Raissyon Group deals mainly with Industrial sector in the field of Instrumentation and control systems like PLC & SCADA Systems in addition to Flow and Level Measurements. They have been using ERPNext for more than three now.
The implementation project was championed by Muqthar Ahmad who recollects his ERPNext evaluation and implementation process at Raissyon Group.
Every day was the same, the same vicious cycle! The client billable would be messed up. Project costing would be misleading. The profitability report was nowhere accurate. Contract workers were assigned randomly without knowing the right ROI for the company. Like the elastic band stretching to infinity, I was stretched and knew the time was now!
I still clearly remember that day when I decided I am going to automate all the workflows and move into a much better system for the benefit of all in my company. Up until then, we were working in an accounting software that was being managed by the accountant, largely on his own. A CRM which was used by the sales team with no flow of data to other teams. Project management was part in excel and part in the CRM. It was all taking a toll.
Like all prudent managers, I went to Google to seek out for the best possible ERP fit for my company. Having completely gone over the pains of a shabby system, I was determined to settle only with the best. So, I held strong to the pillar of patience and tried the trial versions of different systems out in the market. Being in Saudi Arabia, I had to do a lot of filtering as most of the systems that were running in the market were rudimentary, not cloud based and not at all updated – major challenges if you were looking for a scalable and technically sound solution.
Like any other user, my main criteria was for the system to be the best fit for my company, companies actually, as we were a group of four companies each catering to different kind of Industries. One into Trading, another into contracting, yet another into projects and one into real estate. With the determination of a swiss army knife, I was evaluating the different products on my own metrics. Some looked good, some were not that intuitive, some were not flexible, others did not have the features that I wanted.
I did not go behind the custom development option as that would mean we shell out a huge sum of money with the project implementation going into few months. That was something I was not prepared to undergo as my company was a small business working with razor sharp focus. Any external turmoil in terms of a system mismatch could hugely disrupt the entire team.
It was then I found, ERPNext. They promised, like all others, to be the best workflow automation machine that is out there. With the price point, it was largely unbelievable. What made it interesting for me was their whole community who sort of gave me the confidence to try them.
ERPNext Features Compared to Other ERPs
I began using the same metrics to evaluate. One by one, each of my boxes were getting ticked. Then it came to customisation – which was my most important requirement. That is were I was amazed with the ability of ERPNext as they had a customisation module which made my life unbelievably easy. Each step of my workflow could be very smoothly automated with different rules based on user role definition.
We had an internal discussion in the company and we all agreed on ERPNext being the best fit. With the feature benefits, the UI that was apparent, and the ability to customise gave all of us in the company a lot of confidence to go ahead with ERPNext.
Next step was to press the pedal into implementation. We came up with our first challenge – specific to my company, perhaps one which most SMEs may relate to – we had no specific IT team. Our existing resources were stretched and was in no position to even co-ordinate. The last time, I was the one who co-ordinated with the CRM vendor to get started with the system. But in this case, due to the complexity of the project, it demanded a dedicated team. ERPNext had a whole community out there to help but I was looking for someone within KSA so that they had some local know how and an understanding of how the processes worked in this part of the world.
For an SME not used to having people in non-core work functions, we were put up with a new problem. To set up a dedicated IT team when in the age of technology, everything was on cloud and mobile did not make much sense. It felt going backward in time.
That is when I started contacting with the community members to figure out whom we could engage with from India to help us with the implementation. As I started talking and learning more, I began to feel more comfortable with their patented framework – Frappe framework. What began as casual tries turned out to be valuable learning and soon enough I was beginning to be very comfortable tweaking ERPNext to get the desired results.
The beautiful part about the whole process is where you can have complete control in setting up your customised workflow. The checks and balances required in any process can be easily configured. With absolutely no coding background, I was weary of trying to do the entire customisation on my own. But then again, it was the robust community that they had which gave me the confidence to go on. Besides, the only bit of coding I ever had to do was basic html tags which was no big deal.
Their cloud based solution was also giving me the liberty to do the work from anywhere, anytime.
It took me less than 3 weeks completely on my own to fully set up all the different companies and get all the data cleaned and loaded into the new system. The training part was a breeze as all our twenty plus users were completely in awe of the intuitive UI and the easy process flow. I set up session to explain to them about the different workflows that I had set and the roles of each user.
Post implementation, it felt like one of the biggest achievement in my work life. To be able to take complete control of every data and every metric that mattered with precision and reliability was nothing short of a dream. I could manage smartly from any remote location too. It was easy for me to get any updates and tracking work was as simple as a click of a button. No more worries about misleading reports on profitability or project costing. Every penny was being accounted to and the reporting was as precise as a swiss watch!
Evolving as a ERPNext Service Provider
This gave me the confidence to stretch my hand into different ERP implementation for other companies with ERPNext technology. As the basic design of the system is very user friendly, it can be easily configured and fully set up remotely. That is when we decided to set up a team in India where we contribute to the ERPNext community by helping other companies like mine in Saudi Arabia and other parts of the world enjoy the benefit of a world class ERP at a fraction of the cost. Our idea was validated when we found success in companies trying to implement with similar SME based in KSA and UAE.
Like they say when you have the right product and the right team, no problem is unsolvable.