The Elements to Success

Element Designs
Success Story

Element Designs is a custom aluminum and glass products manufacturer based out of Charlotte, North Carolina and serves residential and commercial customers across North America. All of their products are made in the USA using regional suppliers.

At Element Designs, the ability to create innovative solutions with quick lead times is key to providing exceptional service for their customers. Having a singular, accessible ERP solution is essential for their business operations.

The Discovery

Element Designs needed help with their OpenERP as well as custom application development. One of our existing clients referred us to help them, knowing our background and expertise in handling this type of challenge.

The StackBench team held a meet and greet at Element Design’s office and took a tour of their facility. At the time, Element Designs had six IT partners handling different pieces of their infrastructure and software needs, which included OpenERP 6.1 Community, some custom Microsoft.Net based software stacks, a Microsoft.Net powered eCommerce platform, a custom pricing tool that could interact with Odoo, and an outdated customer-facing website.

The Problem with
Outdated Solutions

Stackbench quickly identified several issues that were causing Element Designs to lose valuable time and productivity.

Several disconnected solutions that didn’t talk to each other and were built on outdated technologies.
A highly customized OpenERP 6.1 that was running exceptionally slow and required a restart at regular intervals.
A very high cost of running and hosting their infrastructure.
New and old bugs that kept showing up on every software improvement iteration.

Facing Challenges with
Candor and Clarity

Element Designs is a custom aluminum and glass products manufacturer based out of Charlotte, North Carolina and serves residential and commercial customers across North America. All of their products are made in the USA using regional suppliers.

At Element Designs, the ability to create innovative solutions with quick lead times is key to providing exceptional service for their customers. Having a singular, accessible ERP solution is essential for their business operations.

Stackbench is a great partner. For a lot of companies, IT infrastructure is a major headache. StackBench is taking that load and a potential business risk away from us. They are very responsive and knowledgeable and keep our interest at heart.

– Mike Uebersax President/CEO

A Tour of Element Designs

Sourcing the Problem

During our analysis, we could painfully understand the coding standards followed in their software systems were below par and had some serious longevity issues. One of the critical issues was how customizations were implemented on their Odoo ERP system. The previous provider injected custom code into every core module of Odoo, which is never a good practice. We explained to Element Designs that we would need to rewrite these customizations as external plugin modules, which would make it easy to maintain the codebase and manage future upgrades.

Since the code was everywhere, we reached out to Odoo directly to get their opinion on the best approach to take. We were surprised to learn from Odoo that this project was considered and dropped by two other Odoo Gold partners. Odoo suggested that we stop looking at this project as a rescue and instead start from scratch, to ensure that we did everything right from the beginning.

We Live for Challenges

We came to an agreement with Element Designs to do a one-to-one migration from OpenERP 6.1 Community to Odoo 9 Enterprise while rewriting the core module mess into custom modules. This step would ensure that there wouldn’t be any issues during a future Odoo migration. We were able to successfully complete this project in five months.

Next, we migrated Element Design’s existing outdated website to a new branded website built on custom PHP CMS using a Laravel framework that integrated with Odoo Enterprise 9.

Finally, we were able to integrate a brand-new pricing tool using LAMP with Odoo. We connected a couple of new EDIs for suppliers, vendors, and customers.

Delivering Quality
Results, the First Time

During the first year of our engagement with Element Designs, our responsibility was to rescue the Odoo/OpenERP system and get other pieces of software to integrate well. During that process, Element Designs was able to reduce the number of IT vendors they were working with from seven to two.

In the following years, our priority was to set up an IT roadmap for Element Designs to follow to ensure that their IT operations would never again slow down their business operations.

At Element Designs, the ability to create innovative solutions with quick lead times is key to providing exceptional service for their customers. Having a singular, accessible ERP solution is essential for their business operations.

Proudly Made in the USA

Contributing Factors to
Element Design’s Success

We can only provide success stories for our customers if they work with us as partners. Element Designs’ success is due largely to their willingness to listen to the StackBench team and to take their time performing due diligence before signing on with us.

Everyone on Element Design’s team, especially the owners and top management, listened to every suggestion the StackBench team presented. Element Design’s management team was on board from day one, embracing change and bringing the rest of their employees on board in short succession.

As a result of mutual respect, trust, and a shared commitment to solving the problem at the root instead of applying a band-aid fix, a great partnership emerged between StackBench and Element Designs. We have enjoyed our joint success and continue to have informal meetings from time to time, brainstorming sessions, and have even tailgated Clemson Tiger football games together.

Solutions Implemented by
StackBench for Element Designs

ERP Implementation
Corporate Website
Custom Pricing Tool
E-commerce
EDI Integrations
Cloud Maintenance and support
Ongoing R&D

This is How We
Celebrate Together

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