“We began our search by going to independent web sites rating ERP software. We kept coming across SYSPRO, which was always rated among the top five solutions.”
– Tim Torno, CFO, eInstruction
eInstruction Corporation was founded in 1981 when Dr. Darrell L. Ward assessed that education was lagging severely behind as a beneficiary of the technology revolution taking place in the world. Recognizing the critical need for such innovations in education, he established a company under the charter of developing innovative products that enhance the learning process in educational institutions and corporations through the use of computer-based technology, software and the Internet. Fast forward to the year 2000, when eInstruction introduced the Classroom Performance System (CPS), and immediately became a leader in real-time, interactive wireless response pad technology.
Using the instruction-enhancing CPS, a teacher can make an assessment of where the students are in the learning process by looking at how many questions they answered correctly. The pad also automates attendance by recording whether the students entered a response or not – this is particularly useful in colleges and universities where large lectures halls are standard.
From 2000 to 2007, eInstruction experienced a major upswing in demand as the CPS became a classroom favorite for teachers wanting to get engaged in the learning progress of their students. Today, there are more than 2 million active response pads in K-12 classrooms all across the 50 states, as well as in over 600 universities and 10 foreign countries. By 2006, eInstruction knew they needed a scalable, flexible software solution that could manage the ever-expanding accounting requirements, advance operational efficiencies and facilitate better customer service. In essence, they needed something that could accommodate the company’s exponential upward growth.
eInstruction had been using Peachtree Accounting Software. However, according to Chief Financial Officer Tim Torno, the rapid climb in demand led to the company “outgrowing” the software. They needed to find a new, scalable ERP/CRM solution that could promote operational efficiencies as well as facilitate better customer service
eInstruction began a thorough search into which software could handle the escalation of operations, as well as support imperative accounting and customer service requirements. “We began our search by going to independent web sites rating ERP software. We kept coming across SYSPRO, which was always rated among the top five solutions,” says Torno.
The availability of integrated ERP and CRM software was significant to a company whose business hinges on excellent customer service. After extensive further research, Torno says, “we felt the value we received with SYSPRO was greater than the other solutions.” eInstruction signed on for a 30-user SYSPRO license that spanned the core SYSPRO ERP modules as well as CRM.
SYSPRO has literally changed the way eInstruction does business since they implemented the software. “We have particularly noted significant efficiencies in the customer service area. With SYSPRO we can quickly determine the status of any order – where it is in the warehouse, if it’s been shipped and when it’s received. We’ve also seen numerous accounting efficiencies.” Underscoring that point, he added that when one accountant left the company to pursue a new career path, the efficiency of SYPRO Accounting modules precluded the need to hire a replacement. “This is a pretty good ROI, and we’re hoping to sustain it,” Torno says.
Torno says that SYSPRO has also helped in coordinating pad manufacturing. eInstruction outsources production to two manufacturers, and needs to be able to forecast out about 90 to 120 days. With SYSPRO, the data is available to allow them to make those necessary forecasts.
SYSPRO CRM is also proving to be a powerful resource for the eInstruction Tech Support Team which numbers from twelve to thirty individuals depending on the time of the year. The tech support group helps teachers and professors become proficient on the CPS software, and SYSPRO CRM is used to track the calls, ascertaining that each is properly handled.
Today, the CPS is only available in English. But eInstruction is planning to convert the platform to serve schools in non-English speaking countries in the near future – Singapore and Mexico, for example. This visionary thinking is what makes a partnership between eInstruction and SYSPRO so natural.