Microsoft Dynamics AX early-adopter Hagler Systems is an engineering and manufacturing company specializing in dredging and mining equipment. But what’s equally important to know about the business isn’t so easily summarized in a fact sheet.
If you were to visit Hagler Systems in its early days at the Augusta, Georgia headquarters, you would find a single office, three Hagler brothers (Bob, David, and Ben) and an extra controls engineer. The brothers, longtime associates of pump manufacturer GIW Industries and all graduates of Georgia Tech, bought a building and machine tools and started manufacturing their innovative designs. Before long, business skyrocketed and new experts were added to the team; even greater success seemed imminent.
Ben Hagler, Vice President of Hagler Engineering and Operations recalled the challenge of dealing with a fledgling infrastructure and outdated process system that could no longer sustain their growth. “We started growing fast, but once we started growing fast we were totally out of control,” he said.
Though the Hagler business was rapidly changing, one thing stayed the same: their commitment to quality products and exceptional customer service. With these values in mind, Dynamics AX on Azure was a natural fit to help the company streamline its processes. Since initially adopting Dynamics AX in 2012, Hagler Systems has continued to be a Microsoft customer, most recently adopting and testing the forthcoming Dynamics AX, the cloud ERP service built on and for Azure.
Ben Hagler recently shared a few of the ways Dynamics AX has helped his business continue to grow, while maintaining a personal touch with customers.
1. A Robust Solution
Hagler Systems uses Dynamics AX in the cloud as an end-to-end solution, from scouting opportunities with new customers to tracking the opportunities as they move into projects, monitoring the projects as they move through engineering, logging the bill of materials and overseeing the source suppliers and cost index. It all adds up to a quality product delivered on time, on budget. “We chose Dynamics AX because of its robustness,” Ben said. “An enterprise resource planning system is the core of all the company’s business products and is the centerpiece of their standard work.”
2. Powerful Data, Anywhere
Savvy business leaders know the impact of the right data delivered at the right time. Whether it’s an investment prospect or, an incremental change that adds up over time, Power BI captures that impact by putting the power of information in the hands of user. Ben said he plans to delve into it more with his team.
“In the upcoming year we’re looking to take more advantage of Power BI,” he said. “Having data, having information at your hands and reacting at the times you’ve promised are essential. As we moved AX in to the cloud, and taken full advantage of Office 365, we’re looking forward to measuring what we want to manage and Power BI is the perfect tool.”
3. A Personal Touch and Broad Reach with the Cloud
It’s hard to automate the tailored attention customers love. Dynamics AX in the cloud allows the company to spend more time with those essential person-to-person interactions. “We were looking to find a solution that didn’t require a large IT staff to maintain,” Ben said. “As we move into the cloud . . . we’re beginning to minimize our footprint locally which is allowing our team to focus on our customers and provide more value out of the usability of Dynamics AX.”
It’s not just the customers who benefit from Dynamics AX’s cloud availability. According to Ben, the improvements are felt company-wide. “Our focus in moving to the cloud was to allow our team to access our data anywhere,” he said. “Dynamics AX on Azure is allowing us to be at the customer site in Canada, in North Carolina, and reach any document we need easily from a cell phone, Surface pad or laptop . . . [it] is revolutionizing our relationship with our customers and it’s empowering us with information on hand to answer questions anytime, anywhere.”