Wright Asphalt Transitions from On-premise Solution to Cloud-based Dynamics 365 Business Central
For nearly 70 years, Wright Asphalt has stood out among its peers in the construction industry as a leader in the research and development of eco-friendly asphalt products. Long before a global movement popularized sustainable, environmentally-conscious business practices, Wright Asphalt built its Houston-headquartered organization around a noble goal: to develop high-end asphalt products using discarded tire rubber.
From the beginning, Wright Asphalt placed a high value on the importance of researching and developing quality materials for pavement maintenance and construction applications. Their team looked into ways in which rubber tires (one of the world’s most common plastic polluters) could be upcycled into asphalt cement. Out of their research, Wright Asphalt created Tire Rubber Modified Asphalt Cement Technology (TRMAC™). Their technology has gone on to provide sustainable and environmentally-friendly alternatives to traditional asphalt products. To date, Wright Asphalt has recycled over 11 million tires from ending up in landfills. Along with eco-friendly asphalt cement, Wright Asphalt boasts a variety of products which are used for surface sealers, high-performance chip seals, and hot mix binders.
Wright Asphalt has always been forward thinking, especially when it comes to sustainability. When a new controller joined their team, a catalyst was added to the company’s growing desire to future-proof their business. They were ready to make a technical upgrade and weren’t shy to try new technology. For decades, their technology stack ran on-premise. These upgrades were tedious and had to be timed well so as to not disrupt their business during their busy season. (Being in the asphalt paving industry, warm spring and summer months are the optimal time to lay pavement).
Their team thought about reimplementing their existing software: they switched from Microsoft Dynamics NAV (on-premise) to Dynamics 365 Business Central (also on-premise). However, the business quickly decided to take advantage of new technology, get current with Microsoft, and migrate their solution to the cloud. They opted for a phased approach in order to get up and running quickly, with the intent to add additional functionality during calmer, cooler months.
Wright Asphalt needed to find a technology partner who could assist in transitioning their software from on-premise to the cloud. Additionally, they were looking to automate previously manual processes.
Wright Asphalt partnered with Stoneridge Software to migrate and upgrade their technology. Time was of the essence, so the Stoneridge Software team quickly got to work. Wright Asphalt desired a solution that could save their employees time, increase the accuracy of their data and reporting, and would handle a large volume of manufacturing information. Above all, they needed to be able to move quickly and required an ERP solution that could help automate their processes.
Wright Asphalt’s ERP system was completely manual before, but Stoneridge Software chose Data Haven to automate the company’s invoice process (including nightly customer emails pertaining to sales invoices and credit memos), bank reconciliation, and document management. For the last 13 years, Wright Asphalt employees reconciled bank accounts outside of their ERP system and uploaded it when complete. Now, their solution links Dynamics 365 Business Central with their online bank portal to automatically reconcile.
Additionally, the Stoneridge Software team leveraged Jet Reports for all financial reporting and product tracking. Prior to partnering with Stoneridge Software, Wright Asphalt would manually extract specific data points to calculate expected inventory, reconcile that information back to their ERP system, and cross-reference reports to ensure their inventory count was accurate. With their new Dynamics 365 Business Central solution, inventory reconciliation is automatic. Their leadership has access to full financial reporting and gross margin reporting.
Stoneridge Software redesigned the blanket sales order for Wright Asphalt in order to ship, invoice, process credit memos, assemble orders, launch (and automatically receive) PO, and drop shipment purchase orders. Essentially, Wright Asphalt can now maintain their entire business through this blanket sales order. Their system has been completely revamped: the company has a brokerage and inventory model, thereby allowing them to both fulfill orders and outsource orders to other plants.
Wright Asphalt employees had worked with Microsoft ERP software for years. They were a team of strong users that knew every nuance of their business and partnered with Stoneridge Software to design and innovate their solution. Stoneridge Software provided training around the company’s new ERP interface, as well as instruction for using Data Haven.
Having their ERP solution fully in the cloud now means that their software is always up-to-date. Monthly updates and twice-annual releases provide Wright Asphalt with a big benefit. Previous upgrades were labor-intensive. Now, their software is always up-to-date and they’re able to expand upon their current capabilities. In addition to staying current with the latest version of Dynamics 365 Business Central, Wright Asphalt’s cloud solution ensures that they can operate remotely with zero down time. When a devastating winter storm hit the Houston area in February of 2021, their business was spared. Had they remained on-prem, their systems would have gone down and their data wouldn’t have been accessible.
With a migration to the cloud and a solid partnership with Stoneridge Software, the company has increased their business productivity and reduced time to results. Most importantly, Wright Asphalt was able to model their business for the future, following through with their mission to be an industry leader in the pavement maintenance and construction sector.
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