Since 1991, Stonewall Kitchen has been setting the pace for the specialty food business. With 8,500+ wholesale accounts worldwide, a catalog and online division, two cooking schools, and nine retail company stores, they know how to do business in every channel.
But what differentiates Stonewall Kitchen from other businesses is that they do not shy away from technology—they truly embrace it. While many companies put off upgrading or customizing their software to fit their changing needs, Stonewall Kitchen understands and appreciates its importance by “walking the walk.” They have invested in software, hardware, and in-house resources that have the training and talent to handle most of their development needs.
As a result of this commitment, they love Microsoft Dynamics NAV. They’ve been on NAV for more than 20 years, most recently moving to NAV 2018—which they also love. But they’re also excited about Business Central. While they are not quite ready to make the move, they are already setting the stage for an upgrade by inventing and completing everything through extensions.
There was a missing piece, though: They needed a partner that was aligned with their vision. “Our partner at the time wasn’t necessarily bad,” said Andrea Hall, IT Director. “However, we had come to the conclusion that they could not meet our needs and that we needed a high-engagement partner that would work with us to tackle our challenges and reach our goals.”
Stonewall Kitchen wanted a partner that would:
- Offer an in-depth support team to work with the company’s internal team to share NAV and business best practices, not just frontline or break/fix support.
- Engage to understand their business objectives and challenges and then recommend ways to solve them.
- Understand the Microsoft vision for products and licensing.
- Believe and invest in knowledge sharing and connecting through events, webinars, etc.
- Position the company to continue with its acquisition-based growth strategy.
In addition, it was essential to keep NAV and the company’s food solution, To-Increase, in place. The partner would need to be able to work with both products.
After 20 years with NAV, the Stonewall Kitchen team was very familiar with the NAV community. With the requirement for the partner to work with To-Increase, the field was narrowed to two partners, including Innovia Consulting.
“We had multiple in-person meetings with each candidate,” said Andrea. “It was important for them to have an in-depth understanding of our business, our IT team, and the areas in which we wanted to engage. Conversely, they needed to demonstrate deep experience—with the ability to be a coach to us, not just an IT provider.”
After speaking with other customers and conducting a trial project, Stonewall Kitchen selected Innovia. They were impressed with sessions presented by Innovia at Summit, the annual NAV User Group conference, as well as what they saw at Innovia’s Customer Conference. It was clear Innovia was technically strong, with expertise in NAV, Microsoft, and other technologies—but most importantly, it was also clear Innovia was completely committed to their success.
After completing the discovery process, Innovia recommended a re-implementation of NAV 2018 as the most expeditious way to reach Stonewall Kitchen’s goals. The process was smooth and efficient, and the team was delighted with the entire experience.
“We began seeing value immediately, not only through the re-implementation, but through many conversations—some planned, some that simply sprang up while working on a particular issue,” said Andrea. “What we really appreciate is that they don’t nickel-and-dime us; while we certainly expect to pay for services, it’s clear that Innovia is focused on adding value, not on generating opportunities to send a bill.”
Above and Beyond
Since then, Innovia and Stonewall Kitchen have continued working together, with Innovia providing support and coaching. The goal is for the technical team at Stonewall Kitchen to be as self-sufficient as possible, with Innovia taking more of a consultative role—while being available for more serious support issues if needed. Innovia visits Stonewall Kitchen twice a year to discuss current needs and strategize on how to address the company’s goals.
Andrea and her team appreciate Innovia’s excellent support, strong development resources, fast response time, and continued attention as they embark on new initiatives. They are also impressed that the Innovia team will reach out to other providers involved in the project on their behalf—taking this burden off their shoulders.
“The success of this project and ongoing relationship is equally due to the team at Stonewall Kitchen,” said Scott Borsodi, Customer Engagement Specialist at Innovia. “From the beginning they were committed, providing dedicated resources, engaging at every step…and treating us as a part of their team. They respect and value our opinion, and we respect the care and expertise they bring to the table.”
Interested in partnering with Innovia Consulting? Give us a call at 800.834.7700 today or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to begin the conversation.