BT Partners and SYSPRO Give Retail Space Solutions & Commercial Zone Room to Grow



In Business

Since 2016


Since 2016

Retail Space Solutions & Commercial Zone

When you reach for a container of fresh spinach in the grocery store cooler, or a package of bacon, or a bag of shredded or sliced cheese, you’ve just gone shopping with Retail Space Solutions. This innovative company designs merchandising solutions that attractively present products and make them easy for employees to rotate and improve the customer experience. A second brand, Commercial Zone Products, designs high-quality commercial site furnishings, including trash and recycling containers, windshield service centers, planters, and benches. Retail Space Solutions and Commercial Zone Products (RSS & CZP) rely heavily on technology to keep their shipments moving efficiently and their finances in top shape. For RSS and CZP, BT Partners and SYSPRO form the technology solution of choice.

"We felt they were listening, right from the start. Thanks to BT Partners’ careful upfront planning...we were up and running with SYSPRO on time and on budget."

manufacturing erp

Melissa Kisting,

VP of Finance & IT Retail Space Solutions/Commercial Zone Products

On-Time and On-Budget

In 2016, Retail Space Solutions began the spin out process from a larger company as its own legal entity. “That meant we needed to get our own ERP application up and running quickly,” recalls Melissa Kisting, VP of Finance & IT for RSS/CZP. “Several of our sister companies were already using BT Partners and SYSPRO, so they were a natural choice — however, we did look at other ERPs, including Epicor.”

Kisting says BT Partners was the reason the company selected SYSPRO. “We felt they were listening, right from the start. They helped us evaluate processes and requirements, and match those against the built-in flexibility of the software to determine the most efficient and cost-effective implementation plan. Thanks to BT Partners’ careful upfront planning — and a lot of work on both sides — we were up and running with SYSPRO on time and on budget.”

In the spring of 2019, the parent company announced the planned merger of CZP with RSS. “We had to quickly evaluate our processes and execute an integration plan in time for our official legal merger,” Kisting explains. “BT Partners was our rock; they did the groundwork necessary to merge the technology requirements of the two operations. We successfully integrated CZP into SYSPRO, including the setup of several EDI customers, and went live in March 2020, just two weeks before the pandemic pushed our team remote. Looking back, missing our timeline would have been catastrophic for our business.”

Streamlining Warehouse Communications

While the two brands serve different markets and customer types, they share similar back office processes and SYSPRO is an ideal fit for CZP as well. To speed and facilitate shipping processes for the companies, BT Partners configured SYSPRO to allow third-party warehouses to access the ERP directly, so they could perform and record picking, packing, and shipping activity. “It’s a highly efficient and direct process,” explains Kisting. “Before, we’d need to pass files back and forth, which slowed processing time and meant that neither side had the most current information available.”

From Impossible to Possible

Speed is critical for RSS and CZP. In a typical year, the two brands combined will process 66,000 orders. “With the help of SYSPRO and BT Partners, our technology is up to the task,” says Kisting.

Some Retail Space Solutions’ customers send their orders in spreadsheet form, containing purchase order detail for potentially hundreds of individual store locations. Entering the separate orders would be a tedious, time-consuming job, likely putting the timeline at risk. The company turned to BT Partners for help — and got it. BT Partners’ engineers configured an application that imports the spreadsheet file into SYSPRO and automatically creates individual sales orders for each store location. “This turned what could have taken several days, with a high probability of errors, into an efficient, accurate processes that can be completed in just a few hours,” says Kisting.

In addition, to further expedite the shipping of these large orders, BT Partners developed a bulk shipping application that prints the small parcel labels for these large orders in one batch with a quick load of the tracking information back to SYSPRO. “Our regular shipping process would require us to enter the information for each order individually,” notes Kisting. “Last year, during one particularly busy six-week period, we shipped 8,000 packages to 2,000 locations, on top of our normal volume. We could not have done that without BT Partners. The application BT Partners built for us literally changes the impossible to possible.”

Agility Saves Thousands

Retail Space Solutions appreciates the high level of support it receives from BT Partners. Kisting recalls one time in particular where BT Partners went above and beyond. “Shortly after we went live with the software, we had to quickly transition between two logistics providers at the request of our parent company. It required a tremendous amount of communication and coordination between our ERP and their logistics systems in order to share data in real time and facilitate our freight quoting and shipping processes. BT Partners quickly pivoted from post-go-live support to this project and had us ready and launched on time. Our parent company was impressed with the speed and accuracy of our transition. Making the change as quickly as we did saved our company thousands of dollars in freight charges.”

Partner is Business Extension

Kisting says she considers BT Partners an extension of their business. “With BT Partners there are no surprises,” says Kisting. “They do what they say they’ll do, and they do it on time and within budget. It’s so refreshing to have that kind of solid partner to keep us firmly on track.”

RSS/CZP is a dynamic businesses where nothing stays the same for long. So, having a partner and an ERP that are agile enough to handle the twists and turns helps keep the organization productive and profitable. “We’re continually working through process improvements, new EDI integrations, and special reports and inquiries,” concludes Kisting. “BT Partners’ knowledge of our business allows them to quickly visualize and build solutions to the challenges we bring them.”

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