Inventory and General Ledger finally aligned at Superior Diesel
Superior Diesel supplies John Deere diesel engines and Funk driveline components to companies in the northeastern United States using the motto “Any Engine. Any Purpose. Endless Possibilities.”. Founded in 1977, Superior Diesel attributes its ongoing success to its adaptable lead times and efficient inventory management practices. Yet the company faced a significant challenge when it had to deal with a complicated Oracle JD Edwards implementation. The finance team found themselves constantly addressing urgent issues, leaving little time for their regular tasks. Cadran was brought in to straighten things out and implemented the Account & Inventory Reconciliation (AIR) module, which finally rebalanced the inventory and financial records.
The company opted to transition from their outdated software to Oracle JD Edwards in 2021. The implementation of this system, not handled by Cadran, extended to Superior Diesel locations in Rhinelander, Wisconsin, and Seville, Ohio, as well as their subsidiary, Bell Power Systems, situated in Essex, Connecticut. Melissa Sisel, Chief Financial Officer at Superior Diesel says, “Beforehand, we thought it was all clear and that JD Edwards would work just like our old system. Nothing was further from the truth. After the go live, every day was a challenge. Inventory was the biggest problem. It was out of balance with the general ledger, and as we tried to solve it, it escalated further and further.” In short, Superior Diesel faced two huge challenges: getting the new Oracle JD Edwards system in order and getting to know it and getting inventory and general ledger fully aligned.
Joe Spakowicz, Director of IT at Superior Diesel, adds: “We had a lot of issues with the valuation of inventory, and additionally there were a lot of little things, like learning how locations work and what happens when you move inventory or make manual corrections to inventory.” After several bad experiences with consulting firms, there was still hope on the horizon when Joe stumbled upon Redfaire International via Google, leading him to Cadran and the Account & Inventory Reconciliation (AIR) solution. Joe: “The great thing is that AIR is embedded in JD Edwards. We were also looking at another solution but that required us to purchase a Microsoft SQL database. From a technical architecture perspective, Cadran’s solution was a much better fit. But the really deciding factor was Cadran’s demos. Cadran’s consultants turned out to be the best consultants we’ve ever worked with.”
Getting everything right first
Jeff Roberts, Director of Operations at Superior Diesel: “We didn’t have a great experience with consultants and the tools they came with. What was the deciding factor for me was Cadran’s honesty. They gave us honest feedback about not being well informed and trained. Through that substantive feedback, it became clear that the company has a rich history with Oracle JD Edwards and AIR and was able to really help us. Cadran helped my team understand what is happening in accounting and what is needed on the inventory side.” Melissa agrees and adds: “Before we could use AIR, we had a long way to go. Cadran helped us straighten out all those previous months where errors and mistakes had piled up. I never thought we would get this far. It was such a relief!”
Discover the power of Account & Inventory Reconciliation
AIR is an Oracle JD Edwards add-on that allows your company to speed up monthly and year-end closing and ensures that the logistics inventory always matches your accounting inventory.
Getting started with AIR
AIR compares warehouse inventories and inventories according to financial ledgers, along with the value of the products. This makes it clear where discrepancies are at a glance. As a result, Superior Diesel obtains more accurate reports, providing a better understanding of inventory, goods movement, and financial reconciliation. And another advantage: AIR is seamlessly integrated into JD Edwards. Melissa: “For us, the big question was: How can we get accurate information that we can rely on, without spending all our time on it? We wanted a solid and accurate inventory report that was in balance with the GL (General Ledger). But, of course, fixing all the errors was critical to getting to that point. AIR is a powerful and wonderful tool. It allows us to do our job now instead of spending so much time looking for causes of discrepancies.”
Reporting with confidence
In addition to the smooth implementation of AIR, Cadran trained Jeff’s team and provided them with the right knowledge. Now they produce reports on a daily basis and if there are discrepancies, they know exactly what to do. Jeff: “During the time we were struggling so much, things were happening with the stock that were inexplicable. One day we had $50,000 more, the next day $25,000 less. And we ended the month with a $250,000 difference and the helpless feeling that we didn’t know why. We almost didn’t believe we would ever go back to the situation where we would close a month, and all was well. But now I can finally say we have made it to that point. And that really means a lot to us and our sleep.” Melissa is also experiencing that the reports are now right again and reconciled with the balance sheet. Melissa: “Before we had AIR, we knew there was a discrepancy, but couldn’t explain to our auditors why the difference was there, and we certainly couldn’t correct it. Now there are no more unknown discrepancies, and we can report with confidence.”
More time for other work
AIR is now widely used, and more and more general ledger accounts are being added to the module. Melissa: “It is broader than just inventory for us. Now that we understand how it works, we can use it for more accounts.” Because employees now spend much less time on it than before, they can spend their time on other things. This leads to cost savings internally. For the future, there are no grand plans for renewal on the ERP side. “It’s working well, so let’s make sure we don’t break it. We are going to make full use of what we have now. Cadran will remain involved as our consulting partner. The only thing we want to change is moving Cadran into our time zone,” Jeff concludes with a laugh.
Interested in Account & Inventory Reconciliation?
Would you like to know more about AIR? Contact Ed Pieters and discover the endless possibilities for your business.