Darley Defense is a family-owned and operated business, with headquarters in Itasca, Illinois. Since 1908, the company has been dedicated to serving the world’s Fire and Emergency Services with a focus on firefighting pumps, water and foam modules, robotics, and other firefighting equipment, as well as specialized training for the fire, emergency, and tactical/ defense markets. Throughout its growth, Darley Defense has continued to operate as a small, family-owned company.
About 15 years ago, Darley Defense was awarded its first large-scale government contract for supplying special operations and fire and emergency services. This offered the potential for exponential growth but necessitated technical upgrades to the company’s systems to be able to align themselves with the DoD’s standards for shipping, labeling and invoicing.
Darley Defense began utilizing an EDI program, which worked at first and allowed the fledgling contract work to grow. However, the program wouldn’t integrate with Darley’s ERP system, and the increasing demands for manual data entry was requiring more and more of the staff’s time to complete. Additionally, the invoice submission process for receiving payment for work completed was slow, requiring Darley to take out loans to compensate vendors and pay the associated interest charges.
- Automate data entry
- Eliminate human error
- Free up staff time to focus on growth
- Expedite payments for completed work
How Odyssey helps
Darley Defense was aware of Odyssey, as they had previously enlisted Odyssey’s help with shipping. After realizing their current system in place was not working as best it could, Darley Defense decided to fully utilize Odyssey’s platform.
Odyssey helps Darley by essentially removing the middleman when it comes to data entry. With no more manual entry, all possibilities of human error are removed. There’s also a shorter window for receiving payments with Odyssey’s direct link to government payment systems. Labeling, shipping and invoicing is all handled by Odyssey in one shot. Odyssey also allows Darley to bid directly on open market contracts with the DLA.
By integrating Odyssey’s systems, Darley Defense introduced a new world of efficiency into its operations. While previously, the staff time spent 50% of its time invoicing and fixing problems created by manual data entry, that time is now free to go after additional contracts and generate additional revenue.
Cost savings were realized almost immediately. At certain points before utilizing Odyssey, Darley Defense reported outstanding accounts receivable of approximately $90M. Now, the increased speed of receiving payments for their work, with some payments received as soon as the order ships, means Darley Defense no longer requires loans with interest fees to pay its vendors.
The additional free time, along with having the cash reserves on hand, has allowed Darley Defense to be agile and grow its footprint. The company is currently preparing to bid another 10-year large contract with DLA troop support.
“While I was previously working seven days a week, I’m back to more of a normal schedule and able to focus on other things than just getting paid for our work,” said Defense Contracts Manager for Darley Defense, Kristin Emery. “In the one year since we’ve gone live with the Odyssey system, I’ve seen more benefits and results than in our almost 10 years with the previous system. We see Odyssey as the future of being able to handle these large government contracts. No matter what is required to complete the shipment and receive our payment, we know we can depend on Odyssey for that.”