Learn How Aquatic AV Gained Full Control Over their Inventory with NetStock and Business Central


Aquatic AV

TMC | Contact us

Products and Services
Dynamics 365 Business Central

Weather resistant audio and video equipment

Organization Size
Small (1 – 50 employees)

United States

Who is Aquatic AV?

Aquatic AV works with over 100 OEM Manufacturers worldwide to develop and provide waterproof AV equipment for the Spa, Marine, Powersports, and Motorcycle industries. They distribute their product range globally to over 700 authorized dealers and distributors.

Aquatic AV needed to change its ERP system, Acumatica, but wanted to ensure it kept Netstock in place, as they had achieved great success with their demand planning efforts. They put their trust in Microsoft Dynamics Partner, TMC (Technology Management Concepts), to recommend an ERP solution to address their specific needs and help them kick-start their digital transformation journey.

What challenges did Aquatic AV experience with Acumatica (their previous ERP)?

Although Aquatic AV is a relatively small business, they have diverse needs and service customers in many different industries. They carry over 500 items, from raw materials to finished goods, and many high-value, warrantied items must be serialized. Their previous ERP solution, Acumatica, could not efficiently record serial numbers. The process was labor-intensive, and the processing was slow and cumbersome.

Aquatic AV also required a system that could value inventory using FIFO – in conjunction with serialized products, something they could not do in Acumatica. They recognized that in order to know the true cost of goods, they required a system to capture landed cost. Labor-intensive shipping and receiving processes were also beginning to impede business growth.

The Aquatic AV team researched a few leading ERPs but decided on Dynamics 365 Business Central (AKA “BC”) with Technology Management Concepts as their Partner. “We recognize the benefits of the Microsoft ecosystem, and what we like specifically about Business Central is that it does everything we need. We don’t need to invest in the Enterprise version of Dynamics 365 to achieve what we want, and the cost was around 20% less than what we were paying with Acumatica.“ says Raffi Fils, Director of Operations at Aquatic AV.

“We had confidence in working with TMC because they had a consultant familiar with the Acumatica data migration and could build a backup and copy the data easily. We were worried about how to get rid of the data, so it was important to have a team that could deliver that.”

-Raffi F. |  Director of Operations at Aquatic AV

Demand planning challenges

Before Netstock, Aquatic AV used spreadsheets and basic built-in reports to manage their inventory. Having a seasonality aspect with some of their SKUs and running multiple warehouses added a level of complexity that is not manageable or scalable using spreadsheets.” When you don’t have a visual representation of month over month and year over year, it’s tough to know how much and, more importantly, when to order. We felt we were planning in the dark and guessing our way through it. Implementing Netstock helped us gain full visibility of our inventory and we can see our combined inventory figures as well as individually, per warehouse, which has significantly benefited us from a global perspective,” says Erin Williams, Purchasing Manager at Aquatic AV.

Switching over ERPs and adapting to change

Luckily, the Aquatic AV team was familiar with Netstock as they were using it with Acumatica.  It was only the change to Business Central they needed to adjust to. TMC worked with Netstock to build a second instance connected to Business Central that they could test while running their live instance off Acumatica. “This was a very smooth process, and TMC was very involved to ensure everything was working perfectly before going Live.  Our staff also adjusted quickly to the new ERP, and they prefer it to our previous system,” says Erin.

First impressions

“My first impression was how easy it was using Netstock with the Business Central integration. Together with TMC and Netstock, we’ve been able to do some customizations by adding attributes and fields to have a more holistic view and experience. TMC played a role in the Netstock part of the implementation, and Business Central. Being our ERP Partner, they wanted to ensure they were abreast of the entire project, not only the ERP part,” mentions Raffi.

“Having a team, like TMC, that feels comfortable working with NetStock was helpful. Our previous partner didn’t want to help us with NetStock- they wanted us to go to Acumatica for everything and did not want to be involved. TMC took a big part in being involved and ensured NetStock worked properly, because they were interested in helping us succeed.”

-Raffi F. |  Director of Operations at Aquatic AV

Raffi was also very impressed with the Netstock dashboard and how they could get an instant snapshot view of their inventory. “Other staff also have access to Netstock, so they can dive in and see where we are very quickly instead of asking us for the information.”

Facing supply chain disruption

Like many companies, Aquatic AV had a hard time getting components. Lead times were long, so customers were panic buying and ordering large quantities. Raffi explains, “it’s important to trust the data that Netstock provides. There were instances with two products where Netstock recommended we not order. We didn’t adhere to the recommendation, ordered the stock, and found ourselves with excess stock. The Netstock data is correct and on point however companies must look at the order recommendations alongside industry insights and trends, as Netstock can’t possibly have foresight into that. For example, some customers switched to a different product in our portfolio as they couldn’t get the one they wanted during the COVID-19 pandemic. This affects the sales and skews the data, so having input from our sales team on issues like this helps us to adjust forecasts accordingly. With Netstock, we can make those adjustments.”

Benefits and ROI

Aquatic AV reduced its inventory holding by over $1 million and simultaneously improved its customer fill rate from 79 – 99% within the first year of using Netstock. They credit this to the visibility they have on the Netstock dashboard. “I can see our excess inventory, which means I can action those items with our sales team and get them to focus their efforts on selling them. I can see our stock-outs and potential stock-outs so we can prioritize these orders with our factories. Besides this snapshot in the dashboard, we can view individual product pages and see a specific product’s lead time, how much we should order, and how much safety stock we should have – this gives us total control over our inventory.”

Saving time for Aquatic AV has been significant. Not only did they save time by automating their forecast calculations, but also within their ERP processes.

Acumatica allowed them to import serial numbers. However, only 3,000 at a time meant they had to divide up their serialized inventory of hundreds of thousands of serial numbers into sheets of 3,000. It took several hours to complete, and uploading them individually took more time. With Business Central, they can have as many serial numbers as they like in one sheet, and one upload takes seconds to complete.

“Now that Business Central has enabled Aquatic AV to track their serial numbers more reliably, feeding more accurate data into Netstock, we find that everything is working much better,” comments Raffi.

“Compared to an Acumatica partner, a Microsoft Dynamics Partner like TMC is much more reliable in terms of saving time. When we issue a ticket, it usually takes 24 hours to 48 hours max. I usually have at least somebody acknowledge me that they’re working on it, so it’s pretty fast. TMC’s team is great.”

-Raffi F. |  Director of Operations at Aquatic AV

Achieving success with suppliers

“Not only have we found two exceptional products, but we have found two exceptional suppliers in TMC and Netstock. Besides the features and functionality of the Netstock and Business Central products being superior to a lot of what we have seen in the market, the onboarding, training, and ongoing support from both companies has been world-class,” concludes Raffi.


Ready to approach technology differently and start your Digital Transformation journey?

Since 1987, thousands of organizations have partnered with TMC to rethink their business processes and technology to empower their employees to achieve more, improve customer experience & adapt to the ever-changing global economy.