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SPSI-ADNM Delivers Straightforward Solution for American Orthodontics

American Orthodontics replaced legacy systems with Microsoft Dynamics NAV as the new ERP system. The company rapidly generated efficiencies in customer service and finance.


New Software Integrates Business Systems to Improve Productivity

MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin – September 1 – Where does the foremost manufacturer and distributor of orthodontics products worldwide turn to correct a misalignment in its own business software systems? In the case of American Orthodontics, it relies on the combined strength of Milwaukee-based ProShip Shipping Software and partners SPSI-ADNM to engineer an enterprise solution that positions it for increased growth and productivity.

            American Orthodontics headquartered in Sheboygan, Wis., supplies dentists around the world with an extensive array of orthodontics devices and tools, shipping a quarter million packages yearly. Online ordering drives the business. Each order is customized for the individual patient and typically consists of multiple components. It’s a complex process requiring precise sequencing of manufacturing, warehousing, order expediting and shipping.

            Aging business technology, however, was threatening American Orthodontics’ sterling reputation for customer service and rapid turnaround. “They had disparate systems and separate databases,” said Tim Casey, Principal Partner at SPSI.

            American Orthodontics was growing its business, but working with the legacy systems was becoming more cumbersome. Company executives found it hard to compare actual business performance to goals. Maintaining control and consistency in doing business with customers became more difficult and server interruptions from older technology was costing the company productivity.

            “Our service was excellent, and we always delivered products quickly, but it became harder to maintain the same level of service as we won many more customers. Therefore, we hoped to find a single solution that could house information from the entire business and that could help us work with greater efficiency,” said Deb Schmidt, Administrative Manager at American Orthodontics.

            American Orthodontics was already well-acquainted with SPSI. ProShip, the enterprise-class, multi-carrier parcel shipping system developed by SPSI subsidiary Best Way Technologies, was in use as American Orthodontics’ shipping software. SPSI had previously performed a needs assessment for American Orthodontics, and now completed a second one, proposing Microsoft Dynamics NAV for the company’s ERP system. A Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, SPSI-ADNM presented a plan for migrating to the new solution, which they would install and service.

            SPSI-ADNM took on the challenge: integrating Microsoft Dynamics NAV with American Orthodontics’ custom web application, AONet, which is the user interface for order entry and customer access.

            Employees were already familiar with the system and the company wanted to minimize any disruption that the introduction of new technology tools might cause. “They spent a lot of time on the look and feel of their interface,” Tim said. “They just needed to fit it into a backend system so they could have that one database.” The genius of SPSI-ADNM was to mesh AONet with out-of-the-box technology from Microsoft Dynamics NAV.

            SPSI-ADNM deployed an experienced team for the installation and did a proof-of-concept demonstration using American Orthodontics’ old system. Once American Orthodontics saw that the new technology could work, they were ready to make the switch. SPSI-ADNM also broke up the project into phases so the customer could see success early, further bolstering their confidence. “The installation went live in December 2010, and they had a record month,” Tim said.

            Now working from a single database, ordering and manufacturing have visibility to each other in real time, and components can be made to meet demand. Eliminating redundant data entry has taken hours out of the order processing and the new system has automated discounts and streamlined pricing to make the business far less complex and more agile. “We managed to remove a large number of needless manual steps from our processes, which saves a huge amount of time and gives much better control in ensuring that we optimally serve our customers,” said Will Weyandt, IT Manager.

            Hosting the entire American Orthodontics system at the SPSI data center delivers additional value to the company. Employees at headquarters or any of the international subsidiaries in Brazil, Germany, Australia, China and France or independent distributors can all access the applications through their Citrix platform for application delivery.

            The initial relationship between American Orthodontics and SPSI, which was based on ProShip Shipping Software, has now expanded into an enterprise-wide partnership. “We were able to integrate shipping with all systems—legacy and Microsoft Dynamics NAV, complete the migration and never lose a beat,” Tim said. As a result, American Orthodontics manages higher order volumes and has realized a significant increase in year-over-year revenue.

            The work for American Orthodontics is just one example of how total systems integration from SPSI-ADNM can help companies be more productive and efficient at every level—from the shipping dock, to the factory floor, to the executive offices.
Click here to read the entire American Orthodontics Case Study.


 Microsoft Dynamics
 ERP solution
 ERP software
 Shipping software

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