Greener Corporation is a global manufacturing company that provides parts and services to major packaged goods companies, packaging machine manufacturers, and flexible packaging converters all over the world. In 2016, the company began using an off-the-shelf enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to manage its internal operations. This included handling everything from accounting and purchase orders, to invoices and tracking individual jobs on the factory floor.
However, as time went on, they found themselves having to adjust their processes to fit the software’s capabilities.
“As our business became more information heavy, with more orders for custom (instead of repeat) parts, we needed a more customized system that we could build around our unique procedures – from the quote through the production process.” - Director of Analytics and Process Improvement, Aidan Wojtech
But to customize their off-the-shelf ERP, Greener Corp would need to spend a lot of time and money on upgrade efforts. This sparked a search for new solutions. After considering other SaaS options and realizing they would face the same limitations, they considered building their own custom solution. In October 2022, Greener Corp partnered with Airdev to build a totally custom internal ERP system on Bubble – in just 6 months.
Greener Corp wanted a system that they could build around their procedures so that every employee would have the information and tools that they need, where they need them. This meant being able to manage everything in their operations, from inventory tracking, job tracking and management, to reporting, price lists management, and parts shipping, all from one internal system.
However, the off-the shelf ERP they had in place was rolling out a new version and Greener Corp realized it was going to require significant effort and money to upgrade in the ways they needed.
“The time commitment involved in implementing an off-the-shelf system actually isn't much smaller than designing a system from the ground up. Those off-the-shelf systems accrued massive technical debt as they tried to build a 'one-size-fits-all' system. When we implemented our current system, we spent months sorting through hundreds of often contradictory settings and feature sets. Working with Airdev, we were able to instead use that time to build our dream workflow from a blank slate – a much better use of our time and sanity.” - Wojtech
Wojtech had prior experience building an internal ERP, and had also used Bubble in the past. After doing more research, he realized that Greener Corp had the opportunity to create a new custom ERP with no-code at a similar price point.
Greener Corp auditioned several development firms by having them build apps on top of several smaller internal apps created with Bubble to test the workflow. In October 2022, Greener Corp partnered with Airdev to build their new custom ERP on Bubble.
“Top to bottom, Airdev understood what they were doing and were always attentive. So it was ultimately an easy decision.” - Wojtech
Given the size and complexity of the ERP, Greener Corp and Airdev first spent several weeks in intense scoping to align on exact specifications for the build, which included all key features and designs required for the app.
“This app was big enough that it had to be a collaborative effort. We weren’t just scoping with one person – we were scoping with the Airdev team and that made all the difference. The thing that impressed me was the different skill sets within Airdev. We worked with multiple people, and one of the main project managers had an accounting background. That was huge because accounting for inventory in manufacturing is painfully complicated. Airdev having that accounting expertise in-house was a major factor in our project’s success.” - Wojtech
Using the requirements and wireframes created during scoping, Airdev’s visual development team built the app logic in weekly milestones. Each week, the lead developer would pass their work to a QA specialist for review, then share that work with Greener Corp for testing and review to confirm things were working as they should.
Greener Corp's goal was to move off their platform within one year, based on the complex feature set and data migration requirements. The initial build of the new platform was completed in just 6 months, which gave the team half a year to train and onboard their company's users, and to iterate based on real user feedback before the big launch. This allowed the team to reduce risk and ensure that the product exceeds user expectations from day one.
“This is a much more intuitive system to use. Our workforce comprises everyone from high school apprentices to people in their 70’s with a wide range of technical comfort. To have a system like this that’s visually simple and pleasant to use will make an absolute world of difference.” - Wojtech
In addition, Wojtech expressed the larger importance of this custom built ERP, not just for Greener Corp, but for all companies:
“This opened my eyes to the fact that custom software is where companies are going. We’re all handling so much more information than we ever used to. We’re going to have to be able to customize our information flow processes and workflows. I think this is the future for all companies – even in non-tech industries like manufacturing.”
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