Akbar Rafiuddin, Co-Founder & CTO
Inventory models for calculating reorder points and optimal order quantities have been in existence long before the dawn of software era. When the first affordable automobile, Ford Model T was rolled off the assembly line, manufacturers were already reaping the financial benefits of inventory management by determining the answers to ‘When to deliver?’ and ‘How many to deliver?’ However, it seems an irony today—in the days of advanced information technology—that many companies are still not taking advantage of these fundamental inventory models. Organizations tend to have several systems to manage their business and often run their entire operations on excel spreadsheets which make activities such as assets tracking, equipment scheduling, or documenting essential incident details, snowball into their biggest headaches. This is a challenge that was comprehended beforehand by AscentERP. Co-founded by industry veterans Michael Trent, CEO, Shaun McInerney, President, and Akbar Rafiuddin, CTO—who bring years of experience in manufacturing, sales, and technology space respectively—AscentERP came in as an assistance stick for manufacturers who were struggling to position their next level of growth. In the course of their initiative, AscentERP found a perturbing obstacle: the silos and boundaries created between the business and IT by the existing ERP tools within organizations.
Through its AscentERP application, the company today breaks down the communication barriers in an organization and gets everyone on the same page. With an aim to support a flexible, sustainable, and extensible mentality, and also the warehouse and production floor, AscentERP provides an environment of collaboration—creating greater enterprise responsiveness, agility, and speed. Organizations using AscentERP don’t have to configure their processes based on the tool, as the firm delivers a flexible solution which can adapt and evolve according to the business processes that are already in place. “With AscentERP, inventory management doesn’t have to be a time-consuming, complex process. Companies can save resources that can be utilized to innovate products in accordance with dynamic market requirements,” says Rafiuddin. Along with its collaborative and enterprise-responsive capabilities, AscentERP also provides advisory services that present organizations with better implementation of workflows and processes.
Powerful Inventory Management Application
AscentERP is a cloud-based application that allows clients to manage their manufacturing supply chain in a revolutionary way. It enables end-to-end inventory tracking, right from raw materials or outsourced components to finished products over multiple locations. The clients benefit from instant access to inventory numbers across warehouses, broken out into any variation, with any set of details to get products to customers before anyone else.
We have several clients that were start ups when they first signed on to our product, and now they are multi-million dollar companies that achieved exponential growth within a few years
The application also enables managing invoicing and billing, payment processing, fulfillment, and customer feedback.
AscentERP takes a customer centric approach when it comes to enhancing their application. The company believes in the philosophy of catering according to the clients’ needs, and they place emphasis on the challenges that the client faces in inventory management landscape. This philosophy also reflects in the delivery process that they follow. The first phase of the process involves current state review of the client, where AscentERP considers the existing business workflows of all areas and between stakeholders. The review showcases and highlights the areas that need to be addressed from a business management and tool perspective. Based on the status, several extensions can be added to the AscentERP application to assist organizations in managing their basic front office functionality and translate it into their back office. The firm breaks down the application implementation in different phases to avoid ‘boiling the ocean’ at once.
By doing so, AscentERP endows their clients with optimum visibility in the planning and execution phases of the process for inventory scheduling. The idea is to cater a set of tools through the application that will help organizations in making better, faster, and steadfast inventory decisions.
The Salesforce Edge
Built natively on Salesforce platform, the tools gratified by AscentERP inherit all the CRM functionalities and aspects such as case management and support. The novel artificial intelligence based tools and Einstein platform introduced by Salesforce are also included in the AscentERP application by default. The firm leverages these tools to streamline their clients’ data and use it in an intelligent manner. Not only does the application illustrate data breakdowns, but it also spots data trends such as end customer’s geographic regions, preferences, and demographics to help clients in making key inventory decisions.
In addition, AscentERP partners with several cloud partners to deliver various functionalities around ERP in order to evolve with the market trends. Rafiuddin believes that the move towards a rental model and B2C e-commerce model is becoming the next big thing in the manufacturing and distribution industry. One of the key concerns that arise in such cases is how to predict demand and align inventory and production while streamlining the make-to-order process for enterprises. AscentERP equips enterprises with the powerful analytic tool for drilling down to the demand point of end-customers, demographically. The solution supports palletization, automated barcode scanning, and RFID, intelligent procurement, inventory by region, location, Lot/batch control, location hierarchies, and others.
This gives enterprises ability to make smart, and profitable business decisions based on real-time, anywhere access to critical information.
The Womb to Tomb Approach
Unlike traditional on-premise software that requires large information technology investments, constant updates, and patches, AscentERP is flexible, scalable, and requires a bare-bones IT infrastructure to manage both the front and back office of an organization in real time. It delivers a great experience for the client’s customers as well, by engaging and supporting the client throughout their mission-critical business process. Rafiuddin describes this approach as “womb to tomb” as the clients get unprecedented support from the very beginning to the end.
"With AscentERP, inventory management doesn’t have to be a time-consuming, complex process. Companies can save resources that can be utilized to innovate products in accordance with dynamic market requirements"
AscentERP solution assists clients the moment they get an opportunity to when it becomes a quote, and finally when it is turned into a sales order. Once the opportunity turns into a sales order, the firm provides its clients with planning tools such as master planner to plan their next move. The planning exercise not only assist organizations in fulfilling a sales order but it also showcases components requested on the sales order which is either to be manufactured or purchased.
More than just Consultants
With their flexible, sustainable, and extensible methodology, and in-depth business process cultural core competency, AscentERP endows every client with long-term advisory services. The company assists every customer throughout their business growth. Rafiuddin says, “We have several clients that were start ups when they first signed on to our product, and now they are multi-million dollar companies that achieved exponential growth within a few years using our product to manage their logistics, supply chain, distribution, and even manufacturing.” AscentERP supports and guides their clients not only to realize the full potential of their product but also to comprehend their full potential—aiming to be more than just consultants and make it easy for customers that are scared off by the term ERP.
Outlining their exponential success in 2017, Rafiuddin mentions that the firm has received colossal traction for their rental products as many of their customers have transitioned from a pure manufacturing model to carry out rentals. AscentERP is looking to expand in the work centers and capacity planning segments. Rafiuddin also comments on his company’s plans to carry out projects in terms of IoT. “We think this is a growing space and it’s an area where logically we would fit right in because of our ability to be inside the manufacturing lifecycle,” he signs off.
A Panel within the Story: Businesses with thousands of items in inventory often struggle to manage the large volume of the assets. Being the pioneers of integrating RFID on Salesforce platform, AscentERP enables these businesses to track every piece within a warehouse facility. AscentERP turns them into smart assets that can communicate with the cloud and organizations can get information out on a real time basis. The assets are serialized with unique tags within the system, which allows the clients to track them throughout the lifecycle.