Karl Lopker, CEO
If it weren’t for her husband, Karl F. Lopker’s quest in 1979 to find a more efficient way to run his sandal company, Pam Lopker might not have left her well-paid, secure programming job to establish her own international software company, QAD (QADA-NasdaqGS)—eventually becoming a renowned entrepreneur in Silicon Valley. With the success that followed, Pam always kept her focus on QAD’s vision, which was to develop state-of-the-art Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions for manufacturers that can empower organizations to implement their projects more efficiently.
“We only had a few local firms as our customers back when we started the company,” says Pam. However, the growth curve soon spiked. Fast forward three decades, and today, QAD is selling its flagship ERP suite, in six main manufacturing industries—automotive, consumer products, high technology, food and beverage, industrial equipment, and life sciences. QAD saw quick success with its ERP QAD MFG/PRO, which is now replaced by a more contemporary QAD Enterprise Applications (EA) and QAD Cloud ERP. “QAD EA and QAD ERP Cloud were designed to streamline the management of global manufacturing companies’ financials, customers, supply chain, analytics, and system integrations,” says Pam. QAD’s applications and cloud ERP give small and medium sized companies easy means to facilitate their expansion and growth. “The cloud ERP is flexible, simple to implement, and impossible to penetrate—keeping the risks at bay and fulfillment of needs at the center,” adds Pam. Customers don’t have to strive for administering the deployed ERP, as the hardware and systems are managed by QAD. “This allows executives to assign their valuable resources to work on more strategic projects, that can eventually accelerate their journey toward becoming an effective enterprise,” highlights Karl, CEO at QAD.
No Hardware, No Hassle, No Headache
From grain-sized integrated chips to skyscrapers, manufacturing organizations play a vital role in the present world. However, the industry never made a pristine car with an old engine or designed an iPhone with a plastic body. The manufacturing sector is built on the bedrock of innovation and technologies such as cloud that have transformed the face of ERPs. Pam knew that in order to keep QAD at the forefront, cloud technology was what they needed at their epicenter.
QAD EA and QAD ERP Cloud are designed to streamline the management of global manufacturing companies’ financials, customers, supply chain, analytics, and system integrations
The foresight was accurate and the QAD ERP Cloud soon became a unique platform that streamlined manufacturing processes, generated optimum efficiency, and met the strategic goals of customers in unconventional ways.“There are stimulating details associated with our ERP platform,” says Karl, revealing the hidden message that has boosted the growth of QAD over the years. The number of ERPs available today is in thousands, although only a few are aligned with the speed with which the industries are transforming. “Our cloud ERP is engineered to put the manufacturers at the forefront of the digital revolution,” says Karl.
QAD has been a part of both the chapters of the manufacturing history—the late 90s when the economy was slow and the competition was relatively mild, and the beginning of the 21st century where the market demands change at the blink of an eye. QAD made a successful transition from these opposite poles by keeping its pace with the advent of disruptive technologies.
QAD supports both kinds of customers, those that believe in the cloud and others that aspire to remain acquainted with their on-premise infrastructure. As the head of QAD’s R&D, Pam was keen to develop a full featured, vertical focused cloud ERP, which could support on-premise applications as well. “Regardless of the deployment choice, customers benefit from QAD Cloud ERP through best of breed software, support, and tools,” says Pam.
Adapting as the Needs Change
Acquisitions, mergers, and opening oversees branches are some of the key milestones that reflect growth and vision of an organization. However, they also wage an uphill battle—impelling corporations to follow up with the ensued IT integrations, compliance issues, and inventory management. “Manufacturers need agility to change processes, integrate acquisitions, meet customer requirements, introduce new products, and comply with regulations,” says Pam. QAD adapts to any style of manufacturing and the needs of all geographic locations. Quality metrics, central model management, and automated data collection ensure accurate, complete product, material and inventory information.
“We emphasize on distributed architecture where each plant is given a different platform as per the needs”
Intuitive planning tools synchronize production to changing demands, while built-in quality management helps customers keep a sharp focus on excellence. QAD’s ERP allows manufacturers to adopt built-in industry-specific best practices, simplify inventory processes and transactions, and simulate schedules with planner workbenches. The ERP also offers tracking and tracing of the entire product geology, managing item quality inspection, and running efficient warehouse operations.
It didn’t take much time for QAD ERP to prove its mettle due to which, SOLAFT Filtration Solutions (SOLAFT)—one of the largest suppliers of technical textiles for industrial filtration applications—approached QAD to resolve their challenges. With disjointed processes across the business and each manufacturing site operating as a silo, SOLAFT’s business objectives focused on increasing visibility through consistency and standardization of processes, improving reporting, decision-making, and optimization of inventory management. In order to accomplish these goals and grow as a business, SOLAFT needed to re-engineer their business model, processes, and systems while maintaining a strict budget and timeline. The company needed a stable ERP solution that would allow them to standardize across transcontinental operations without disrupting business momentum. QAD Cloud ERP offered SOLAFT a full-featured ERP system and supported flexible implementation, predictable operating costs, and regular system updates. Upon the transition, QAD Cloud ERP enabled SOLAFT to significantly reduce costs related to managing their ERP IT infrastructure. It also paved the way for future business process improvements to help reach SOLAFT’s new goals. QAD continues to work closely with SOLAFT today to keep them on track for tomorrow.
While the Lopkers explore growth opportunities along with their customers, QAD maintains its focus on innovation and continuous upgrading of their products. This stands as a key differentiator for the company. “Where ERP providers typically sell a single system to run all manufacturing plants, we emphasize on distributed architecture where each plant is given a different platform as per the needs,” says Karl. This approach has enabled QAD to make strong and long lasting relationship with its customers. “Unlike other vendors who try to impose uniform systems on diverse plants, QAD went the freewheeling American cowboy way, allowing each plant to choose what suits them the best,” adds Pam. For the years to come, QAD will continue to give its customers the same benefits and choices to help them accelerate their growth. In addition, the company will also be seen manifesting success for their customers, building relationships with new players, and keeping a close eye on the latest technologies for exploring new frontiers.