At the time of evaluating new ERP platforms, NTS’s application infrastructure had grown to 27 different information systems that were used by their different locations for various purposes.
Company BackgroundHeadquartered near Los Angeles, CA, National Technical Systems (NTS) is a diversified engineering services firm that provides commercial and government organizations with design engineering services, testing and certifications, technical resources, and program management support.
NTS is a publicly traded organization (NASDAQ: NTSC) with over $150M in annual revenue, and over 800 employees based in over 20 offices across the United States. NTS also has a network of over 400 contractors that they use to complete their projects.
SituationAs an organization, NTS was built through a series of acquisitions. Through these acquisitions, NTS had also acquired a large number of information systems that were being used for various purposes. At the time of evaluating new ERP platforms, NTS’s application infrastructure had grown to 27 different information systems that were used by their different locations for various purposes. These disparate systems were not well integrated, so data did not flow easily across departments and locations, and many business processes were performed manually or required double data entry. This lack of integration also limited the management team’s ability to easily access data about the performance of the broader organization. Finally, many of these applications were outdated or no longer supported by their vendors.
SolutionFacing a crossroads with their information systems, NTS decided to evaluate new ERP software systems that would allow them to consolidate these disparate systems into a single integrated platform. After evaluating solutions from Microsoft, SAP, and Oracle, NTS selected Microsoft Dynamics AX and Microsoft Gold-Certified ERP Partner SAGlobal to lead the implementation.
NTS selected Microsoft Dynamics AX primarily based on its tight integration with the rest of the Microsoft technology stack. NTS had deployed a Microsoft-centric IT infrastructure and sought to leverage the integration between Microsoft Dynamics AX and other Microsoft tools like Microsoft Office, Microsoft SQL Server, and Microsoft SharePoint, with the goal being to drive complexity out of their information systems and lower their total cost of ownership.
SAGlobal worked with NTS to deploy a comprehensive set of Microsoft Dynamics AX functionality to manage their business. This included modules for Financial Management, Project Management & Accounting, Customer Relationship Management, and Procurement. The Dynamics AX Enterprise Portal was also deployed to allow employees to enter and approve project time and expenses through a web portal.
Since all NTS client engagements and services are encapsulated within a project, the project management and accounting suite within Dynamics AX was a key element of the new solution. SAGlobal worked with NTS to develop a customized project quoting engine which allowed them to model complex projects and to estimate the labor, expenses, materials, subcontracted services, and other direct costs to be charged to the project. This new project quoting engine was tied directly to the CRM modules to help streamline the tracking of potential client project opportunities and the services to be provided within them.
SAGlobal also helped NTS creatively leverage the embedded supply chain management functionality to manage the materials, customer-owned items, and processes that were involved in executing projects related to their testing services.
BenefitsWith the use Microsoft Dynamics AX, NTS now has a single business system that is used across their enterprise for all core business processes. This allows them to improve communication across their various locations and functional areas, and provides management with better visibility of the organization’s clients, projects, and finances. NTS has also been able to drive efficiencies by centralizing many of their administrative functions and services. Finally, by deploying a modern technology platform based on industry standard Microsoft technologies, NTS has been able to simplify their IT environment, reduce their overall cost of ownership, and gain a flexible technology platform that can evolve to support future changes to their business environment.
NTS now has a single business system that is used across their enterprise for all core business processes