Successful ERP Implementation: Danforth Pewter

Good Luck Finding Affordable ERP

Danforth Pewter looked at NetSuite, Microsoft Dynamics, and other ERP offerings, but they were all too expensive, Kleppner says. Resigned to upgrade to Sage 300, and then pay handsomely for someone to integrate it with a POS system, they suddenly learned their IT support company was closing. Fortunately, they also received a referral to a new IT provider.

“After a few conversations with the new partner, we told them we weren’t all that thrilled with Sage and they admitted they weren’t either,” Kleppner says. “They said they hadn’t mentioned any other products because they thought Sage 300 was all we were looking at.”

The IT shop then recommended Acumatica’s ERP, which they thought better fit Danforth’s needs. “Once we heard about Acumatica, the choice was easy. It was the only one that met our criteria,” Kleppner says.

Kleppner chose Acumatica’s on-premises version because “we are in a small, rural northern Vermont community and our internet service isn’t reliable. If one guy with a snowplow hits a utility pole, our internet goes down.” With more than a third of their business from online sales, they can’t risk their financial system going down, Kleppner says. Moving to the cloud version of Acumatica will come later after they secure more reliable internet service.

Danforth settled on Acumatica ERP in September 2014, and went live nine months later during the retailer’s off-season. The company also implemented Fusion POS for its retail operations and JAAS Advanced Manufacturing Software (JAMS) for manufacturing.

“This was a huge expense for a company our size, and a hugely risky project,” Kleppner says. “Most ERP implementations fail, so that was all enough to keep Beth and me very focused on making sure we worked through everything possible before going live.”


Key Results for Danforth Pewter:

Bram Kleppner CEO:

To Modernize Danforth Pewter needed:

  • A financial system that could handle AP, AR, inventory control, and manufacturing
  • Integration with a retail POS system
  • A better shipping solution
  • An affordable solution
  • Integrated POS system with financial systems, gaining deeper insight into sales
  • Increased employee productivity, freeing finance staff to be more strategic and eliminating the need to add additional people
  • Eliminated manual input of data into two systems
  • Reduced training costs with easy-to-use, intuitive system that allows employees to get up to speed quickly
  • Gained accurate inventory counts and eliminated hours spent on quarterly physical counts
  • Increased orders shipped per day

“We looked around for quite a while for what we wanted—an ERP that could integrate with a POS and our website and one that would only cost a couple hundred thousand. Everyone told us that it didn’t exist, that it would cost $5 million. ‘In your price range,’ they said, ‘there are no integrated systems.”