Adtech Systems opened its doors in 1988 as a projector reseller. Over the years, the company has evolved to become one of the premiere professional audio/visual integrators in New England. Today (September 18th, 2017), Adtech has 170 employees, and operates across three states, serving some of the largest organizations in the region.
In March 2015, two local entrepreneurs – Dustin Campbell and Philip Muscatello – purchased a majority interest in Adtech Systems. Dustin and Phil have extensive backgrounds in business operations and management across a variety of industries. “It was our goal to buy and build a healthy, long-term, sustainable company in the Boston area, and be intimately involved in the daily operations,” says Campbell.
“We thought Adtech had a strong base to build on, and the company was at a place where it could benefit from our experience. There were about 130 employees when we bought the company and it was at a stage where it really needed some process and systems investment and little more infrastructure built into the company.”
Campbell believes that too many investors are short-term focused, so they won’t make investments that need to be made to really benefit a company five or ten years down the road,
“Our investment in Q360 sets us up for decades of growth.”
Adtech Systems 2015 revenue was just under $50 million. Projected revenue for 2017 is $55 million.
“When we bought the business two years ago we started looking very closely at the business process side,” says Campbell, “We knew the systems were underinvested in given the size of the company. When we ultimately decided to implement an ERP system, we had process mapped a lot of internal procedures and we realized that the day we went live with Q360 we would be able to stop using six different systems.”
“Visibility into the business is key. With 6 different systems, you can’t have the same level of visibility that Q360 offers.”
Campbell notes that the AV industry has amazing talent, but companies haven’t trained their people to understand the business dynamics that make for a healthy ongoing AV shop. Adtech is investing heavily to make sure its employees understand not just the technical side of the business, but they understand the business side of it too. “We really want to make sure our people that are out executing on job sites every day understand what it takes for us to be healthy, and to serve those customers well over a long period of time. They have to be able to articulate that value proposition to our customers.”
According to Campbell, “Now we spend a lot of time talking as a group about the contributions all our employees make to the company, and frankly Q360 makes it a lot easier.”
The ERP implementation did not happen right away. “It took us two years to get organized,” reports Campbell, “We built some interim tools to help us prepare: an in-house quoting tool and some project management tools to help us get ready and be a bit more systematic. We also started talking with the employees about processes and how to implement these things.”
This gave Campbell and his team time to evaluate a variety of ERP systems. “We short listed seven providers, and narrowed it down to three finalists. Then we had meetings with the three finalists, and talked to some of Q360’s customers.”
“The Q360 platform is custom built for our industry – this is where Solutions360 really differentiates itself.”
According to Campbell, “For businesses like ours that have a project based component, with distribution type models, the full integration of project management with time keeping, plus equipment procurement, sales and accounting all wrapped into one. This has been remarkably helpful for us.”
“The knowledge base of the Solutions360 team helped us make a very effective implementation right off the bat,” reports Campbell.
It has been eight months since implementation of Q360, and Adtech has gone from a 15 day close cycle to a 5 day close cycle for month end. “It is phenomenal to us to be able to have much faster visibility into the numbers,” says Campbell, “The architecture of Q360 is what makes this possible.”
“All the data collection is specifically geared around businesses like ours, which makes it much easier to get robust reporting right down to project profitability by a sales person or by a project manager or any member of the team.”
With Q360, Adtech can analyze what projects are going well, what projects are not, and see if there are any trends in the data, or any commonalities that are driving performance.
Adtech does this so its employees have greater visibility into their contributions to the success of each project. Now they know how their day to day contributions add up to the company’s success. Campbell concludes, “We think this is an important thing to communicate with our employees in today’s world. Your people have to be educated on what their impact is on the business. We just didn’t have this visibility before with 6 different systems.”
“We keep improving our ability to pull data out of Q360 in a meaningful, impactful way, which allows us to take it a step further and bridge that gap for people. Now our people understand how their work impacts the overall project, they don’t just show up at work and do their tasks. We didn’t have this capability before, people were much more in a silo.”
“Our employees have a vested interest in the success of the company and it is motivating to see the results of a well-run, highly profitable project.”