Type of Business
Internet capabilities for consumer electronics
Number of locations
Number of Employees
Quadrupled in first three years
- PCs on Microsoft SQL Server
MAS 500 Modules
- System Manager
- General Ledger
- Accounts Payable
- Accounts Receivable
- Cash Management
- Inventory Management
- Order Processing
- Purchase Order
- Sales Order
- Envision ERP
|Media Management Online — with Escient,
MAS 500 and Advanced Manufacturing
Tired of flipping through CD jewel cases
to find your favorite tunes? Now you can easily sort, find and play any
disk in your entire collection of music CDs and movie DVDs, thanks to
a line of Internet-based products from Escient.
Escient launched its first product, TuneBase,
in 1996. Designed as a unique convergence between consumer electronics
and digital technology, it provides a sophisticated database for disk
organization, plus an online search engine for streamlined disk management.
The technology is so innovative that the company was recently featured
on World Business Review, and won the coveted Best Video Product Award
at the 1999 CEDIA Expo.
“We make technology behave.” That’s the tagline
Escient uses when marketing its products. But their own internal technology
was not exactly “behaving” when it came to an efficient manufacturing
and accounting system. Escient had relied on low-tech accounting processes
during its earliest stages rather than investing in an advanced enterprise
level system. But with a growth rate of 300 percent in one year alone,
a conventional system just could not keep pace.
It soon became clear that Escient needed
a much more robust accounting and manufacturing package. It also wanted
Enterprise Resources Planning (ERP), the latest generation manufacturing
system that controls all information related to a company’s business.
“We did a fairly exhaustive search of different
ERP packages — all the way from the high end. It’s very interesting to
see some of the very expensive high end players pretending that they can
play in the mid market category where we currently reside — but when you
get underneath the covers you realize their packages are not at all a
fit. They would have completely overwhelmed a company like ourselves,”
says Tom Vanneman, CFO of Escient.
Fortunately, Escient discovered MAS 500.
They implemented Enterprise Suite’s complete distribution package, including
sales order, purchase order and inventory management modules. They also
implemented the Envision ERP Solution to take care of core manufacturing
processes. The entire system was so easy to configure that it was completely
operational in less than four months. Furthermore, many other products
were much more expensive than MAS 500 - Envision ERP duo.
Escient now uses MAS 500 and Envision
ERP to support the entire order fulfillment process and to automate and
integrate both daily business applications and production processes. By
creating a computerized record of events, such as the receipt of inventory
or the issue of a work order, the system tracks all financial, manufacturing
and distribution resources and transactions — from raw materials through
Streamlining the manufacturing process has
been possible with Envision ERP by using the backflushing system to allocate
materials automatically as production is reported. This eliminates the
need to manually requisition materials.
Vanneman comments that he appreciates the
fact that MAS 500 reports can be produced so quickly. This means
that Escient’s executives can now make business decisions based on real-time
data instead of information that is several weeks old. When an industry
is moving as quickly as theirs, reliable reports are an absolute necessity.
“In addition to the financial reporting and
the timeliness of the information that we did not have before, the serialization
of the product was very important to us,” says Vanneman. Some manufacturers
assign serial numbers to individual parts to track quality problems backward
or forward to raw materials or finished goods. With MAS 500 and
Envision ERP, Escient has a state-of-the- art serialization system, significantly
improving its quality control functions.
Because Escient prides itself on being a
technology pioneer, the company is pleased that it now has cutting edge
accounting software. As Vanneman says, “There’s no question that with
Envision ERP and MAS 500 that we are going to be more competitive
because we’re going to have a better handle on what our cost of goods
are, and we will be more responsive to changes in the marketplace as a
result. We know that our software will be on the cutting edge because
it was designed from the ground up using 100 percent Microsoft tools such
as Windows NT, Visual Basic, and SQL Server.”