Ennis-Flint and Open Systems Business Advisory Services: Painting the Road to Success
Ennis Corporation was already one of the most successful road marking companies in the United States. With the purchase of Flint in 2012, Ennis-Flint became one of the biggest road marking providers in the world. They offer the most comprehensive lineup of pavement marking solutions on the market today.
The Flint side of the business had been long-time users of the Open Systems’ TRAVERSE Business and Accounting software and had made initial plans to integrate each of its newly acquired business units into the TRAVERSE system. But pushing out the system was only part of the wide-ranging, international project that was to come.
The company found a serious challenge in consolidating resources, business processes and centralized information systems throughout the U.S. and the rest of the world. “We know our limits,“ says Fran Hagerty, Director of Information Technology at Ennis-Flint. “We were at the point where we said, ‘Let’s bring in the experts who know this stuff and can help us.'”
That’s when the Business Advisory Services of Open Systems, Inc. were called in to help. Fran contacted Becky Brister, who heads up the team at Open Systems and the two started working on a plan to bring efficiency and standardization throughout all of Ennis-Flint’s business processes. “Becky was involved right at the beginning and helped us get the high-level scope of what we were trying to do organizationally.”
Ennis-Flint goes “Supernova”
Due to its massive scope, the big project to consolidate processes throughout Ennis-Flint was dubbed “Supernova.” “It was our name for taking all our companies and moving them on to a single system,” says Hagerty. “We wanted to come up with one way of doing things.”
After Becky and Fran mapped out the initial plan, the rest of Open Systems’ crew got to work. Open Systems Business Advisors Mike and Linda stepped in to work with the Ennis-Flint team. They worked together to create a unified workflow and solution design that could be implemented and put into place throughout all locations. Project Managers from both sides were able to use this plan to execute the full implementation which included a phased rollout of a global hosted environment, training on systems and processes, customization to the software and data migration from Ennis’ legacy system.
The Business Advisory Team helped Ennis-Flint through the entire process. “Mike was a key player,” says Hagerty. “He was great at saying, “This is what your business does and this is how we’ll do it in TRAVERSE.” If customizations were necessary, the Business Advisory Team acted as a liaison between Ennis-Flint and Open Systems Project Delivery to make sure everyone had the information they needed to make the project a success. Because of strong communication and planning, the rollout of this implementation in the U.S. locations is now paving the way to a proven methodology in Ennis-Flint’s international sites.
Throwing the switch
Ennis-Flint U.S. chose the end of their busy season, to switch over to their new, unified business processes. A team of six Open Systems Business Advisors who had been involved in the project were on hand to make sure things went as planned. “They took us hand in hand through the process,” says Hagerty.
The next phase of Ennis-Flint’s process consolidation efforts involved bringing locations in Canada and Australia into the organizational fold. For Hagerty, there was no question in continuing to work closely with Open Systems’ Business Advisors as “Project Supernova” crossed over the U.S. border.
“We’ve dealt with a lot of services groups where it seems like their only purpose is to sell more services versus actually completing a project,” says Hagerty. “The Open System team is very focused on partnering with us and helping us complete our projects.”