Acumatica Case Study: M3 Technology Group
AV systems integration firm moves to Acumatica, increases sales revenue and improves operational efficiencies.
Founded in 2002, M3 Technology Group is the leading provider of Networked Audio-Visual systems, Managed Services, and ITS base building solutions in the Southeastern US.
The company worked with Cloud 9 ERP Solutions, an Acumatica Gold Certified Partner, to implement and manage Acumatica ERP software to support its expanding geographic footprint and drive further growth with scalable cloud-based technology. Since making the transition, M3 has experienced substantial business growth and continues to see improvements in office-based and remote employee efficiency and productivity.
M3 Technology Group is primarily a commercial installation service company for network and structured cabling used in AV systems, such as those found in theaters, stages, and boardrooms. Known for outstanding support, design, installation, and service to their clients in education, corporate, military, government, healthcare, entertainment, and worship settings. The company has office locations in Nashville, Knoxville, and Memphis, TN, as well as Huntsville, AL. In addition, a large portion of their employee base works remotely for easier access to client locations.
The company started with one major client in 2002, when a single employee used Word and Excel for all sales tracking and office administration. But quick growth led Kelly Burns, COO/Controller, to come on board and manage software and business processes.
“Within a week, I knew we needed to upgrade to QuickBooks,” he explained. “It met our needs at the time, with only 5 or 6 employees, but we did lot of manual entry and nothing was automated.”
After a year with QuickBooks, the growing team—now 15 strong—moved to a Sage product Burns considered a “light ERP”, but even this system required manual allocations. By 2007, Everest was implemented and ran the system on-premise until 2014.
“At this time, we were opening additional brick and mortar offices and were struggling with Virtual Private Networks (VPNs,)” says Burns. “Connectivity was horrible, and it was very frustrating for the branch employees and sales people who worked remotely.”
Gregg Mercede of Cloud 9 ERP Solutions adds, “Using remote desktop or remote-controlled software isn’t practical for someone who’s on the move, making mobility a challenge that often leads companies to cloud-based software.”
M3 successfully migrated from the legacy software, Everest, to Acumatica ERP and Acumatica Project Accounting, and later added the Acumatica field Service Edition.
From the very beginning, all users benefited from the new, powerful Acumatica software. “Today, we have about 120 employees, and everyone has a user account for at least time-tracking,” Burns explains. “Admin staff users’ tasks have gotten easier and faster, thanks to Acumatica’s default automation, so we’ve been able to maintain the same level of growth without adding to the support team’s headcount.” On the other hand, M3 has added technicians and sales people to the staff—driving top-line growth—and have even started a structured cabling division of the business.
Acumatica has also shifted the company away from a fundamentally reactive mode. While M3’s business model is reactive to an extent, they’re growing into using Acumatica as a greater resource to uncover new opportunities. “We are continuing to use other features of Acumatica,” Burns says. “It’s not overwhelming, but the software has so much power I feel there are still a lot of areas we can use to be more proactive in our approach with customers.”
Unlike some other ERP solutions, Acumatica is able to keep up with M3’s demands as their needs change. As a result, the company is not hitting a plateau like they did with past solutions.
“Acumatica has paid for itself more than once,” Burns notes. “We’re aiming to reach $42M in sales in the next year, and Acumatica will take us there. I don’t see Acumatica as something we can outgrow—and that’s a fantastic thing!”
“Cloud9 has taken our Acumatica usage to another level since partnering with them in 2015. Their response, communication, and knowledge of all modules and many 3rd party add-ons has significantly opened the door to the power of Acumatica beyond our day to day surface-level processes. Cloud9 is helping us use Acumatica to its fullest!”
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