Awarding Excellence: AwardsPlus’ Journey to High-Achievement with Odoo’s Automated ERP Software

Location/Region: Clinton, Maryland

Industry: Custom Retail

Apps implemented: Sales, Employees, Discuss, Calendar, Contacts, CRM, Accounting, Project, Purchase, Helpdesk, Website, Manufacturing, Time Off

Number of users: 8

Company size: 8

Hosting type (On-premise or Odoo online):

“There is lasting value in recognizing the accomplishments of others."

One of the greatest experiences of the human condition is achieving success. Weeks, months, and even years are spent in pursuit of a goal, and when the goal is finally accomplished, being recognized for that achievement is a meaningful conclusion to an era of hard work and dedication. AwardsPlus, based in Maryland, helps customers do just that– celebrate the achievements of others.

Tracing back to the basement of his family’s home, AwardsPlus’s Vice President Wayne MacCrory has been involved with the business from the very beginning. His father was a part of local civic organizations that would give out awards, inspiring him to pursue award-making as a side hustle. His parents carried out this side hustle for almost seven years out of their home before formally incorporating in 1974. Shortly after, AwardsPlus got a storefront, with Wayne and his brother helping out through high school during their free time. Once the pair were done with schooling, they joined the family business full-time. Now, AwardsPlus is celebrating 50 years in the custom awards space, designing plaques, trophies, medallions, and other mementos of achievement, and being a proud family-owned business.

As AwardsPlus has evolved over the years, so has its need for business management software. Eventually outgrowing its previous system, the company turned to Odoo for a more efficient and streamlined ERP software solution.

A history of manual orders and outdated software

Having been in the industry for 50 years, AwardsPlus has grown within the era of technological advancements. For many years, the company operated manually, hand-writing orders and doing everything pen-to-paper. Wayne explains that the business didn’t have a website until around the year 2000. Around that time, they decided to computerize everything, taking orders and creating invoices using SAGE’s MAS90 software. While the company was fairly happy with the software, they did face some challenges with it due to its outdated nature:

“Finding product and finding people, finding accounts were a little bit challenging. You have to understand what it was like in the late ‘90s and 2000s when these programs were written. The fields that you enter things in, like a customer account number, we could only put eight characters into that field. So things like that, we would have to assign a customer account to every single customer, and so the look-ups were just horrible. And that was the same way with products. A product number could only be eight numbers. With Odoo, it’s so much easier; you have the alias numbers that you can plug in, or a name. You can search it by… if you know it’s a star [for example], you can type in ‘star’, and a picture will come up too, which is great! Those were the two main challenges that slowed our operations down considerably.”

Wayne explains how, ultimately, the company’s previous system required more steps to accomplish basic tasks on a day-to-day basis. Processes such as receiving goods, writing purchase orders, and reconciliation took more time and effort than they should. However, despite some of its workflows being limited by MAS90’s capabilities, AwardsPlus was happy with the software and wasn’t quite ready for a change– until it was out of their control:

The interesting thing about MAS90 is it’s a big, clunky software. I mean, it had everything. We could do all of our bill of materials, so we’re building all of our kits of all of our products there if we were assembling trophies and things like that. It was a very, very comprehensive system. We spent months getting that implemented, so we weren’t really going to abandon that until we had to. And then came the day when it crashed. That was awful.

Seven or eight years ago, SAGE decided to discontinue MAS90. Thankfully, AwardsPlus had already purchased Odoo one year prior and was in the process of setting up their database, as they knew they would eventually make the transition. However, the discontinuation of their previous software came as a surprise, and the company wasn’t quite ready to go live. Wayne explains that they had been carefully setting everything up and wanted the database to be perfect before launching. In the few months it took them to make the formal move over to Odoo, AwardsPlus was forced to use Google Docs to keep track of all of its information: “That was the most painful, awful thing that we could ever, ever do.”

Finally, the company was able to go live with Odoo– and hasn’t looked back since.

The influence of an automated and streamlined sales process

In June 2023, AwardsPlus transitioned completely to Odoo, with employees learning the system and being proficient “within a day.” According to Wayne, the transformation in their business operations has been night and day, and the company has noticed an increase in sales due to the change:

Once the website went live, oh my gosh, it was incredible. I will tell you, our old website—we probably had it for 24 years, 25 years—we probably got maybe 100 orders over those 25 years. [With Odoo], the first week, we got 5 orders. We average an order pretty much every other day.

Odoo’s Website application has greatly impacted the ease of AwardsPlus’ back-end workflows and the customer experience on the front end. Not only are orders coming in more often, but the entire customer experience and buying process is smoother, easier, and more likely to lead to a sale:

The great thing is we don't have to do anything to write up those orders. It's pretty darn easy for our customers… If someone starts a cart, it comes to me as a quote, which is incredible. They’ll sign in and do a quote for themselves, and then we’ll just say, ‘Hey, you left something in your cart, you want a sales order?’ and then it turns into an order. It is phenomenal, way beyond even what I’d hoped it would be.

For Wayne, his job is made easier by some of the bigger-picture features that Odoo offers, such as the search bar and filters available on every application:

“The search capabilities, so being able to tailor an individual search. Let’s say I want to go through sale orders, and I want to know every order that’s due today that is in… you know, we have statuses that we put on ours. So if I say it’s whatever status it is, [for example] ‘in production,’ everything that’s in production right now for a specific day, I just click on those boxes, and I get every order on my screen. I don’t have to weed through everything to get there.”

Finally, a feature that Wayne is particularly excited about and has used in the AwardsPlus database is the Studio application. He appreciates the ability to customize Odoo to fit the company’s specific needs and wants, such as editing their sales orders to look a certain way, allowing the database to grow alongside the company.

Using Studio to put in things is awesome, too. We’ve found that to be really, really helpful. ‘Cause I can create drop-down windows so they can add in an order status at any level.

As AwardsPlus has navigated the changing landscapes of the last 50 years and grown through the evolution of technology, Odoo marks the latest, most efficient era of the company’s journey. From manual order-taking to a system that automatically creates quotations and orders based on website cart activity, this family business’s journey is nothing short of remarkable.

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