Elemoose is one of the most creative and innovative businesses out there. Located in Springfield, Missouri, Elemoose refers to what they do as ‘imagination fabrication’—which is an apt description of their business that creates unique custom signage, props and architectural building finishes.
“What I love about working here is the ever-changing pace and climate. Our owner—not only will he actively seek out the toughest, closest to impossible projects—but his fearless attitude of accepting it and then pushing the boundaries of what we think we are capable of, never ceases to amaze me,” says Trent Auvil, the engineering supervisor at Elemoose. Adds C. Brandon Stine, “one of my favorite things about working for Elemoose is to see us bring in raw materials—just foam, and metal, and supplies—and then form all of this into signs, projects, [and] themed elements. It’s very satisfying to see these things come together as something greater than they were when they arrived.”
But with such creativity and innovation come complications. Elemoose especially had trouble with estimating, job costing, and tracking their inventory. Being a truly custom business that rarely creates the same product twice, and one that prides themselves on turning people’s ideas into realities, getting cold hard numbers—numbers that are needed in order for them to turn a profit—was a problem for them. Keeping an eye on inventory in their fast-moving shop, as well as tracking changes that happened on the shop floor, made tracking job costs difficult. And without precise job costs, creating accurate estimates for their clients was a challenge.
Needed: An ERP Built for Custom Manufacturers
That’s where Genius ERP comes into this story. Elemoose originally had another ERP in place, but it just wasn’t cutting it for them—they knew they needed an ERP that was built for custom shops just like them. “Genius was different than the other software I looked at because it was built more for design-build shops, which is what we are. We don’t make the same thing every single day, you know over and over again 500 times. We are very project-based, so Genius was a good fit for that,” says Bonnie Croney, an estimator at Elemoose.
Right from the start Genius ERP was the right fit for Elemoose. Not only is it built exclusively for custom manufacturers, and includes the tools and functionalities they need to run their busy design-based shop, Genius ERP helped them, starting from the implementation phase, to gain visibility into their company, improve their processes and become a more efficient shop: “We’ve each learned about each other’s jobs by the process that we’ve been through with Genius. Genius helped us to analyze our processes—when we started off, before we implemented the software—to help us become more efficient and more profitable,” says controller Mindy Teeter. “The end result[s] that you get [with Genius ERP],” she continues, “are accurate financial data, that will increase [the] profitability of your company.”
Adds Croney, “We were using a different ERP software in the past that had really powerful reporting capabilities, but it was limited in the sense that not as many people could use it. It didn’t have the labor data collection options like Genius offers—so now there is a lot more data to pick through, and it’s a lot more accurate, because the data is not going through three people before it actually gets entered into the system. The actual people that are performing the labor or that are using the materials are entering it directly into the system.” Genius ERP is able to supply Elemoose with the accurate data that they lacked previously, letting them get a strong handle on job costs and inventory tracking.
Better Job Costing and Inventory Management with Genius ERP
“Since we’ve implemented Genius ERP software here at Elemoose it’s done a lot of good positive things for us as far as job costing and inventory tracking [goes]—which were two things we had major trouble with before,” says Auvil. “Initially everyone was working on their own software, whether it was Excel or Quickbooks or Access. And so, in order to gain information at the end of the project, it took multiple people doing multiple reports, and then someone had to combine them all into a palatable graph. With Genius, all this information, that was once spread out over multiple platforms, is now all in one. We can check it in real time as things happen. So if a change occurs on the floor, the production employee can report that into Genius, and the engineering department can see that. And we can report back to the project managers, or the estimators for more accurate job costing.”
‘With our inventory, it was virtually un-trackable before we had Genius,” Auvil continues. “We buy so many specialty pieces and parts, that often they would get lost in the shuffle and the rush of a project. Well, with Genius, our purchasing department can apply these costs that we used to lose directly to individual jobs, so that they can be charged for at the end. Or, if we bought something in a unit of 50 and only used 25, we can now record that we still retain those 25 in our inventory, so we don’t buy them again later.”
Teeter adds, “The biggest improvement for our company since we implemented Genius is the ability to see live job-costing as the jobs are in progress. And then immediately upon completion, we have a full costing report.” Also she says, “the inventory reports that we get are amazing! We had to do a lot of manual work for costing and inventory prior to Genius—so it’s working great for us.”
A connected system gives Elemoose hyper-accurate job costing, letting them know which types of projects to pursue to make them more profitable. Real-time inventory tracking allows Elemoose to not only know which materials have been allocated to a certain job, but also allows them to more easily make, and track, on-the-fly changes, giving them more accurate job costs and inventory counts.
Accurate Estimating and Increased Visibility
Genius ERP also has helped Elemoose gain visibility into their company and improve their estimates. “Genius has helped us to get all [our] data in one place—where everyone can go to find it. Before we had several different departments, working in several different software, and they all had their own way of managing it. You couldn’t really cross-reference it. Now it’s all under the same software and everyone goes to the same place,” says Chad Baker, the operations manager at Elemoose. Continues Joy Frazier, a senior project manager with the company, “Genius has helped us by consolidating all of our information into one place, so we can create the estimates that we are going to be providing to the clients in Genius. In the past, that’s been a whole separate program that we used. We can provide the quotes, and when they are approved we immediately convert them into a quote to a sales order and create the jobs. The workflow is more visible to everybody so it’s easier for everybody to find the information they need to when looking in Genius.”
Genius ERP brings Elemoose visibility across their organization and the ability to access historical data, which lets Elemoose not only better manage their shop, but also allows them to create better estimates: “The primary improvement that I’ve seen with project management would be helping us to estimate costs of [new] projects based on the actual time that is spent on projects that we are working on. The way that people enter their time, that they log on and off of jobs, makes sure that the time is tracked correctly,” says Frazier.
Improvements Across the Board
Genius ERP has also helped Elemoose in other ways too. Teeter says, “We had no schedule before! It was just manual work. And now we have a schedule in Genius that helps us to meet our deadlines.” She continues, “We chose Genius over other software like Global Shop and Epicor because we had the ability to take a CAD drawing and import it into the software to create a BOM. We wanted to bring in a schedule, and we needed all of our employees to be in the software. And that’s what Genius provides for us.”
Auvil states, “Since the implementation of Genius here at Elemoose, we’ve known significant changes in the engineering department. The biggest being the speed in which we can get a project from conceptualization to the floor. Communication between departments on the front end of a project has increased dramatically. We know where the information is stored, we know where we can find the information. We no longer over-engineer projects—and these changes have allowed us to put projects to the floor faster, ultimately getting them out the door and to our customer faster, better, and cheaper.”
“Since we’ve implemented Genius, everything has changed,” says Stine, “I think the biggest improvement we’ve had since we’ve implemented the software is the ability to see what we have worked on in the past, and what we are going to work on in the future. It gives us a lot more context of what we should be doing, and when we should be doing it.”
Impressed by what Genius ERP did for Elemoose? See what Genius ERP can do for your business and book a demo today to see Genius ERP in action.
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