Easy, Affordable Data Access for Herschal Products
It's not easy to describe what Herschal Products does. That's because Herschal is a holding company for four diverse manufacturing groups: Kingscote Chemicals, Cougar Industries, Dynamic Research, and a fourth called Herschal Products. These operating companies manufacture water soluble dyes, vibration analysis equipment, vibrating equipment, and machines for aluminum foundries, respectively.
The foundry equipment, for which the firm is best known, consists primarily of knock-out machines used to remove sand cores from aluminum castings. Its machines are used by foundries to make manifolds, ultimately delivered to major automotive manufacturers like General Motors, Honda, and Ford.
Dynamic Research Corporation, one of the Herschal subsidiaries, is respected throughout the world for its high-precision computerized balancing technology, used for balancing jet engines and components that rotate at more than 100,000 rpm.
Kingscote, another Herschal subsidiary, manufactures Bright Dyes, a line of tracer products. They are used to detect leaks in sewage systems, trace water and industrial effluents, and measure discharge from power plants, among other applications. Established in 1957, Herschal Products is privately owned and headquartered near Cleveland, Ohio.
A System to Support Terminal Server and Citrix
Ten years ago, before Herschal Products had expanded beyond its original focus on foundry machinery, it needed an alternative to outdated paper-based accounting. After a thorough search, Bob Ciulla, the company's president, selected Sage BusinessWorks 50 Accounting.
"At the time, all I wanted was a basic bookkeeping system," Ciulla explains. "My main concerns were that it be simple to use and affordable. Sage BusinessWorks was both. Everyone here picked it up in no time at all. And the system paid for itself just in the first year."
"We can input and retrieve information with a minimum of keystrokes. Sage BusinessWorks is incredibly intuitive and easy to run. It gives us the power of a much more expensive solution at a fraction of the cost."
As Herschal Products grew, so did its need for more sophisticated business software. In particular, Ciulla wanted enhanced reporting features, plus support for terminal server capabilities. And because he now ran a multi-company enterprise with four locations, he also wanted to implement Citrix, software that provides instant delivery of data regardless of geographic location. So he upgraded to Sage BusinessWorks.
Sage BusinessWorks now performs all standard accounting functions at three of Herschal's companies. The system processes payables and receivables, manages ordering and inventory at separate warehouses, and is used to create financial reports, such as income statements and balance sheets. Information is available across the enterprise through a seamless dial-in Citrix interface, so workers in remote locations have complete access to resources at the main office.
Keeping it Simple
"The upgrade to Sage BusinessWorks has given us many more options in terms of customizing reports," says Ciulla. "We can look up information faster than before. And the software is so reliable that we rarely require technical support. We can resolve most issues that arise on our own, because the system is so easy to work with.” But the most important benefits of Sage BusinessWorks, as with any business system, he believes, are big-picture benefits.
"When purchasing a financial system, you've got to ask yourself three key questions," explains Ciulla. "Does it give you all the information you need? Is it easy to use? And is it priced fairly?" With Sage BusinessWorks, the answer is yes to all three. We can input and retrieve sales, manufacturing and financial information with a minimum of keystrokes. Sage BusinessWorks is incredibly intuitive and easy to run, so we don't have to waste a lot of time learning or fixing it. Finally, it gives us the power of a much more expensive solution at a fraction of the cost. That's why I'd literally recommend Sage BusinessWorks to anybody."