Primus Power provides energy storage solutions developed with new technology approaches. An example might be in balancing power availability for renewable energy derived from large solar arrays. Delivered solutions are complex even though right now, products are more likely to be 'configure to order' rather than 'build to order.' Primus Power therefore required a solution that would get them away from inventory and supply management by spreadsheet. But why a cloud based solution?
Mark Collins, senior director of operations at Primus Power notes that as a new company, it has to be capital efficient at every turn and cloud solutions provide that capability. The company was already using Arena PLM and Salesforce so it seems natural the company would look for a cloud based ERP. Why Kenandy?
Collins tells an interesting story that speaks to the reality that software is bought by people from people - but not quite in the way you might imagine.
"We were hearing about Kenandy from multiple sources that were coming out of the Salesforce community. Just the idea of ERP sitting on the Salesforce platform was appealing. That led us to the Salesforce AppExchange where Kenandy is prominently listed. Curiously, a third party ERP implementer who wasn’t a Kenandy implementer suggested checking it out. He was pretty impressed with its ability and applicability in our case."
So what are Primus Power getting out of the solution?
"We need to get ideas into product quickly. The PLM integration into Kenandy is a start. An engineer can introduce a new part in minutes and can place a purchase request straightaway. We get a full supply/demand picture and visibility into the cost equation in real time.
In addition, the ability to tweak the platform by business users is a huge advantage because we are 100% business administrated. I think we had good foundation in ERP anyway but also a foundation in the Salesforce platform. It’s not having to get into the mechanics of the technology that makes the difference to us."
As a relatively new business with a model that is changing, Primus Power needs flexibility.
"We didn't want to over design at the beginning because that would introduce constraints. One specific example, work order shortages - because we were bringing solutions to market quickly, we knew that design changes would arise after we started to build a product. We can add a couple of fields to objects, create new reports and the supply chain people are then able to update shortage issues. We can develop a classic build to solution in hours."
Any new solution presents training challenges but that wasn't the Primus Power experience. Understandably, many people were skeptical about the amount of time needed to become productive. It turns out that with no more than thirty minutes training, users were able to put process purchase requests and approvals and view items on hand. The overall process walkthrough for the core team took a couple of days. It helps that people had an ERP background but Primus Energy credits the attention to ease of user experience to making what could have been a difficult implementation relatively painless.
Disclosure: Salesforce is premier partner at time of writing