• Aug
  • 17
  • 2017

Case Study Q&A with APC Direct of St. Louis, Missouri

Midnight customer, Jeff Bradley from APC Direct, has agreed to share his experience with the Midnight software package. Below are the highlights of a recent Q&A regarding the recent implementation. Questions are shown after ‘Q:’. Jeff’s answers are shown after ‘JB:’.

Q: What modules did you initially purchase?

JB: We run the full Midnight package for Data Collection, Shopfloor, and BCC integration. BCC was added on about a year after we started using Midnight.

Q: What were some of the issues you experienced during the setup/installation and how were they resolved?

JB: The initial process was fairly simple, but we did quickly realize that the way we were conducting our business in terms of invoicing/pricing etc. was very basic and didn’t lend itself simply to migrating to Midnight. We spent a fair amount of time back-calculating how we priced jobs and inventory items. We didn’t have to do that, but we decided from the beginning that if we needed to change the way we do our business to conform to how Midnight was setup, that we would do so. Our thought on that decision was that Midnight seemed to be very logically setup and it would be easier moving forward for updates etc if we didn’t have to modify the program to meet our needs…or at least as little as necessary.


Q: What are some of the issues you have experienced since installation and how were they resolved?

JB: We had some infrastructure issues to resolve for WiFi in the warehouse, but that was an IT issue. Also, we wanted Midnight to communicate with our presort software so that we could completely get off of our old system and some of the antiquated processes that it used. When we started our company, we just adapted as necessary and made up our own ways of doing things, so migrating to such an all inclusive system like Midnight really exposed a lot of old issues in our company. Like I said earlier, rather than just using bits and pieces of Midnight to fit into our hodgepodge system, we were committed to change what we had to so we could adapt. That takes a lot from a corporate standpoint to have faith and trust in those of us responsible for getting Midnight up and running…everyone had to leave their egos at the door and come in every day optimistic and willing to go “all in” and trust the process. The crew at VS was amazingly patient and helpful in getting us through that process. We reinvented our company thanks to them and also feel that we brought new challenges and helped find solutions to help them grow as well…part of what made this upgrade so incredibly valuable.


Q: Are there any modules you purchased initially that you could have done without?  If so, which?

JB: Don’t think so


Q: Estimate the amount of time it took from purchase until installation was completed.

JB: Once installed, we took about a week or two to get things about 80% running. Mind you, that 80% got us about 150% further along than where we were. At 80%, we fixed almost all of our inventory issues, had much more useful and accurate job tickets and had an inspired crew. Things were a bit of a cluster back there with inventory and they were excited for the change. In the past, it would take about 6-8 hours to count and reconcile inventory and was almost never correct. After we installed Midnight, implemented the iPad and bar codes, we can now do a full inventory in less than an hour and are pretty much dead on accurate the majority of the time. Not only is it faster and more accurate, but we have 10x the inventory now than we had 2 years ago when we made the decision to go with Midnight.


Q:  What 3 things stand out to you as the most beneficial of this software?

JB: Inventory, Reporting, Job tickets


Q: How would you rate the responsiveness of Support when there are any issues?

JB: Exceptional…I really can’t say enough about the VS team.


Q: Because this is SAAS in the cloud, have you experienced any lags or downtime? Can you provide average frequency?

JB: I don’t believe we’ve ever had any real issues.  The lags and downtime have been more of a result of our internal network and WiFi issues. I think in the 18 months or so since we’ve been using it, we’ve had maybe one to two times where something didn’t respond and it was immediately resolved with no loss of production or slowdowns.


Q: Is there anything else that you could share that might influence another company’s decision whether to purchase or not?

JB: Without knowing the intricacies of a business, it’s had to say what the road will be like for you. What I can say is that if you and the team at Virtual Systems decide that Midnight is the right solution for you, any hurdles or issues along the way will be handled in a professional manner that I really have never seen from any company I’ve ever worked with. I spent 22 years in the architectural industry and one of my roles was to evaluate, install, migrate and train staff on all new software. So many times, products are sold to companies, installed and then you’re on your own because the focus is to SELL. Virtual Systems has built their company the right way and know that if they don’t take care of their customers, they can’t grow…they grow because they listen to what we need and adapt. As I said, I don’t know if Midnight is right for your company, that’s something they can help you with. I do know that you’re in great hands with them and for our company to completely reinvent ourselves after 15 years because we believed in Midnight and the VS team says a hell of a lot in my opinion.