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Customer Story: Education

End-to-end Integration and Automation of the Quote-to-Cash Process Enables TE21 to Focus on Growing its Business

Challenge
TE21’s manual accounting and reporting processes were slow, error-prone, and unable to scale efficiently alongside the company’s rapid growth. Company officials wanted more extensive CRM and ERP functionality as well as end-to-end integration and automation of the quote-to-cash process.
Solution
TE21 chose Actian Salesforce Connector for Netsuite to meet its CRM and ERP needs, creating the cohesive, automated quote-to-cash process that it needed.
Outcome
The integration and automation enabled by Actian Salesforce Connector for NetSuite minimized data entry errors and saved TE21 more than 20 hours each week in labor. Process reporting that used to take weeks is now available in real time. Management has gained actionable insight into processes and pipelines that it had never had before.
About TE21
TE21 offers educational assessments aligned with both College- and Career-Ready Standards and Common Core State Standards (CCSS). It provides intervention, professional development, and other educational improvement efforts for schools and districts. TE21 personnel partner with clients to improve the educational experience of students.

Good companies grow. Invariably, that means some of the processes and tools that served their needs in the early days don’t fit as well when the company has grown larger. 

So it was for TE21, an education firm that provides assessments aligned with both College- and Career-Ready Standards and Common Core State Standards (CCSS). TE21 rapidly gained a reputation for providing excellent training for every product it represents or develops. As a consequence, its original workflow for managing lead-to-cash—involving quotes generated and tracked in Microsoft Excel, invoices created and tracked in QuickBooks, and reports generated manually at different stages in the process—had become unable to keep pace with business growth. Tracking clients, quotes, invoices, and receivables across so many systems took too much time, and the manual processes left too many opportunities for input error. 

TE21 leaders knew the company needed a better solution for managing all aspects of the lead-to-cash process—from customer relationship management (CRM) to quote, invoice, and receivables management. The question was, how best to meet that need? 

Solution

TE21 Chief Strategy Officer Blaise Buczkowski addressed the question by researching affordable, cloud-based ERP systems that could seamlessly integrate with a CRM system. NetSuite and Salesforce soon rose to the top of the list of solutions.

“From there, it was a matter of figuring out how to integrate Salesforce and NetSuite in a way that would best suit our needs,” says Buczkowski. “There were a couple different integration options that we considered, and we decided to go with Actian because of its experience integrating NetSuite and Salesforce data. Also, Actian’s direct partnership with NetSuite helped to simplify communication around configuring the integration to meet our specific needs.”

Results

Actian Salesforce Connector for NetSuite is preconfigured to handle the lead-to-cash process from end to end across standard versions of NetSuite and Salesforce. Additionally, Actian Salesforce Connector for NetSuite enables companies to tune and customize the integration to meet specific business or process needs. Actian and Netsuite worked closely with TE21 to streamline and automate the flow of data between NetSuite and Salesforce, and TE21’s integrated CRM/ERP solution was up and running in time to meet its end-of-fiscal-year goals.

“When going through two system implementations and an integration for the first time, you need a lot of handholding,” says Buczkowski. “It’s very challenging, but Actian and NetSuite helped make our integration a success. Actian has been great to work with on little tweaks here and there for mapping data points that I didn’t think about during set-up. They have great customer service and are always willing to help out. They’re awesome to work with.” 

With Actian Salesforce Connector for NetSuite connecting its new CRM and ERP systems, TE21 saw immediate tangible business benefits. Automation dramatically reduced the incidence of input error, improved the accuracy of data in the system, and recouped more than 20 hours per week that had been spent on manual process management and input. Reports that previously could not be completed for weeks could now be run in real time, providing management with more accurate and timely information about sales and service delivery pipelines. 

“We love it,” says Buczkowski. “We are now able to push the quotes through, create the sales orders, and invoice them as soon as the sales orders are approved, and it’s all been working very well.”

"We greatly reduced potential errors and removed the manual process with the Actian Connector between Salesforce and NetSuite. Before, we would produce quotes in Excel, invoice in QuickBooks, and record cash collections with separate manual reports at each stage of the process. Now, we have an automated ‘quote-to-cash’ process that has saved us a tremendous amount of time and allowed us to us to focus on what we do best and grow our business."
Blaise Buczkowski, Chief Strategy Officer, TE21, Inc.
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