For a small company, Wilson Display Ltd. runs a fairly sophisticated business that spans design, production and installation of store fixtures. But the combination of complex and small business makes finding the right IT systems tricky.
“Most companies are distributors, marketers, warehousers … we take raw steel right from the sheets and the rolls and we completely bend it, cut it, weld it,” said Frank Ruffolo, president of the Toronto-based manufacturer.
Earlier this year, Wilson Display replaced its legacy IT systems with SAP Business All-in-One, an integrated small-to-medium business (SMB) package from the Germany-based enterprise resource planning technology vendor. But the company was under time pressure to integrate the sort of manufacturing system that a company its size would not normally need, recalled Ruffolo.
The allure of the SAP offering was the promise of a fast implementation and the capability to match the functionalities of the old system right out of the gate, said Ruffolo. While the implementation was successful and on time, Ruffolo admits in hindsight that it was unrealistic to think a 90-day implementation can ever be smooth.
But the kinks were ironed out along the way and Wilson Display now has access to data it hasn’t even begun to make use of as well as the comfort that it won’t outgrow the new systems, said Ruffolo.
“We can run our business which is a good thing,” laughed Ruffolo, alluding to the complexity of Wilson Display.
Part of that complexity is that, besides standard design, the company does a lot of customized work for customers, often mixing the two components, said Ruffolo. “The engineering and costing package allowed us to deal with it very efficiently,” he said.
The pricing also worked for Ruffolo because he could buy licenses instead of packages. “And that was a big advantage for us because we don’t use a lot of each package,” he said.
Wilson Display deployed Business All-in-One with the help of Markham, Ont.-based IT consulting firm Illumiti Inc.