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10/11/2010
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Integrator Perspective: Taking Torelli to the Next Level

Whether you're a professional bike racer or a small business owner, you must have the heart of a true competitor to break away from the crowd and achieve success. And every competitor, at some point in his or her career, reaches that "make-or-break" point, where there is a clear choice of whether to push the envelope of endurance, or settle for being second best.

Whether you're a professional bike racer or a small business owner, you must have the heart of a true competitor to break away from the crowd and achieve success. And every competitor, at some point in his or her career, reaches that "make-or-break" point, where there is a clear choice of whether to push the envelope of endurance, or settle for being second best.Owner Todd Linscott and his small dedicated team at Torelli Bicycle Co. reached that crossroads earlier this year, and decided to take the harder road. In their case, it was the choice to leave behind an outdated accounting system that was holding them back, and embrace a new way of doing business based on the same enterprise resource planning (ERP) principles typically used by large, multinational businesses,

Once that decision was made, Linscott turned to the professionals at Navigator Business Solutions, an integration firm that specializes in applying ERP solutions from market leader SAP to small businesses such as Torelli. From the first day that Navigator's Western U.S. Project Manager Brian Hedrick arrived on the scene at Torelli's humble Southern California headquarters, he was confident that the combination of SAP's technology and Navigator's implementation know-how would pave the way for the small company to turn the corner on its business processes and achieve the next level of entrepreneurial success.

In this video interview recorded during a visit to Torelli in August, at the very outset of the InformationWeek SMB On Location series, Hedrick predicted a smooth and fast transition for Torelli.

"I don't see any major challenges at all; this is a perfect fit," Hedrick said. Like many small companies, he added, Torelli's business model and day-to-day operations are actually much more conventional than its management may realize and, as a result, can easily adapt to the ERP processes of an SAP solution.

"Sometimes customers think they're unique in the world: 'We're a warehouse. We buy things for cheap, put them on our shelves, and sell them for more money.' That's not unique; everyone does that. I think they have a very common business model. They have some specific nuances that are unique to them, but as far as challenges, nothing right now. It looks very, very smooth."

Was the implementation as smooth as Hedrick predicted? Find out later this month when representatives from Navigator, SAP and Torelli join me in a live roundtable webcast on the real challenges and rewards of implementing ERP in a small business. The "Extreme SMB Technology Makeover: Torelli Races for the Finish Line with New ERP System" webcast takes place Wednesday, Oct. 27, at 2 p.m. EDT (11 a.m. PDT). Mark your calendar!

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