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

Download Case Study (PDF File)
SS_Beaver Valley Alloy Foundry
Technology & Software
Corticon, OpenEdge


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


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


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. 

Full Story


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 Software enables B&L 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.

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.”


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 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’s 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.    


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 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 is the best fit. “The fact that B&L 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 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. ”We need to evolve our solutions and grow our business,” says O’Reilly. “The Progress OpenEdge database is rock solid--that can’t be overstated; the cost of ownership is incredibly low; maintenance is extremely minimal; the system can scale to meet any needs we have; the ABL language is incredibly easy for developers to learn; and the addition of Progress Corticon is enabling us to take our applications to a whole new level. Progress gives us everything we need to move our business forward.”

Learn more
about the products

Corticon OpenEdge

Keep exploring
stories like this one

Read Next Story