Walk down the aisle of your local grocery store and you’re likely to run across the handiwork of Gamer Packaging.

The Minneapolis-based company provides complete packaging solutions from stock containers to custom packaging options for a wide range of beverage, food and consumer products. Last year alone they sold over 300 million bottles.

Challenge

Founded in 1987, the business is still owned and operated by the Gamer family today — and while the company has steadily grown its reputation and customer base, they’ve slowly outgrown their operating system. According to Business Systems Administrator Britt Pangerl, Gamer was struggling to make do with a sluggish Sage 2014.

“The product wasn’t really able to grow with us and we had maxed out on the technology.”

The system was clearly slowing down, and the user interface wasn’t as user-friendly as they wanted. Finding information was a burden of ugly custom reports, which had no way to filter and made making vital business decisions cumbersome. “Sage was very modular and things weren’t necessarily interconnected, so it was harder to see the relationship between customers, vendors, and various transactions,” Pangerl said. Their Sage system had no web client either, making it extra difficult for the occasions when staff wanted to work outside of the office. It was time for an upgrade.

Solution

Gamer Packaging liked the idea of going with a Microsoft product since they were already using Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online and Office 365. Their CRM partner, PowerObjects, suggested Boyer & Associates as an implementation partner. Gamer took their suggestion, hiring Boyer to implement Microsoft’s Dynamics NAV 2017 Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution. The entire implementation process took close to a year to complete. “Overall it went well. Any project is going to have things … you didn’t plan for that come up and I think we were able to ebb and flow,” Pangerl said. “The Boyer team was really willing to work with us.” For example, when Gamer needed help setting up complicated workflows, the Boyer team stepped up to learn the required processes and get the job done. Pangerl said setting up workflows and tiles in Dynamics NAV was crucial to helping the company streamline processes and improve efficiency. “Partnership is huge here at Gamer,” Pangerl said.

“Boyer really helped us troubleshoot all the options and think critically about the decisions we were making before just rolling ahead with a change.”

She especially appreciated Boyer’s attitude toward solving problems together rather than pointing fingers. When issues did arise, the company was quick to respond, communicate to all involved parties including other technology partners, and work together to resolve the issue. In addition to the NAV implementation, Gamer also purchased Zetadocs to better streamline their document capture and delivery, as well as Sikich to help manage their sales team’s commission tracking. These add-ons have helped Gamer empty their file cabinets and go completely paperless. “That was really important to us because before we were printing everything off … and now everything is done exclusively within the system,” Pangerl said. “It’s much easier to find what you’re looking for when it’s automatically saved in the correct place, accessible to everyone.” Gamer also saved money on the implementation by making use of Microsoft’s limited user licensing option. Since the sales team doesn’t require the full accounting functionality of Dynamics NAV to do their jobs, they are considered limited users — which saves money. Plus, they’re able to log in using the web client, which allows them to work from anywhere.

Benefits

“Number one it runs a lot faster and it’s a lot faster for people to get to the information that they’re looking for,” Pangerl said of the newly implemented Dynamics NAV.
Gamer has been able to get away from the convoluted process of creating and running custom reports since it’s now as simple as opening Dynamics NAV and filtering for the desired results. For example, Director of Finance Rhonda Pakkala can easily set the filters to drill down into something as specific as which items were sold to a customer from a specific vendor over a two-week period. Pakkala said she likes “being able to dive down really quickly from a huge pool of data into a very specific pool of data.” From an accounting standpoint, Pakkala especially appreciates how easily the user can move things around in NAV. For example, if a payment is accidentally applied to the wrong customer, the multiple-step process in Sage of reverting the mistake is as simple as one move in NAV.

“NAV ties together really nicely …you can see the whole picture really quickly and if you do need to fix something it’s pretty logical how it works.”

Pakkala said the only issue she’s had with NAV so far is that undoing mistakes in drop shipping is a longer process that she’d like. Overall, however, she’s pleased with the new NAV system. “I think we’ve been able to jump right into it,” Pakkala said. “Everybody seems really happy with it.” Pangerl agreed. She’s seen improvements across the board, from accounting to inventory management and more. “We really like all the functionality around the items,” Pangerl added. Gamer has a large item catalog and works with hundreds of vendors to manage an ever-changing mix of stock and custom products. With NAV’s various units of measure, Item Attributes and extended text fields, the company can easily communicate exactly what is needed to customers, vendors and warehouses. Unit measurement conversions specifically is a big time-saver, according to Pangerl. For example, they can sell a product in thousands to the customer and then NAV will automatically convert that quantity to pallets or cases for the various warehouse teams. Gamer expects to continue using Boyer as its Dynamics NAV support partner and is thinking about adding Power BI to improve reporting functionality. For now, Gamer is working on the integration between their Microsoft CRM and Microsoft NAV products to make the most of the Microsoft stack. “I think when it comes to technology it’s never going to be 100 percent smooth and no partner can promise that, but that’s where Boyer sets itself apart … It’s how their people act when things don’t go quite as planned,” Pangerl said.

Contact us for information on how Boyer & Associates can help your business succeed with Microsoft Dynamics