Marathon Equipment Inc. has a simple business philosophy to provide proven, quality equipment backed by expert service. With over 100 years of expertise in the repair and preservation of asphalt, Marathon takes pride in manufacturing a wide range of long-lasting, quality products that it sells across North America through a growing dealer network. From humble beginnings over a century ago, they now operate out of a state-of-the-art facility in Burlington, ON.
Marathon is a leading manufacturer of quality road maintenance equipment, tools, and specialties. Marathon manufactures and distributes equipment and products required to repair and maintain roads and other asphalt or concrete surfaces such as airports, parking lots, and bridge decks. Their equipment is also widely used for waterproofing, foundation coatings, roofing, pothole repairs, tack spraying, and much more.
“Since we've had Genius, we've grown about 20 percent. We are hoping to grow another 20 percent in the next year or two to come. Genius has helped maintain all our work orders and our production. It's been phenomenal for us.”
— Jenn Brasher, Equipment Sales Manager
Marathon has streamlined their purchasing processes and never runs out of parts thanks to Genius ERP. They can manage all their interactions with vendors in a single system — including placing and tracking purchase orders.
Marathon can seamlessly transfer data from SolidWorks into Genius ERP, making it easy to keep track of — and communicate — changes to their shop floor, eliminating errors and costly delays.
Being able to create accurate job costs has helped Marathon streamline their operations and focus on products that are profitable. Marathon now has a true understanding of their costs and have been able to simplify their product offerings.
Known across North America as a leading manufacturer of road maintenance equipment and tools, Marathon recognized that they needed to update and automate their processes to streamline their operations and grow their business.
After having settled into their new state-of-the-art facility, and with ambitious growth plans on the horizon, Marathon knew they were doing too much manually. They were using binders and passed-around paper copies to manage many of their processes. Specifically, they needed to update their inventory and job costing. They also wanted to find a better solution for transferring important information, part numbers, and drawings out of their CAD system to workers on the floor.
Inventory was a major pain point for Marathon, as it was done solely by what they saw on the shop floor. “Before Genius, our inventory was very barebones. We were always running into emergencies, running out of parts, delaying jobs. It was all just keeping track by eye what was on the shelves. We were relying on the employees to, you know, notify one of our five people who helped with purchasing that we needed something,” explains Phillip Rousseau, Project Manager at Marathon.
“The physical process of managing our inventory was a binder, and everybody would go to that binder when we were getting low, hopefully, or after we had run out,” he finishes.
Adds Jenn Brasher, the Equipment Sales Manager at Marathon, “from a sales perspective, I could not tell what was in stock, what was started, or how long a lead time would be on a particular machine. I was taken out of my office for the majority of the day and had to go out to the shop to try to find the answers that I need.”
Marathon also struggled with creating accurate job costs. Everything was done manually, and no one on the Marathon team felt like they could rely on the calculations. “Our job costs were a very rough estimate that was purely based off of on paper math, and those costs are always changing. It relied on people communicating, which is hard during the day when you're busy,” says Rousseau.
To share drawings and information with welders and other staff members responsible for building their equipment, Marathon once again relied on binders. “It was manual,” says Gaurav Kohli, Senior Engineer. He continues, “we had to make this weld binder with all the PDFs and give it to welders. And if there was some change in the drawing, we had to print it out — changing the weld binder.”
“We used to miss some parts and, you know, it sometimes takes a lead time of eight weeks to oder that part,” admits Kohli. “And so we were a lot more delayed in finishing our project on time.”
Marathon knew they needed a change, but were not sure what direction to take. A chance encounter at a trade show led them to Genius ERP. Rousseau felt that Genius understand their business and intuitively knew what they needed to improve their business.
Marathon needed an accurate to keep track of their inventory and improve their purchasing processes to ensure they always had the materials they needed on hand.
Too many errors and delays were occurring with their binder system. Marathon needed to improve how they communicated important information — and changes — to the shop floor.
Marathon needed a systematic way to accurately calculate up-to-date job costs to give them better insights into their business.
“I can check our production dashboard. I can see what equipment's been started. I can pull off the customer database easily to see which equipment is in the queue right now, and I can tell how long it will be from start to finish on a particular machine, so it drastically has helped my job.”
Genius ERP has been instrumental in helping Marathon streamline their operations and grow their business. “The biggest challenge Genius helped us overcome here was undoubtedly our inventory. It was always an emergency to get the parts we needed to finish our builds because we were so unorganized. And since we've been with Genius as of June 2020, we have not run into that problem,” says Rousseau.
‘Now, with Genius,” he continues, “we've been able to allocate that job of purchasing to one person, and they're able to keep an eye on things from their desk reliably. We're able to place orders through Genius and track them through Genius, which is very simple. The vendor dashboard has everything in one spot.”
By improving their inventory management, Marathon has been able to speed up their production as they are no longer scrambling and running out of parts: “We were working between an 8 to 12 week lead time, says Brasher. “Now we've pulled that down to approximately about a 4 to 6 week lead time.”
She further explains, “I am able to look ahead at the schedule 3 to 6 months in advance and know what is coming down the pipeline. So it has definitely helped express our machines at the door a lot faster than what we were used to before.”
Genius’ CAD2BOM feature has also been a huge improvement over their old binder system. “Genius has a lot of features. The one that stuck out to me personally was the CAD2BOM — getting our product designs out of SolidWorks. They promised, it would be seamless. I didn't believe them fully at the time,” Rousseau admits. “But I figured, you know, there had to be some truth to it — and it turned out it was pretty seamless!”
Marathon can now easily transfer all of their information, including part numbers and qualntities needed from SolidWorks into Genius ERP, making it much easier to communicate information to the shop floor. “We have monitors at each weld bay. And, so, as soon as we change any drawing it's automatically updated at the bay. We don't have to do the weld binder anymore,” says Kohli with relief.
“Genius CAD2BOM really holds everybody accountable, not just the engineers, but the guys on the floor who are going off of their designs. Now with Genius, everybody's on the same page because the work orders are up to date with revisions,” says Rousseau.
Genius has also improved job costing for Marathon and helped them to streamline their business and focus on their most profitable products. “I have a job cost, which is as up-to-date as it could possibly be on each bill material to give me today's cost of goods sold on that product,” says Rousseau. “I was looking at my catalog of products that we sold. We had over 134 different models of equipment. We've cut that down to 74 machines now, so 60 products were eliminated from our line and we don't miss them!”
Genius has helped fuel Marathon’s growth. In the past year they have grown their business by 20%, with plans to grow it by another 20% over the next two years.
“We're in such a niche space and it feels like I'm talking, you know, some alien language whenever I talk to other vendors about what we do here. But somehow Genius has heard it all before, and they were able to quickly make me feel like I could trust them on the answers they were giving me because they understood what I was asking so clearly,” says Rousseau. “It’s been phenomenal for us,” adds Brasher.
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