As a multimillion-dollar supplier of DC power products, Australia’s Helios Power Solutions turned to Abel® ERP to drive the automation, flexibility and efficiency needed to strengthen its expanding international business.
Built on exceptional customer service, Helios has been powering electronic equipment in the transportation, mining, military, marine, medical and telecommunication industries for nearly 40 years.
The Sydney-based company sells over 2,500 standard and customized products such as power supplies, converters and battery chargers. It also designs and manufactures rugged, high-performance power conversion solutions and industrial power racks worth tens of thousands of dollars. Even in the bargain-driven world of online shopping, General Manager Rob Hollings says Helios continues to live by its longstanding commitment to superior customer service.
“A lot of the products we sell are also sold online by other suppliers and sometimes at a lower cost,” he says. “But if you don’t know what you need, it’s easy to end up with the wrong product. Our success is built on going that extra step. We add value to customers with our expert advice and service — ensuring they get exactly what they need at a competitive price.”
Rob says customers receive this expert service from their very first contact. Qualified electronic engineers manage sales enquiries and experienced staff serve customers for all enquiries, large or small.
Three years ago, not long after ownership changed, Helios realized it could significantly strengthen its competitive edge with an automated, integrated business system. After considering various ERP systems, Helios chose Abel ERP to streamline and improve its financial management, manufacturing, sales and inventory processes.
“Accounting in our old system was clunky and it struggled to give us the accuracy and efficiency our business demanded,” Rob says. “Abel gave us not only the automation, control and traceability we wanted across our entire business but also a flexible solution that was faster, more reliable and easier for everyone to use.”
Rob says one of the biggest transformations for Helios was Abel’s automation of its sales workflow, especially on the company’s manufacturing side. Previously quotes with 20 or 30 components had to be completed separately in a Word document and, if approved, manually entered into the old system.
“Now we compile quotes in Abel and it automatically moves the quoted items through their whole lifecycle from customer order to invoice with the simple click of a button,” Rob says. “And when we need to quote on big jobs with slightly different configurations, we simply copy the old quote in the system, make a few adjustments and create a brand new quote in no time at all”.
Rob says “Abel delivers a reliable and traceable process that gives us greater control over our inventory, more accuracy and saves us a lot of time and paperwork.”
As the general manager, Rob says he’s particularly pleased with Abel’s financial functionality, which provides both the consolidated and detailed views he needs to monitor the company’s performance in real time. “I can easily access Abel from anywhere and oversee the business. It is very reassuring”.
“Abel is a great system for pulling together all the numbers you need without having to wait until the end of the month,” he says. “I now feel so much more comfortable and confident about how we’re performing at any time, on any day of the month.”
“Abel gave us not only the automation, control and traceability we wanted across our entire business but also a flexible solution that was faster, more reliable and easier for everyone to use.”
Rob says Helios has only scratched the surface of Abel’s functionality and plans to roll out more over the coming months. In particular, he wants to use the system to mine key customer data that will improve customer management, sales and overall efficiency.
“Abel holds a lot of valuable information on our customers, what they buy from year to year and when they buy it,” he says. “Seeing a snapshot of this information will help our business, whether it’s managing our inventory and delivery times better, giving our customers real-time information on orders or just having more valuable talks with them about their needs.”
While most of our system users are on the sales and finance teams, Rob says the benefits are certainly felt across the whole business.
“Everyone is very happy with our Abel system. It’s not only easy to use and makes the whole company more efficient but it also delivers great value for money. Abel provides serious ERP at a fraction of the cost of other systems we evaluated.”