QuickBooks to Acumatica: Tips to Ensure a Smooth Transition for your Plastics Molding Business

Business professionals analyzing data on a digital tablet with business graphs and charts displayed, alongside a smartphone and laptop, illustrating the use of technology in managing business operations

For many small plastic molding businesses, QuickBooks has been the go-to solution for managing finances, tracking expenses, and handling payroll. However, as your business expands and complexities increase, you may find yourself outgrowing QuickBooks and in need of a more robust system. This is where transitioning to a comprehensive Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system like Acumatica can provide the scalability and functionality necessary to support your growing organization.

The idea of migrating from a familiar platform to an advanced system may seem overwhelming. Yet, by focusing on cleaning up internal processes first, the transition can be smoother and instrumental in propelling your business forward. Here’s how to start this transformation focused on efficiency and growth.

  1. Leverage Free or Low-Cost Tools for Internal Clean-up

Before making the leap to Acumatica, it’s crucial to get your house in order. You don’t necessarily need to invest a lot of money in this phase. Instead, focus on cost-friendly tools along with good old-fashioned roll-up-your-sleeves work to start cleaning up your internal processes. This step might involve consolidating financial data, organizing customer information, and eliminating redundant or outdated processes.  Here are some places to start:

  • Audit Your Operations: Start with a thorough review of your current processes. Which tasks are soaking up unnecessary time? Are there repetitive actions that could be automated?
  • Declutter Your Data: Sort through your digital files and clear out duplicates, outdated files, and irrelevant data. Choose file structures, storing rules, sharing protocols that will keep everyone consistent as you make this change. Not only will this work ensure a smoother migration process and cleaner workflow in Acumatica, it will also make life easier for anyone searching for data.
  • Streamline Your Workflow: Identify and eliminate bottlenecks. Sometimes, it’s the simplest changes that bring about the most significant efficiency boosts. Walk through your entire quote to cash process, as if you were a customer. Take notes where things break or slow down. These are quick-win areas for improvement.

These steps are all about creating a streamlined, efficient foundation that will allow you to leverage the most out of Acumatica’s capabilities.

  1. Use KPIs to Track Progress and Pinpoint Issues

Once you’ve identified key areas for improvement, continuous monitoring is crucial. Implementing Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) allows you to track the effectiveness of the changes you make and identify any persisting or new issues. This ongoing process of evaluation and adjustment is what ultimately drives process optimization and, by extension, business growth.

For example, in transitioning Tien Phong Plastic from a legacy system to Acumatica, a broad focus on KPIs like Customer Satisfaction, Production Efficiency, and Inventory Management played a critical role. This approach ensured that the transition not only enhanced operational efficiencies but also fostered teamwork and professionalism among employees.

  1. Fix Problems with Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Every business has process gaps. The key is knowing where they are, what they “cost” and committing to fixing them. By leveraging KPIs, small to mid-sized businesses can gain valuable insights into operational efficiency and areas that directly impact their bottom line, such as On-Time Delivery (OTD), Order Processing Efficiency, and Customer Satisfaction.

Acumatica Warehouse Manager Dashboard

Small to mid-sized plastics molding companies, often operating in the $5-50 million range, have found success by focusing on these KPIs. ERP systems like Acumatica enable businesses to track production schedules, material availability, and potential bottlenecks, ensuring orders are delivered on time. Additionally, real-time data can illuminate production inefficiencies, guiding improvements that directly enhance profitability and cash flow.

  1. Engage Your Team in the Process

Perhaps the most crucial aspect of transitioning to a new ERP system is ensuring full team engagement. Clear, frequent communication will go a long way to overcoming any resistance to change. Explaining the why, how and when of the project up front is extremely helpful in reducing anxiety and garnering commitment to the project. You can’t eliminate every objection – but with regular updates, clear instructions, visual roadmaps, early training and orientation, you can position the team for a successful launch.

Pulling the Right People into the Process

  • Identify Key Players: Recognize who will be directly impacted by the new system and involve them in the planning phase. Look at your team with new eyes – and ask them about their involvement. Some may absolutely love the opportunity to be included, while others may just want to be informed.
  • Training and Onboarding: Invest in comprehensive training sessions to ensure everyone is comfortable and confident using Acumatica. Offer multiple modes of training – not everyone learns and absorbs information in the same way.
  • Open Lines of Communication: Foster an environment where questions, feedback, and ideas are not just welcomed but encouraged. Open up a Teams or Slack channel just for questions, comments, and concerns and offer “safe passage” for anyone that contributes (no repercussions for pushing back on the switch). Common courtesy and business etiquette apply, though!

Engagement – The Heart of Successful Adoption

  • Create Excitement: Share the vision of how Acumatica will empower the team and the business. Highlight the benefits, from efficiency gains to work-life balance improvements. Use examples and visuals – they are easier to grasp and retain.
  • Listen and Adapt: Be receptive to how the team is adapting to the change. Their insights can guide further refinements to make the transition as smooth as possible. If done right, you will learn a ton about your team and your business during this process. Use it!

The success story of Tien Phong Plastic, where the implementation of Acumatica led to improved productivity and collaboration, highlights the importance of this collective effort.  Read the story of Tien Phong Plastic here.

Making the Move: Next Steps

With detailed planning, the right tools, and a team-wide commitment to improvement, moving from QuickBooks to Acumatica can mark a significant milestone in your business’s growth trajectory. This transition allows for better data management, enhanced process efficiency, and ultimately, a more scalable and flexible business model.

We understand that every business’s needs are unique. Parallel Solutions has a team of experts to help provide tailored advice and ensure a smooth transition.

Are you ready to take your business to the next level with Acumatica? By rigorously preparing, focusing on free or low-cost ways to optimize your internal processes, using KPIs to track improvements, and getting your team involved, you’re setting up your business for a successful transformation that will support your growth for years to come.  Contact us today and let’s discuss your business. 

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