Helix Linear Technologies: Mobilized for Efficiency

You probably have no idea just how often you depend on the products of Helix Linear Technologies, but when you do, it’s frequently in a situation that affects your health or safety. That’s because the company’s precision lead and acme screws enable the reliable performance of a wide variety of medical and electronic devices—from syringe pumps and hospital beds to MRI machines, security cameras, and airplane seats. 
A wholly owned subsidiary of Nook Industries, Helix Linear was established in 2010 to serve some key—yet underserved and growing—markets for lead and acme screws around the world. But rather than adopt Nook’s existing ERP system, Helix wanted to start with a cloud-based system that would provide the kind of flexibility, mobility and seamless integration with Salesforce that they needed from the get-go—none of which Nook’s legacy system could offer. Helix selected Kenandy.“With Kenandy’s cloud-based ERP, we can do things that just aren’t possible with a legacy, on-premise system,” says Chris Nook, CEO of Helix Linear Technologies. “Because it’s native to the Salesforce1 Platform, Kenandy enables us to leverage the enormous Salesforce ecosystem, while also delivering unparalleled flexibility and mobility benefits.”

Anytime, Anywhere Access to Critical Data

For a sales rep, being able to track orders and check inventory out in the field in real time is a real advantage. Using Kenandy on mobile devices, Helix’s sales team has instant access to all the information they need, wherever they are—right at a customer’s workbench, for example. “Our sales people are using mobile devices to manage their sales opportunities and check inventory and orders,” explains Nook.

When customers—almost all engineers—are working on prototypes, they need to know how quickly they can get delivery of a particular screw or nut. Armed with Kenandy on a mobile device, Helix sales people can tell customers—on the spot—if that part is in stock. Helix machinists back at the shop also use Kenandy on their tablets, so they can easily pull up work orders—which now have drawings attached—and quickly produce the required parts.

“Our goal from a service standpoint is to deliver a product very fast—a freaky kind of fast,” says Nook. “With Kenandy integrated with Salesforce, we can help customers turn a prototype around in days rather than weeks or months. Our competitors simply can’t do that.”

Kenandy Makes Customization Easier, Which Makes Customers Happier

Not only does Kenandy provide increased flexibility and mobility, it also enables easy customization for both customer-facing and internal applications. For example, if a certain nut or screw isn’t in stock—or even in the Helix catalog—customers can rapidly configure the particular part they need to their exact specifications, thanks to the CAD engine that Helix has integrated with Kenandy and Salesforce.

“Most of our orders are online, and 90% of them require some customization, so we integrated our website, our CAD engine, Salesforce, and Kenandy,” says Nook. “Our clients come in through our website, configure their product, download the CAD model, and request a quote. The process generates a lead, which eventually becomes an opportunity in Salesforce, and then a sales order in Kenandy. Now we have one seamless process that gives us real-time visibility into all aspects of our business, from order to cash.”

Internally, too, Helix employees can configure Kenandy to meet their own specific needs. “Kenandy conforms to the user rather than the other way around as with other ERP systems,” says Nook. “Everyone on our team can get—and add or change—exactly the fields they want, and people can easily trade views for increased productivity. Kenandy makes it all so much faster and easier.”

Instead of having to go through at least three different screens to get an answer, as was the case in the past, the right information can now be accessed quickly via a single screen. “With Kenandy, we get answers faster, which means we can respond to customers faster,” says Nook.

Made in America for Global Markets

Following in the footsteps of his dad, Joseph H. Nook, Jr., who started the parent company back in 1969, Chris Nook now runs the Ohio-based Helix—just twenty minutes down the road from Nook Industries—using the highly integrated, made-in-America manufacturing model initiated and maintained by his father before him. And while Helix products are proudly made in America, Chris Nook is also proud that the company has built a reputation for delivering outstanding quality worldwide.

“One of the things that my dad started years ago was integrating and controlling the manufacturing process itself,” explains Nook. “As a result, nobody else makes the tooling for our parts, which has allowed us to manufacture much more precise screws than anyone else in the industry. It gives us a real strategic advantage in terms of product quality and delivery.”

Given Helix’s focus on made-in-America quality, it’s not surprising that they’ve teamed with U.S.-based and quality-focused Kenandy for all their ERP needs going forward. “I am a firm believer that the real innovation is still happening here in the United States,” says Nook. “And also, of course, on the cloud.”


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