Kelley Technical Coatings

Case Study: Kelley Technical Coatings

Solution: Deacom ERP
Industry: Technical Coatings
Location: Louisville, Kentucky

About The Company
Kelley Technical Coatings manufactures swimming pool and deck
coatings, non-slip and non-skid coatings, architectural and precision OEM coatings, as well as outdoor coatings for tennis and basketball court surfaces. Since 1949, they’ve earned their customers’ loyalty with their total commitment to satisfaction. As Kelley Technical Coatings has said for generations,” We Stand for the Finish!”

The Situation
Utilizing an antiquated, unsupported system that required numerous modules and heavy customization in order to meet their industry specific needs as a batch process manufacturer, Kelley Technical Coatings could no longer ignore the challenges putting a strain on their business, as well as their employees.

Extensive manual work was hindering Kelley Tech’s productivity. They were spending hours sorting through data, trying to determine what should be entered into the system. Once they were ready to input the data, they would spend hours, sometimes days working through a seemingly endless number of data entry screens. Their reporting functionality was inadequate and could not extract the data into formal reports, so more hours were spent manually compiling necessary reports in Excel.

Kelley Tech relied heavily on these manual system work-arounds to manage many of their processes. The disparate modules were creating silos of information that did not communicate with each other. This presented the most significant issue with how inventory was affecting the general leger (GL). Their visibility into the full impact that inventory was having on the GL was severely limited until they reached their year-end physical inventory count. Because they were forced to expense packaging at 100% due to the lack of communication between production and inventory, this year-end count left them with a huge adjustment that negatively impacted the bottom line.

Their productivity was also affected by a lack of formulation capability in their lab operations. This was creating a bottleneck and forcing the research and development group to use Access reports to manage calculations for weights per pound and gallon, as well as for Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) and Hazardous Air Pollutant (HAP) measures, and other regulatory compliance measures.

These challenges provided strong motivation to find a comprehensive ERP system that offered enterprise-wide visibility and enabled communication between every aspect of their operations.

The Solution
Led by the Director of Finance and Information Systems, Doris Devers, Kelley Technical Coatings began the evaluation process to find a best-fit ERP system. It was important to them that the new system be capable of handling all of the complex requirements of a batch process manufacturer, including a working environment for their lab that could handle formulation, costing, environmental reports, and calculations on weight measurements, etc. The system also needed strict lot tracking with automated documentation to ensure consistent and accurate inventory control.

In addition to DEACOM, Kelley Technical Coatings was evaluating several other ERP products, but found that the DEACOM single system most effectively met all of their critical requirements. Kelley Tech considered DEACOM’s model to be the “all-inclusive” solution they were looking for, and were encouraged by Deacom’s willingness and ability to quickly develop and deploy system enhancements to address requirements not already being addressed, and at no additional cost.

Results & Benefits
As with any major IT implementation, the collective Kelley Tech/Deacom team faced a few challenges that caused the implementation to run slightly longer than anticipated. Because of Deacom’s guaranteed fixed price, not only were all of Kelley Tech’s functionality needs addressed at no additional cost, they were also able to draw on the expertise of the Deacom implementation team for as long as they needed, without budget overrun concerns.

The extra time for implementation was primarily related to Kelley Tech’s lab requirements. With no lab environment in place, Deacom needed to build it from scratch. The Deacom implementation team and Kelley Tech’s lab personnel had a highly collaborative relationship, working together to fully appreciate what the other was looking to accomplish. The lab personnel was diligent in learning how to set up the system, and the Deacom team was thoughtful about understanding all of Kelley Tech’s specific needs. Additionally, Kelley Tech’s lab personnel wanted to see what the new system’s lab environment would look like, which presented a new challenge since it was still in development. Deacom proactively set weekly meetings to ensure the lab team was kept up-to-date with the progress of the system. Ultimately, Kelley Tech found Deacom to be very helpful and attentive throughout this lengthy process.

When Kelley Tech provided constructive feedback to the Deacom team regarding how the system handled the release of batch tickets, they worked diligently with the appropriate Kelley Tech resource to improve the capability and ensure that their resource was thoroughly trained and could easily manage the process independently. Once the combined team worked through the initial issue, Kelley Tech found the functionality to be user friendly and extremely helpful.

“Implementing an entirely new system was a huge step for us, so we expected that it would be a bit bumpy”, said Director of Finance and IS, and ERP Project Manager, Doris Devers. “But the Deacom implementation team was on-site for the entire first week, holding our hands, and ready to assist any department that needed it. And even though they weren’t physically with us past the first week, their responsiveness never suffered. We have always felt well-supported.

Customer Satisfaction
“DEACOM has simplified a lot of our processes and dramatically improved our productivity”, said Devers. “What used to take eight to twelve steps, DEACOM streamlined into one or two, in some cases eliminating steps all together.”

Deacom has impacted many of Kelley Tech’s internal processes, including:

  • Providing full visibility into transaction history
  • A fully automated EDI system that has reduced time spent on importing customer invoices and cut back on keying errors
  • Ability to release shipments the day they go out, ensuring the right batch numbers and products are adjusted in the system
  • Ability to handle receiving on the dock, eliminating paperwork delays by having to send through the intercompany mail
  • Simplified order tracking and invoicing
  • Increased efficiency with batch ticket releasing and fill reporting
  • Improved accounting processes with real time transactions

These, and other improvements resulting from the implementation of DEACOM have delivered considerable financial benefit, leaving Kelley Tech feeling confident when it came time to present the impact of DEACOM to their Board of Directors. Doris Devers explains:

“The implementation of DEACOM delivered significant change and equally significant benefits. Now that inventory actually communicates with the general ledger, we don’t need to expense 100% of packaging and sundries, but rather apply it to inventory to be included as an asset on the balance sheet, and expensed through the income statement as true COGS. This led to substantial savings in packaging and sundries expenses, which went straight to the bottom line. This was huge! We achieved a return on investment (ROI) within the first six months of going live! And our annual audit went more smoothly and quickly than in past years.”

“Deacom has improved our company’s processes in all areas. We are very pleased with our decision and are looking forward to taking advantage of the warehouse management tools in the near future. Deacom is truly a system that takes complexity and makes it simple.”

“We achieved a return on investment (ROI) within the first six months of going live! And our annual audit went more smoothly and quickly than in past years.”