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Beaver Valley Alloy Foundry

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For over 30 years, Beaver Valley Alloy Foundry has relied on the ERP systems from Progress Partner B&L Information Systems, Inc. Four years ago, the company moved its on-premise solution to the Cloud with Odyssey Software as a Service (SaaS) to free itself from the ongoing burden and costs associated with managing software and hardware in house. The company has since realized significant benefits across its organization, including a lower total cost of ownership, increased operational accuracy and efficiency, and the ability to focus precious resources back where they are needed most - on the business.
BEAVER VALLEY ALLOY

Challenge

Constant pressure to keep production flowing smoothly while keeping prices down and profits up

Solution

The Odyssey SaaS ERP system from B&L Information Systems, for foundries, die casters, investment casters, machine shops and related operations

Result

Lower total cost of ownership by outsourcing software, hardware, security and disaster recovery needs; increased operational efficiency; a competitive edge; real-time visibility; focusing resources on business rather than technology

Story

Beaver Valley Alloy Drives a More Efficient and Competitive Business with the Odyssey SaaS ERP System

With an unwavering commitment to meeting the highest standards of craftsmanship and quality, Beaver Valley Alloy Foundry (BVA) is always looking for ways to improve its business. The company faces constant pressure to keep customers happy and production flowing smoothly while keeping prices down and profits up. To edge out the competition and meet client expectations, BVA made the decision four years ago to change from an on-premise ERP system to the B&L Cloud. More than generic accounting or manufacturing software, the Odyssey SaaS system meets the special needs of foundries, die casters, investment casters, machine shops and related operations. Odyssey SaaS is based on the Progress® OpenEdge® application development platform, an unbreakable technology platform that has been powering over 47,000 businesses for more than 30 years. By focusing on factors such as performance, cost, reliability, scalability, flexibility and ease of maintenance, Progress enables B&L Information Systems to focus its efforts on functionality, trends and industry best practices.

BVA is a forward-looking specialty steel foundry producing quality castings in carbon and alloy steels, stainless steels, tool steels, Hadfield manganese steel, alloy irons, and nickel-based alloys. Serving a variety of industries such as metal, mining, construction, petro/chemical, transportation, food, the utilities and numerous others, BVA specializes in commercial grade castings from a few pounds to those exceeding 5,000 pounds.

With a lean staff of 44 employees, every individual plays a significant role at BVA. Yet, prior to moving to SaaS, Dayna Dierdorf was not only responsible as BVA's Controller, but she also served as the company's sole IT resource. "I would manage the nightly backups and the periodic updates. And I would deal with the inevitable and often unexpected headaches that come with managing hardware and software. Where all of my attention should have been focused on the business, I would instead find myself spending precious time making system tweaks or installing a patch or update."

In addition to enabling Dierdorf to move her entire focus back to the business, BVA also believed SaaS would offer a lower total cost of ownership over time because the company would no longer be responsible for purchasing or maintaining the software, hardware or servers. All updates, backups, security and disaster recovery needs would also be automatically handled by B&L Information Systems.

BVA chose to become an early adopter of Odyssey SaaS to drive greater efficiency, accuracy and productivity across its business. "To maintain our success, we are constantly evaluating what we can do to run a leaner and more efficient business and cut costs where we can," explains Tom Forster, Owner and President of BVA. "You just have to do a better job at everything; each little improvement counts. We believed that moving to the SaaS model would deliver enhanced short- and long-term efficiency, productivity and cost benefits. And I am happy to say Odyssey SaaS has done just that."

Built on the Progress® OpenEdge® application development platform, Odyssey SaaS is the only metalcasting specific solution available as a SaaS model. According to Forster, the move from their on-premise system to Odyssey SaaS was extremely smooth. B&L Information Systems provided training for all users, ensuring employees were up and running on the system the very first day. A technical resource from B&L Information Systems also stayed onsite during the first week of the implementation to ensure operations were running properly.

Low Total Cost of Ownership and Access to State-of-the-Art Technology

Both Forster and Dierdorf say the benefits of SaaS have lived up to their initial hopes and expectations. "Before Odyssey SaaS, we managed our own hardware upgrades, software upgrades and backups," says Forster. "With Odyssey SaaS, we no longer schedule or apply software or hardware updates, and all of our information gets backed up without any effort on our part. Gone are the days of shuffling tapes around or having to take them off-site. The response time is also great and we have never experienced any downtime. Our expertise is making castings—not supporting and maintaining software. We can now dedicate all of our focus where it should be, on our business."

BVA has reduced the total cost of ownership associated with its ERP solution because it no longer incurs the costs associated with purchasing and maintaining its own servers and software. Nor is it responsible for the ongoing costs of operating, storing and protecting its servers. Because B&L Information Systems manages all of the company’s backup and disaster recovery needs remotely, BVA knows its data is always secure and accessible via any Internet connection. And with B&L Information Systems' dedicated R&D department focused on continual improvements, BVA knows that at any given moment it is using the most advanced version of Odyssey available—without having to lift a finger.

Improved Efficiency Delivers a Competitive Edge

Today, BVA is using a number of the Odyssey SaaS modules, including those for order processing, shipping, invoicing, purchasing, accounts payable and general ledger. "Our SaaS system is more streamlined and efficient than our on-premise version was," says Dierdorf. "We are able to accomplish many of the same tasks far more quickly and easily. For example, data entry is much quicker. And we can rapidly verify information via the user interface versus having to print. That has saved us a lot – both in terms of time and money."

Forster says the efficiency afforded by Odyssey SaaS is helping the company develop the best product possible which translates into a true competitive advantage. "Our goal is to minimize mistakes while producing our products as efficiently as possible. Odyssey SaaS has streamlined our operations and enabled us to be both as accurate and productive as we can. We do have a competitive edge with Odyssey because our processes run much smoother. And with faster access to information that wasn’t readily available before, we can run a tighter and more effective business."

Despite the fact BVA has relied on B&L Information Systems for over three decades, Forster says they do periodically scan the market to see if other products are better suited to their needs. But time and again they conclude B&L Information Systems is the best fit. "The fact that B&L Information Systems focuses specifically on the metalcasting industry is significant. They understand our business and industry intimately, and they have built a solution to meet the unique needs of foundries. We are all speaking the same language and that has made a big difference in our ability to maximize the benefits of the solution."

Forster says B&L Information Systems has proven to be a valuable partner throughout the years. "They are always responsive to our needs and requests. And they are dedicated to innovation—constantly making tweaks and improvements over time, always trying to make a better application. We continue to be very satisfied with their solution and level of service, and we would absolutely recommend them to anyone looking for a similar application."

About Beaver Valley Alloy Foundry

Beaver Valley Alloy (BVA) is a forward-looking specialty steel foundry producing quality castings in: carbon and alloy steels, stainless steels, tool steels, Hadfield manganese steel, alloy irons, and nickel-based alloys. Serving a variety of industries such as metal, mining, construction, petro/chemical, transportation, food, the utilities and numerous others, BVA specializes in commercial grade castings from a few pounds to those exceeding 5,000 pounds. http://www.bvalley.com/

About B&L Information Systems, Inc.

B&L Information Systems is a global leader in providing integrated enterprise resource planning (ERP) for metalcasters. For over 35 years, B&L has used their deep understanding of the specific challenges and problems of foundries and die casters to create an ERP solution which matches the way metalcasters operate, making it easier to learn and use. With Odyssey, metalcasters will maximize their resources, minimize costs, and make better decisions faster. http://www.blinfo.com

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