Food service equipment manufacturer Server Products Inc. began in the basement of an old flour mill in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, in 1949. Today, Server manufactures more than 1,000 innovative warmers, servers and dispensers for condiments, sauces, salad dressings and hot toppings.
The family-owned business has grown to more than 135 employees in its 120,000 square-foot facility in Richfield, Wis., serving some 1,200 customers worldwide.
Server Products’ ERP system hadn’t been replaced since the Millennium. The system had become so outdated, unstable and customized that it could no longer be upgraded. Processes had not been well documented, and managers couldn’t educate workers on how to use the system properly.
The company decided to purchase and install a new ERP system, but it had never gone through such a pervasive implementation that could potentially overwhelm workers – many of whom had been with the company for decades and were accustom to manual processes. What’s more, a younger management team had little experience carrying out such projects. Server realized that it needed to leverage the expertise of a trusted partner who could help them select the right solution and lead them through the implementation.
Server Products chose Baker Tilly for its clear process approach to selection and implementation. They viewed the ERP implementation as all-encompassing, not just standing up the ERP system and walking away. Baker Tilly would evaluate the entire business and make sure that everything worked in the ERP, as well as with any integrated systems.
What stood out with Baker Tilly was that they were going to be a part of the entire implementation right next to you, not just giving us a plan and letting us execute it.Robby Burmeister, IT Director
After several requirements-gathering sessions with Server executives and employees, Baker Tilly performed an ERP market analysis and came back with five ERP applications that met Server’s requirements. Its structured, fact-based approach leveraged data, not feelings or bias, to help Server whittled down the selection to two vendors, who were invited in for demos.
Baker Tilly recommended that the vendors perform a demo of Server’s specific requirements, instead of a traditional sales pitch, to ensure the application met their requirements and that process owners could actually see the Server business processes come to life in the applications. Server ultimately chose IFS Applications ERP system.
Baker Tilly took the lead on the ERP implementation with a methodical approach that helped redefine business processes that use industry best practices, leveraging many of the best practices already built into the IFS solution as guiding principles.
Throughout the engagement, Baker Tilly led Server through the critical change management process, including coaching, communication and training. First, Baker Tilly helped Server choose a core team for the project and a steering committee, and then helped coach the groups on their responsibilities. The team drafted consistent communication about the project that was sent to Server employees, and set up training sessions and training rooms where employees could practice on the system before its rollout.
Having the core team and Baker Tilly around to help, it was almost like we hit the ground running. In my last two experiences with ERP overhauls at previous jobs, we were crippled for one to two months after go live, and our ‘normal’ business day was not normal for six months.Ben Kluck, Material Control Coordinator
The new ERP system went live in June 2018. During the rollout, Baker Tilly staff arrived at the facility at 6 a.m. each day with the Server workers – walking the floor, taking shifts, helping anybody who had questions, and working the weekend to ensure that existing data was transferred properly into the new system. Server operations returned to full speed within a week and a half of go live.
Among the many business benefits of the new ERP system:
For more information on this topic, or to learn how Baker Tilly specialists can help, contact our team.
Baker Tilly really showed a commitment to the whole company and its well-being, not just this project. Throughout the selection and implementation, they had our best interests in mind, and helped us look farther into the future than we previously would have done.Robby Burmeister, IT Director
The company continues its mission to manufacture the highest quality and most cost-effective products in the industry, and to expand its position in the global marketplace by continually improving its products, equipment, processes and resources.