Quality is Ullman’s highest priority, but as the company grew, outdated technology was keeping it from reaching its full potential.
By implementing a cloud-based business solution from Microsoft, Ullman Dynamics has unlocked the flexibility, efficiency, and insight to deliver an even more bespoke service to its growing client base.
Since it was founded in 1998, Ullman Dynamics has been the world leader in suspension boat seats. The company began while Dr. Johan Ullman―a prolific inventor and one of the minds behind Bluetooth technology―served as a navy doctor on board the Swedish destroyer H.M.S. Halland. During his service, Dr. Ullman noticed a back-problem epidemic among sailors, resulting from the shock of high-speed boats impacting the water. The inventor set out to create a new kind of seat to mitigate the risk of back injury, and Ullman Dynamics was born.
Today, Ullman Dynamics serves organizations in more than 70 countries, including the Metropolitan Police Service, the Swedish Coast Guard, and the United States Navy. The company has achieved this success through an unceasing dedication to product excellence, and it has now sold more than 13,000 seats without a single fault.
Carl Magnus Ullman, CEO at Ullman Dynamics and son of Dr. Johan Ullman, explains, “Our clients rely on our seats just like they rely on a bulletproof vest or a helmet, so there’s no room for error.”
The company’s unmatched products have naturally led to increased demand and considerable growth. However, Carl Magnus realized that the business was approaching the limits of its scalability. He knew that the team could do more if they had the right tools, but outdated technology was holding them back.
Outgrowing legacy infrastructure
Recently, Ullman Dynamics has grown by as much as 50 percent per year, and it has had to upsize its warehouse every two years. At the same time, the company’s products have evolved to become more complex and modular. Every component is custom-built―even the bolts are made from a material that can’t be found in stores.
The growing scale and complexity were beginning to put a strain on the company’s existing business solution.
“Our traditional, on-premises ERP solution wasn’t able to handle the complexities of our modern business,” says Carl Magnus. “All our key information was in the heads of the guys doing the purchasing and manufacturing, and we couldn’t grow any further like that. We needed to consolidate our data into a more powerful system that could provide a full overview of our operations.”
When it came to choosing a new business solution, Ullman Dynamics had exacting requirements. Not only did it need a solution with the scalability and availability to support a growing, global enterprise, it also required immense flexibility.
“One big obstacle we had is that everyone works on Mac computers,” says Carl Magnus. “So, the solution had to be platform agnostic. What’s more, we have people working across Europe and in the United States, so it couldn’t be an on-premises system.”
He adds, “We wanted a solution that wouldn’t just be future-proof for the next two years but would actually still be fresh in ten or fifteen years.”
It’s now easier for us to make custom seats that give clients exactly what they want. Such a personalized service wouldn’t be possible without Dynamics 365 Business Central.
Carl Magnus Ullman: CEO
Setting sights on the cloud
With this selection criteria, a cloud solution was the obvious choice. However, cloud-based ERP technology was still maturing at the time of the project. Ullman Dynamics evaluated proposals from a variety of providers, and none offered a solution, or even a product roadmap, that aligned with the seat specialist’s vision―except Microsoft.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central was on the horizon, and―as a revolutionary cloud-based business solution―it was a perfect fit for the company’s requirements. Ullman Dynamics decided to implement Microsoft Dynamics NAV, with the goal of transitioning to Dynamics 365 Business Central when it became available.
Dynamics NAV was a huge step forward for Ullman Dynamics. It provided the functionality and performance to cope with the new operational complexity, and it enabled the business to maintain its growth trajectory. The only thing missing was the flexibility of the cloud.
When Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central was released, Ullman Dynamics turned to its trusted technology partner, NAB Solutions, to handle the implementation. With NAB’s help, the company completed its migration from Dynamics NAV to Dynamics 365 Business Central without any disruption to ongoing operations.
Benefiting staff and users
With Dynamics 365 Business Central in place, Ullman Dynamics is benefiting from an even higher level of functionality than it enjoyed with Dynamics NAV, along with the expanded capabilities of the cloud.
From a flexibility standpoint, Dynamics 365 Business Central is entirely device, location, and platform agnostic. Employees can access a full overview of the business from any device, anywhere in the world―all they need is a web browser.
This benefit has been a gamechanger for sales team productivity since employees no longer have to spend time on internal phone calls tracking down key information. Instead, they can see everything they need in one place, from anywhere, at any time.
Dynamics 365 Business Central has also resulted in a big leap for the production team. The new system eliminates most of the manual work from the acquisition process. Users simply review and approve automatically generated purchasing suggestions.
“Not having to keep every order in their heads gives the guys a lot of mental freedom,” confirms Carl Magnus. “If the order is placed correctly, they can trust that all the appropriate components will be suggested along with it. I’d say that working through Dynamics 365 Business Central in this way has transformed our business.”
All these improvements are ultimately leading to major benefits for Ullman Dynamics’ customers. Increased operational efficiency means faster turnaround times on customer orders, and support for more complex workflows is enabling Ullman Dynamics to build even more bespoke products.
Carl Magnus adds, “It’s now easier for us to make custom seats that give clients exactly what they want. Such a personalized service wouldn’t be possible without Dynamics 365 Business Central.”
Supporting a safer future
“We’re number one in the world everywhere except for the United States.” Carl Magnus concludes. “So now that Dynamics 365 Business Central has broken down the barriers to growth, we are finally fully integrated in the US Market and Ullman Dynamics USA is going to do great things.
He adds, “Our core mission has always been to safeguard the health of police, military, and coast guard professionals so that they can ensure the safety of others―and Dynamics 365 Business Central is helping us support more organizations more effectively than ever.”
Our core mission has always been to safeguard the health of police, military, and coast guard professionals so that they can ensure the safety of others―and Dynamics 365 Business Central is helping us support more organizations more effectively than ever.
Carl Magnus Ullman: CEO