4-page Case Study
Posted: 3/28/2011
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Syndiant Fabless Manufacturer Goes to Market with Support from a Cloud-Based ERP Solution

Syndiant is a leading fabless manufacturer of light-modulating panels used in high-resolution displays for ultraportable projectors. When the company moved its light-modulating panels from research and development into production, it needed to build a supporting enterprise resource planning system. To do so, Syndiant engaged Microsoft Gold Certified Partner Tensoft to drive a cloud-based deployment of Microsoft Dynamics GP and the vertical-industry solution Tensoft Fabless Semiconductor Management. With the fully integrated and industry-specific solution in place, Syndiant has successfully transitioned into production, growing its sales from a couple units per week to more than 5,000 units per week. And with the cloud-based deployment model, Syndiant has eliminated the need for its own IT team, enabling it to control overhead and focus on continued growth opportunities.

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* Having a solution with a secure data center and high availability—and not having to fund or support that IT infrastructure on our own—makes the solution based on Microsoft Dynamics GP a great fit for our business. *

Tupper Patnode,
Vice President of Operations, Syndiant

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Situation

Based in Dallas, Texas, Syndiant is a fabless semiconductor company with 50 employees. Syndiant designs light-modulating panels for high-resolution displays used in ultraportable projectors small enough to embed in a cell phone.

Founded in 2004, Syndiant began as a small research and development company with only 15 employees. From its beginnings, the company had relied on Intuit QuickBooks to manage finances. However, when Syndiant was ready to bring its light-modulating panels to market, the company needed an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. “At the end of 2009, we were moving from research and development to production,” says Tupper Patnode, Vice President of Operations for Syndiant. “And we knew this was going to be a huge market, so we had to be poised for some very significant growth.”

In terms of technology, Patnode notes that, “We needed more sophisticated accounting capabilities and an ERP system to manage distribution channels and multisource products. We needed a solution that would enable us to manage the supply chain from wafers to finished goods, both from a planning and financial perspective.” The company also needed to ensure tight integration between the financial and manufacturing aspects of such a system to fully realize accrued manufacturing costs and adhere to generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP).

As a small company without an IT team, Syndiant also needed to ensure simplified deployment and administration of such a system. Recalls Patnode, “We knew we would need to be able to cost-effectively scale in terms of headcount by adding staff to research and development roles instead of IT. And we felt a cloud-based ERP system would enable us to do that.”

Solution

After considering several solutions, Syndiant chose Microsoft Dynamics GP enhanced with the vertical-industry solution Tensoft Fabless Semiconductor Management (FSM). To drive the implementation forward, Syndiant engaged Microsoft Gold Certified Partner Tensoft. Says Patnode, “Because many people in our accounting team were already familiar with Microsoft Dynamics GP, and because Tensoft FSM was built from the ground up to work seamlessly with the solution, we felt that it was a good fit for our company and migrating to it would be reasonably easy.”

Syndiant was also particularly attracted to the availability of Microsoft Dynamics GP as a cloud-based solution, with Microsoft Gold Certified Partner SaaSplaza providing the secure, high-availability platform for the solution. Explains Patnode, “With the potential for our company to grow from $1 million a year in revenue to $20 to $60 million in revenue, we needed to start looking at possible exit strategies. Having a solution with a secure data center and high availability—and not having to fund or support that IT infrastructure on our own—makes the solution based on Microsoft Dynamics GP a great fit for our business.”

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* With Microsoft Dynamics GP and Tensoft FSM, we have become GAAP compliant; all costs are accrued throughout the production of our product. *

Cory Johnson,
Controller, Syndiant

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Of Syndiant’s 50 employees, currently about 10 of them use the integrated solution. Based on an employee’s role, usage of the solution varies. For example, accounting staff and one salesperson who inputs purchase orders primarily use Microsoft Dynamics GP, while those in manufacturing and inventory management roles use Tensoft FSM.

Core Financials, Compliance, and Reporting

At Syndiant, accounting staff takes advantage of core accounting functionality, including general ledger, accounts payable, and accounts receivable in Microsoft Dynamics GP. Because this functionality is seamlessly integrated with Tensoft FSM, realizing accumulated costs throughout the product-manufacturing life cycle is greatly simplified. Says Cory Johnson, Controller for Syndiant, “With Microsoft Dynamics GP and Tensoft FSM, we have become GAAP compliant; all costs are accrued throughout the production of our product. And once that product is shipped, the solution reduces the inventory and increases the costs of goods sold.” With the click of a button, accounting staff can then export such data to Microsoft Excel spreadsheets to explore it further or package as a report.

Fabless Semiconductor Management

By using Tensoft FSM, Syndiant staff can manage every stage of the fabless manufacturing of light-modulating panels. After creating a purchase order for a silicon wafer from its outsourced manufacturing vendor, operations staff then adds the item to the receiving queue. Once Syndiant receives the item, Tensoft FSM automatically creates the corresponding ledger entries for that item in Microsoft Dynamics GP, including increasing the inventory from one wafer to several hundred units. Says Johnson, “Our business is unique in that we are creating a reverse bill of materials. With very little customization to Microsoft Dynamics GP and Tensoft FSM, we found that we could still support that process; the whole solution was essentially turnkey.”

Benefits

By turning to a cloud-based deployment of Microsoft Dynamics GP enhanced with the vertical-industry solution Tensoft FSM, Syndiant has been able to support its entrance into the ultraportable projector market. With the solution in place, the company has experienced rapid growth, both in employees and sales orders, all while keeping control of costs. Says Johnson, “Because Microsoft Dynamics GP and Tensoft FSM provide the information we need to make key decisions as we enter a new market, the solutions are priceless to us.”

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* Since deploying Microsoft Dynamics GP and Tensoft FSM, we have grown from selling a couple units a week to selling 5,000 units a week. It’s a very scalable solution that we will probably take forever to outgrow. *

Cory Johnson,
Controller, Syndiant

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Gain Tighter Financial Control

With Microsoft Dynamics GP and Tensoft FSM, Syndiant benefits from having up-to-the-minute financial information, even as its products go through the manufacturing life cycle. Says Johnson, “Now that we’re acquiring true manufacturing costs, we can make accurate decisions on price quotes to customers.”

Johnson goes on to note that, “Everyone in the company who needs to make a decision is able to more accurately decipher that decision’s financial impact.”

Simplify IT Management

By choosing a cloud-based ERP solution, Syndiant has eliminated the need for its own ERP IT administration and support team. Says Patnode, “By going with a cloud-based solution, we were able to implement and maintain a full ERP system without needing IT staff or having to invest in server hardware.”

Patnode has also found the cloud-based model to ease support. “Through a single point of contact, we get support for both Microsoft Dynamics GP and Tensoft FSM,” he says. “If any issues arise, we just reach out to our partner, Tensoft, and they are on it almost immediately.”

Reduce Costs

Syndiant now has greater insight and control over manufacturing, leading to cost reductions. Explains Johnson, “Because we can now focus on our yields, we have been able to reduce our manufacturing costs and gain a truer picture of our gross profit.

Support Growth

As Syndiant looks to future growth, it sees Microsoft Dynamics GP and Tensoft FSM there to support it. Says Johnson, “As production increases, so far, we have avoided increasing headcount to adjust for the volume of transactional information we are going to be incurring. Since deploying Microsoft Dynamics GP and Tensoft FSM, we have grown from selling a couple units a week to selling 5,000 units a week. It’s a very scalable solution that we will probably take forever to outgrow.”

Additional Resources Microsoft Dynamics
Microsoft Dynamics is a line of integrated, adaptable business management solutions that enables you and your people to make business decisions with greater confidence. Microsoft Dynamics works like familiar Microsoft software such as Microsoft Office, which means less of a learning curve for your people, so they can get up and running quickly and focus on what’s most important. And because it is from Microsoft, it easily works with the systems that your company already has implemented. By automating and streamlining financial, customer relationship, and supply chain processes, Microsoft Dynamics brings together people, processes, and technologies, increasing the productivity and effectiveness of your business, and helping you drive business success. 

For more information about Microsoft Dynamics, go to:
www.microsoft.com/dynamics

For More Information
For more information about Microsoft products and services, call the Microsoft Sales Information Center at (800) 426-9400. In Canada, call the Microsoft Canada Information Centre at (877) 568-2495. Customers in the United States and Canada who are deaf or hard-of-hearing can reach Microsoft text telephone (TTY/TDD) services at (800) 892-5234. Outside the 50 United States and Canada, please contact your local Microsoft subsidiary. To access information using the World Wide Web, go to:
www.microsoft.com

For more information about Syndiant products and services, call (469) 916-0580 or visit the website at:
www.syndiant.com

For more information about SaaSplaza products and services, call (858) 385-8900 or visit the website at:
www.saasplaza.com

For more information about Tensoft products and services, call (888) 450-4030 or visit the website at:
www.tensoft.com

Solution Overview



Organization Size: 50 employees

Organization Profile

Based in Dallas, Texas, Syndiant is a fabless manufacturer of light-modulating panels for ultraportable projectors and has 50 employees.


Business Situation

To move its light-modulating panel technology from research and development to production, Syndiant needed to establish a supporting enterprise resource planning infrastructure.


Solution

The company took advantage of a cloud-based deployment of Microsoft Dynamics GP enhanced with the vertical-industry solution Tensoft Fabless Semiconductor Management.


Benefits

  • Gain tighter financial control
  • Simplify IT management
  • Reduce costs
  • Support growth


Hardware


Third Party Software


Software and Services
Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010

Vertical Industries
High Tech & Electronics

Country/Region
United States

Business Need
  • Business Productivity
  • Financial Management

IT Issue
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

Languages
English

Partner(s)
SaaSplaza

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