needed. In turn, Bista helped the folks at Control System Labs experience the full benefits of Odoo ERP - and continue to do so to this day.

In the end, all the goals were met (as per the requirements) with the utmost ease and efficiency, thanks to Odoo & Bista Solutions.

Introducing: Control System Labs

Control System Labs was founded by two electrical engineers in 1970, in the heart of Buffalo, New York.

Gary Fredricks and Ed Bialek created the company to perform repairs on industrial electronic controls for Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), service companies, and end-users around the world.

With a shared mission in mind, the two succeeded in completing over 100,000 repairs for over 10,000 customers – and celebrated 50 years of business in 2020.

They have customers ranging from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies. The wide array of CSL clients includes: the plastics industry, utility companies, machine shops, construction companies, school districts, and everything in between.

Key Challenges & Requirements

Prior to using Odoo ERP, Control System Labs relied on the Alpha system. While Alpha was able to complete simple tasks for them early on, this platform quickly proved to be incapable of handling the expanding needs of this growing company.

In fact, the Alpha system could have been classified as "outdated" - even back then. In short, that platform was the opposite of intuitive and littered with issues.

For example, there were multiple islands of disconnected data, a subpar RMA (and shipment) process, countless problems when users tried to switch between two screens, and it was incredibly difficult to maintain or customize.

Faced with these (and several other) roadblocks, it was no surprise that CSL went looking elsewhere for an ERP that would meet their needs.

As an electronic repair company, Control System Labs receives a lot of gadgets and electronic items on a daily basis. That's why it's imperative for the receiving team to keep accurate records of the products being sent (including their serial number), the type of damage they were dealing with, along with the relevant customer information.

In order to facilitate this properly (and efficiently), the implementation of a reliable RMA (Return Merchandise Authorization) process was one of their main requirements.

Considering how important particulars are with each product they encounter, the CSL staff needs to track each "job" with a considerable amount of detail. As such, a workflow configuration was needed to ensure that every step of the "job" was being recorded thoroughly (i.e. a warranty repair workflow, or a regular, in-house workflow).

This simple addition to their internal processes would help their team follow breadcrumbs, and see previous tasks of the job that led to its current standing, as well as what stages are remaining in order to complete the "job."

The Control System Labs team was also in need of a centralized system that could manage all of their projects and tasks in one, user-friendly place. 

For example, if the company received a job (via RMA) to repair an item, they would need to confirm it in order to proceed forward with the actual repair. This job could also be broken down into multiple tasks (sub-jobs).

Each task (or sub-job) may be assigned to different people at the company, and individual components may be a part of different workflows, altogether. That's why being able to see the RMA information like this in one place, as well as being able to assign different people and workflows to different tasks through a single platform, was immensely important.

There were many other requirements, as well, including: a complete remodel of their website and eCommerce, a Ship Engine Integration (being able to choose shipping cost based on affordability and urgency), payment method integrations (i.e. authorize.net, etc.), and the ability to easily access “jobs” (or “tasks”), via barcode.

All of CSL’s requirements were met over the course of the implementation without any issues.

The Implementation

Even with gatherings (and events) being put on hold during the recent pandemic, companies continued to carry on as best they could. They went forth with tasks, and as such, required an optimal business management system to ensure everything was carried out smoothly.

Unfortunately, Control System Labs (CSL) did not have the luxury of relying on their old ERP system during this time. Not only was their system outdated, but it also couldn’t perform a proper RMA process; a key requirement of their business.

That’s why CSL President, Mr. Gary Fredricks, went looking for an ERP that could do it all.

During his search, Mr. Fredricks stumbled upon a Bista Solutions 'Client Testimonial' Video. The client in the video was from a similar industry as his own, which intrigued Mr. Fredricks enough to click 'play' - and the rest is history!

In early 2021, Mr. Fredricks was introduced to Mr. Priyesh Solanki from Bista Solutions, who eventually became the project manager for this Odoo ERP implementation.

With the pandemic alive and well during 2021, all conversations between the two, from the discovery call to the business analysis call (including the implementation), were held virtually.

While that may seem strange to some, it is worth noting that, not one day has gone by – since the contract began between CSL and Bista – that Mr. Fredricks and Mr. Solanki have not spoken.

Both of their calendars are routinely filled with daily sync-up calls, where progress can be discussed, questions can be asked (and answered), training/support can be conducted, and so much more.

The Bista Solutions team believes clients aren't just clients; they're partners - and should be treated as such.

After months of discussion, collaboration, and development, CSL went "live" with its 'Accounting' in December of 2021.

The Bista team helped redesign and implement custom developments that were tailored to CSL’s website and eCommerce; which went "live" in March (and April) of 2022.

The last thing to "go live" was CSL's 'Operations,' which happened around the end of May 2022. But those weren't the only components being worked on. The client migrated from a completely different ERP system, so Odoo out-of-box apps were also being implemented during this time, as well.

With over a year in the bag, the partnership between Bista and CSL continues to go strong - with no signs of slowing down.

In fact, they were supposed to "go live" with their implementation before the end of the year in 2021, but Mr. Fredricks enjoyed working with Mr. Solanki (and the Bista team) so much, that he continued adding additional requirements throughout the process.

Positive Results from Odoo ERP Implementation

While support is ongoing, CSL is very pleased with everything the Bista Solutions team has done thus far.

In addition to creating an optimal environment within the Odoo ERP, via tailored solutions, the Bista team met each and every requirement the client had - including the successful implementation of a reliable ERP to centralize all their islands of information.

Furthermore, the Bista team made sure to implement an ERP (Odoo) with an interface that's both user-friendly and intuitive. They also ensured that Odoo provided them with quick and easy access to user profiles. Also, in order to measure key performance indicators (KPIs), reporting and analytical tools were easily implemented, as well.

While all these key requirements were met, the biggest (and greatest) part of this process had to be the RMA app; which was fully customized to fit the company’s uniquely specific needs.

At the moment, Mr. Fredricks and his staff are using a combination of their old system and Odoo - only using their archaic software to complete older jobs that were received in that system. However, all new jobs are being received (and processed) with the new Odoo ERP system.

The folks at CSL are now at a "fork in the road." They can either migrate to Odoo V16 next year or implement “phase 2” of their initial requirements (aka - all of CSL’s needs that were marked "unimportant" at the time, but the team wanted in the future).

Needless to say, the partnership between CSL & Bista Solutions is far from over.

Control System Labs Appreciation

The following was taken from an appreciative email that the Bista Solutions’ Project Manager, Priyesh Solanki, received from Control System Labs’ President, Gary Fredricks:

 

About Control System Labs

Control System Labs (CSL) provides high-quality, quick, efficient, and affordable industrial electronic repair services (and replacement options) for a number of various industries.

With over 100,000+ repairs, 10,000+ customers, and 52+ years of experience in the business, CSL is a leader in the industrial electronic repair industry! 

To learn more, visit https://controlrepair.com/

About Bista Solutions Inc.

Bista Solutions is an Odoo Gold Partner in the United States, and has won Odoo Best Partner in 2015, 2016, 2018 and 2021.

Bista Solutions Inc. is a digital transformation firm that helps companies digitize their business processes with enterprise application implementations. Founded in 2007, Bista has implemented software enterprise applications for companies in various verticals, such as manufacturing, retail, metal fabrication, industrial repair, healthcare, auto parts, telecom, promotional products, arms & defense, cannabis, and more.

Learn more at www.bistasolutions.com



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