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Alan McIlvain Company

Company Facts

  • Location: Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania
  • Industry: Lumber and Building Materials
  • Specialty: Hardwood Lumber, Millwork and Wholesale Distribution
  • Number of Locations: 1
  • Website: www.alanmcilvain.com

“We looked at all the other systems, and it wasn’t a hard decision. LumberTrack software just seemed the best to us, and has the best reputation.”

Lan McIlvain, Operations Manager | Alan McIlvain Company


A tradition of offering high value

The Alan McIlvain Company has provided its customers in Pennsylvania with hardwood lumber products for more than two centuries. Founded in Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania in 1798, the company’s longevity is a testament to how seven generations of the McIlvain family have kept the company growing and successful by being in tune with their customers’ needs.

Today, the Alan McIlvain Company continues to thrive, based on its longstanding commitment to provide outstanding knowledge, skill and quality products, and also offer customers more value. With the latter especially in mind, the Alan McIlvain Company installed Epicor LumberTrack software to improve customer responsiveness and service.

Real-time inventory data improves customer service

LumberTrack is a leading software solution for the wood products industry. By centralizing inventory management and integrating sales orders, purchasing, production and customer delivery data to automatically update inventory information, LumberTrack provides accurate and real-time inventory. As a result, the order status for each and every order is available to users—from the front office to mobile users in the Alan McIlvain yard.

“We looked at all the other systems, and it wasn’t a hard decision,” recalls Lan McIlvain, operations manager, Alan McIlvain Company. “LumberTrack software just seemed the best to us, and has the best reputation.”

“Before, we couldn’t look up individual bundles to tell a customer what exact widths or lengths would be in a bundle without calling out to the yard,” McIlvain recalls. “Orders were printed on paper and someone had to come to the office to pick up orders. Sometimes there were write-up errors; sometimes orders would get lost. LumberTrack has made it easier for Alan McIlvain’s sales team to provide great customer service, and also sell more profitably, by closing orders faster and pre-selling inventory still in the kiln.”

“We can tell a customer whether or not we have the stock to do an order right there while they’re on the phone, and get the customer what he wants faster. We have a lot more detail in our inventory to see individual bundles rather than just bulk volume,” says McIlvain.

Detailed costing improves operations

Once an order is placed, LumberTrack software automatically provides the order information, allocates and updates inventory and creates work orders and shipping documentation. “Orders get out to the yard a lot faster, so it shortens our lead time,” recalls McIlvain. “There’s an audit trail with everything so you can always go back and track what was done.”

LumberTrack extensive reporting capabilities allow McIlvain and his staff to generate reports easily and quickly, helping to keep costs in line. “We have ten times more data than we had in the past. We look at things from a much different angle now. We used to go blind on what our costs were. Now we can go back and audit every single job in millwork, see what our waste is and know what things are really costing us.”

Information provides competitive advantage

Recent changes in the economy have prompted Alan McIlvain’s customers to be more demanding when it comes to the orders: the LumberTrack solution has given the company an advantage in keeping customers happy. “We can certainly answer questions faster and we have a much more detailed view of our inventory,” says McIlvain. “The orders are more complicated now. A lot of other suppliers are probably not as well equipped as we are to deal with increasingly difficult orders.”

Further, monitoring their sales volumes is easier and more realtime than before. “Instead of waiting until the end of the month to see how we did, we can look up and see how much we sold on a particular day and where we stand in the month. That’s a nice thing.”

As for anyone else in the wood products industry considering LumberTrack software, McIlvain adds “I’ve taken people on tours here looking at LumberTrack and I always highly recommend it.”



Success Highlights:

Challenges

  • Providing customers accurate, timely inventory information
  • Unable to look up specific bundle and stock requests
  • Limited reporting capability

Solution

  • Epicor® LumberTrack

Benefits

  • Close orders faster using detailed real-time inventory and bundle information
  • Pre-sell inventory
  • Fulfill orders faster with fewer mistakes
  • Detailed product costing and millwork job costing

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