Express Sign Products
CRM, eCommerce Integration (Prestashop), Amazon Integration, Sales, Purchase, Inventory, Email Marketing, Help Desk, Accounting and Payment Integration, and ShipStation Integration.
Industry: Signage, Printing, Raw Materials
Implementation Partner: Bista Solutions Inc.
Dealing with multiple islands of information can be confusing, and exhausting and oftentimes can result in a whirlwind of inaccuracies for many companies. That is exactly what was happening with Express Sign Products, who were using multiple systems to manage their business. Unfortunately, that led their team to believe that they were too understaffed to handle the workload coming in. Additionally, with the insane influx of information, pulling correct data in order to optimize their workflows was proving to be a difficult feat.
Enter the Bista Solutions team – an Odoo Gold Partner and a 5x Odoo Best Partner winner. Not only was Bista able to help Express Sign Products with their endeavor, but their efforts also amounted to a reduction in inaccuracies, quick reporting metrics, and optimal business processes. While the project had many scopes, all of them were met and the client is beyond pleased with the results of the implementation.
Express Sign Products
In 1993, founded by Lance Giesbrecht, Express Sign Products was a company that sold hard-to-find materials to sign shops in Western Canada. Over the past 27 years, the company has had significant growth, including making its mark within the printing services industry and expanding to eastern Canada. What started as a single-person operation has grown to harbor employees in the double digits, and the company now carries a wide range of digital print media, inks, cut vinyl, banners, reflective sheeting, tapes, sign frame materials, and equipment to Canadian sign and print shops. Additionally, Express Sign Products offers trading of signage materials to Canada as well as the USA, and Mexico.
Express Sign Products
Prior to Bista Solutions’ involvement, the Express Sign Products team was facing multiple challenges as a result of the systems they were using. While All Orders, Prestashop, Amazon, Shopify, QuickBooks, and Creation CRM are all fine software that meets their purpose, using them all in order to manage business processes was a tall order. Especially since, in spite of using all those systems, the Express Sign team was still faced with traceability issues, management report inaccuracies, as well duplicate entries. Ultimately, the Express Sign team wanted to resolve their aforementioned issues with one solution application and their main requirement was simple: integrating 3rd party applications and bringing all their departments under one application. With a rough deadline in mind, both the Express Sign Products and Bista Solutions teams laid out the project scope and went to work.
From the moment Eduardo Vieira, the IT Manager at Express Sign Products contacted the Bista team in January of 2022, it took roughly seven months for everything to fall into place and for the project to go live. It began with a virtual consultation, where Vivek Gir led the discussion during the initial meetings and upon project confirmation, both Murali Chari and Bipin Rathod took over. Typically, there are on-site visits prior to confirming a project, but with daily and weekly meetings as well as constant online communication–both teams were able to understand one another clearly and the Bista team was able to implement the ERP for Express Sign Products.
Was the entire implementation a breeze? Unfortunately, no.
The way the systems were used at Express Sign Products, bringing all islands together into one platform is no easy feat. In fact, it is quite challenging for both the client and the consulting company in relation to data synchronization, data validation, real-time data flow, training, process changes, and whatnot. Furthermore, breaking the habit cycle (i.e. business practices) that the team at Express Sign Products was used to, which is not necessarily a part of the new ERP (which, in this case, was Odoo ERP), makes things difficult. Especially when the client wanted to incorporate familiar business practices (i.e. warehouse-wise stock validation and reservation in Sale Order line item, or merging and splitting deliveries, etc.) into their new out-of-box system which currently does not host those features.
However, with Odoo being open-source, and easily tailored to fit any business, customizing the changes needed to make the Express Sign Products’ team more conformation with the transition was worthwhile. Apart from their unfamiliarity with the new ERP and requests associated with it, the implementation process had a few additional hiccups–mainly when integrating Amazon and Prestashop. Nevertheless, as with everything related to this project, difficulties were overcome and requirements were thoroughly met.
The project scope, in addition to what is mentioned above, included a customization and add-on implementation of Authorize.net, Emipro’s Amazon connector, Ventortech’s Prestashop connector, and Vraja’s Shipstation connector.
Once the implementation was complete, the Bista team provided training to the client’s team to ensure all users understood the system and were able to navigate through it easily.
At the time since writing this piece, it’s been about three months since the project wrapped up. Since the implementation, the Express Sign Products team easily saved hours of manual effort when generating their reports. In the past, they could never build an accurate enough report because of the lack of integrated software (multiple islands of information). Even when they attempted to, their data was assumed, had to be manually inputted, and often took hours to integrate the appropriate data in order to generate the analytical reports. Additionally, in the past with their previous systems, the client’s team felt “under-staffed” to accomplish the workload. Now, after implementing Odoo ERP, not only are they able to use Odoo efficiently, they are able to complete their tasks with the same “under-staffed” staff count.
Currently, the client is using Bista Solutions’ support plan and the Bista team is continuously helping them with small customizations, configurations, and consultancy.
Needless to say that the client and their team are happy with this implementation. And the Bista team, on the other hand, was grateful for the trust the client had. During moments of technical difficulties, and unforeseen delays due to one reason or another, the client was understanding and patient; allowing the Bista team to be thorough in investigating and resolving any issues.