Direct Scaffolding Supplies
Sales and Imports in Construction

When Direct Scaffolding Supplies realised their business was growing beyond their current tech, Endeavour and Microsoft Business Central provided the solution

Direct Scaffolding Supplies (DSS) is a major importer of scaffolding supplies and consumables, supplying the home handy man all the way up to multi-national companies. DSS prides themselves on their service and ensuring that they maintain high stock levels across their three branches, so they're always able to meet market demands. With branches in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, DSS is a subsidiary of Acrow Limited, one of the largest scaffolding, formwork, falsework and event infrastructure companies in New Zealand.

Current ERP struggling to scale, forcing workarounds

Like many companies in a growth phase, DSS recently took a close look at their current accounting software and decided that they had outgrown it. "It just wasn't cutting it for what we needed going forward, especially now that we're growing," explained Cliff Davis, DSS's Head of Engineering & South Island Formwork. "It's got limited capabilities, especially around analysis."

Not only had they outgrown their current tech, but it was forcing the team to rely on time-consuming workarounds. "We were having to jump through a lot of hoops to get the information we needed, which was especially tough on our finance team," Cliff recalls. "And in many cases, we couldn't input the information that we wanted, because there just weren't enough boxes."

It was clear that DSS needed to innovate with a system that was:

  • Scalable - it needed to grow with the business
  • Capable of integrating with current systems
  • Easy to use
  • Mobile-friendly
  • Capable of advanced reporting and analytics

They began their due diligence, which included downloading information about Microsoft Business Central from Endeavour's website.

Microsoft Business Central - the ideal framework to support sales and finance teams

Endeavour reached out to DSS and discussed their requirements, the challenges they were currently facing, and what they needed from a new ERP system. Although DSS had a couple of other options under consideration, the prospect of partnering with Endeavour was an attractive one. "We'd talked to some of their previous clients," says Cliff. "They gave us great references - that and they were good people and very professional. That was a real plus for us."

One of the DSS's main objectives was to better support their sales team. "We needed to get information to them more efficiently," Cliff explains. "Especially when they're out and about. Microsoft Business Central can be easily accessed on mobile devices and they can get the information they need instantly."

One of the other major pluses about Microsoft Business Central is its ability to integrate with other Microsoft applications, such as Outlook and Office. "We couldn't do that with the old software, and getting around that was really time consuming," Cliff recalls.

Advanced visibility over inventory and operational efficiency only the beginning

With Endeavour as their partner, DSS went through a period of needs analysis including evaluating other options such as MYOB Advanced. The decision was made to implement Microsoft Business Central, and although their go-live date was a fairly recent one, DSS are already realising benefits from their new ERP system.

"From a stock management point of view, we're not only more efficient but we have much greater visibility over our inventory," says Cliff. "We do have some orders overseas, and now we've got a much clearer idea of when, what and how much to order."

When asked how the new system was received by the sales team, Cliff notes how easy it is to use. "It's just making it a lot easier for all the transactions, which they really like so that's a big plus point," he explains. "They have the information they need at their fingertips."

As part of their growth plans, DSS has also rolled out a new website, which has also recently been integrated with Business Central. "With the new website developments, there have been some add-ons we've been able to utilise to get Business Central and the website talking to each other. Much improved collaboration," he says.

Cliff goes on to say that being able to input information means they're now able to take advantage of the analysis and reporting capabilities of Microsoft Business Central. "We want to grow that as quickly as possible, because that's key to supporting our sales team," he explains.

Looking ahead - business-wide goals for MS Business Central

Aside from reporting and analytics, Cliff says that MS Business Central has a lot more potential for DSS. "There are some add-ons we'd like to use around importing and container handling," he says. "We've discussed this with Endeavour and they've given us some options for it."

DSS is a subsidiary of Acrow Limited, and Cliff says that rolling MS Business Central out across Acrow's other companies is also something they're looking into. "It would be good to standardise it business-wide," he explains. "That's definitely something we've got our eye on for the future."

When it comes to working with the team at Endeavour, Cliff says they've provided great support as well as expertise. "Based on their knowledge and experience, and all the research they've done, they've been able to recommend certain packages," he says. "Plus they've provided training, and when we had a few issues with that, they responded really swiftly and resolved them. They also worked really hard to ensure we achieved what we needed with the software. They've been great to work with".

Is your business growing faster than your processes and your tech? Let's talk about how Microsoft Business Central can support that growth.


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