While Handtmann Inc. may not be a household name, sausage lovers worldwide enjoy the meats of this innovative company’s labor. Tyson, Cargill, Johnsonville, Alberto, and Slim Jim are among the powerhouses that rely on the food processing equipment Handtmann builds and services. The Handtmann Group is a family-owned business established in Biberach, Germany in 1873. The company’s U.S. operation, headquartered in Illinois, provides sales, parts, and service to North American customers. To allow it to focus more resources on feeding sausage fans, Handtmann relies on BT Partners’ Managed Services and Consulting teams to keep its technology infrastructure and SYSPRO ERP application running strong.
"We get to leverage the incredible brain power at BT Partners. Honestly, it seems like they know everything."
“We’ve partnered with BT Partners for decades,” says Mickey Rybicki, Staff Accountant, IT, and Benefits Administrator at Handtmann. “Clearly, they’re doing something right, because we’ve never considered a change.”
In addition to managed IT services, BT Partners provides support for Handtmann’s ERP solution, SYSPRO. “They’ve helped us optimize SYSPRO, adapting it to our workflows as we change and grow,” says Rybicki.
The company has doubled in size over the past four years, and with BT Partners’ help, its technology was ready for the growth.
“They reviewed our technology infrastructure with us and made recommendations to strengthen some areas and uncomplicate others,” explains Rybicki. “They came up with an incremental plan that allowed us to spread technology upgrades over a couple of years while still operating at full capacity. That move allowed us to keep generating revenue and making happy customers while still positioning ourselves to scale.”
It isn’t only Handtmann’s IT infrastructure that scales to support its growth. BT Partners implemented SYSPRO for Handtmann nearly 25 years ago. Rybicki credits the solution’s flexibility and scalability for enabling it to adapt to the company’s growth and change. “Our processes and procedures have changed significantly over the years, yet SYSPRO continues to perform for us,” she says. “We’re a dynamic organization, and SYSPRO is a dynamic ERP application that keeps pace with us.”
Most of Handtmann’s customers are nationwide enterprises with dozens or even hundreds of locations. BT Partners helped Handtmann configure SYSPRO to support a consolidated accounting relationship where a single invoice is generated for the “parent” enterprise summarizing the orders or service tickets from all of the “child” locations. “This used to be an entirely manual process,” notes Rybicki. “Now, it’s automatic.”
A recent ransomware attack reinforced the value of engaging a Managed IT Services team. “Someone opened an email attachment they shouldn’t have,” explains Rybicki. “BT Partners detected it within 15 minutes, stopping it before it could infect all of our computers.”
The Managed IT Services team took charge, wiping each computer clean and restoring corrupted files from backups stored offsite. “We were operational again within a day,” Rybicki recalls. “Without the security measures and monitoring BT Partners has in place, it could have been a crippling event.”
BT Partners followed up by providing cybersecurity training to Handtmann’s employees. They also send test emails periodically to ensure the knowledge gained from the training is working.
When the pandemic hit, most of Handtmann’s employees began working from home. BT Partners worked with the organization to secure each endpoint while providing fast, reliable connectivity to SYSPRO and its other business-critical applications.
“We already had a large, remote workforce, but the pandemic really accentuated the need for remote access,” notes Rybicki. “With BT Partners’ help, we were able to continue working productively from home. Without their help, I’m not sure how we would have been able to pivot so quickly.”
By leveraging the BT Partners Managed Services program, Handtmann gains access to technical resources that go far beyond what it could retain in house. “Even if you understand technology, it changes too quickly to keep up,” Rybicki says. “We get to utilize the incredible brain power at BT Partners. Honestly, it seems like they know everything.”
Rybicki says while she often serves at the first line of support for the company, she relies on the Managed Services team for everything else. “They help us buy and configure new hardware, keep all our computers up to date, install wireless access points, protect our servers and network, and work with us to budget for new technology purchases so we stay out in front.”
BT Partners’ technical expertise extends to SYSPRO. “We’ve used the solution long enough to understand it fairly well,” says Rybicki. “Still, BT Partners continues to impress us with their knowledge of the software and their ability to keep making it work better for us.”
For Handtmann, a partnership with BT Partners means it can always count on the technology it relies on to run its operation. “We couldn’t operate without them,” Rybicki concludes.