Austin Hardwoods | Customer Success
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Austin Hardwoods

Company Facts

  • Location: Denver, Colorado
  • Industry: Lumber and Building Materials
  • Specialty: Hardwood
  • Sales Profile: 40% industrial, 30% contractor, 30% retail
  • Number of Locations: 1
  • Website: www.austinhardwoods.com

“Epicor BisTrack has definitely paid for itself. We made a lot of pricing adjustments because we were able to figure out exactly how much it cost us to run a machine. I know it saved us thousands and thousands of dollars.”

Chris Stypinski, Vice President and Owner | Austin Hardwoods

 

The owner-operator of Austin Hardwoods says that Epicor BisTrack software is one of the best investments they’ve ever made. It saves time, making employees more productive and effective. It provides outstanding inventory accuracy and cost data from their value-added manufacturing operations. Most importantly, BisTrack software serves up instant access to reliable information so that Austin Hardwoods outshines their competition and expands their retail customer base.

“Nobody in our line of business in Denver can do what we can do,” says Randy Hass, general manager at Austin Hardwoods who believes that BisTrack has helped Austin Hardwoods expand the retail customer base of their hardwood moulding, sheet goods, and woodworking supplies store. “We don’t have an IT guy here, but BisTrack is easy to operate and comes with so much in the standard package. I love that BisTrack can make a bunch of lumberyard guys like us look really good.”

“BisTrack is instrumental in our customer service,” explains Chris Stypinski, vice president and owner of Austin Hardwoods. “It’s pretty impressive when someone calls to ask about a specific type of South American hardwood, and within a couple of seconds we can e-mail them the data sheet.”

Stypinski agrees that BisTrack software allows them to answer customer inquiries with confidence: “We have so much better grasp on our inventory now. If BisTrack says we have 100 board feet out there, we probably have 100 board feet!” Hass adds, “Everything is in BisTrack in lineal feet and by the piece. So I can tell a customer immediately how many 14’ lengths I have.”

Fast responses grow customer base

“It’s a strategy for sales,” Hass continues. “With all the data and information available quickly, we can get quotes out faster. If they get what they need within minutes, customers won’t pick up the phone and call other guys. Who’s got the time?”

“We’re gaining customer base,” says Hass, explaining that they’ve seen an increase in retail customers—the remodelers, the walk-in, the do-it-yourselfer, handyman traffic—resulting in an increase from 75 tickets per day to 200 tickets per day. “There’s no way we would have been able to handle the volume of tickets we write today without BisTrack.”

BisTrack also manages four separate pricing structures for their different customer segments. Hass adds: “We make a higher margin on retail than we do on an industrial customer, so our margins are up because we’re able to manage inventory and our customer base better.”

Efficient, organized and effective team

Austin Hardwoods uses BisTrack to track sales people’s performance. “It gives us great data, broken down by area and by product line. It allows us to guide our sales people to service their customers better in certain areas,” says Hass.

Stypinski concurs that BisTrack has improved the efficiency and effectiveness of their sales people. “We have six counter sales people, and they all have their own dashboards showing outstanding quotes, back orders, orders on hold and out for delivery, collections. It keeps them organized and reminds them to follow up on things.”

On the road, BisTrack helps Austin Hardwood’s outside sales people make more productive sales calls. “You can be at a customer’s place and view everything that you’d see here at the store,” says Hass. “They can prepare for the meetings by looking at the information stored in BisTrack, check the customer’s website, see what projects they’re doing, what products they’re buying, their financial statistics. Once inside with the customer, they can view real-time inventory, and can place orders right in front of them.”

“We’ve even used Journey Planner to improve sales trip routing to reduce mileage,” adds Hass.

Time-saving tools for management

“I love, love, love the dashboards,” Stypinski exclaims. “I use one for accounts receivable, that sorts aging accounts from oldest to newest so that I pay attention to the worst accounts first. And everything is integrated. I can right-click on a sales invoice, and see if there was a purchase order, or go to scanned documents to see which guy pulled it in the yard or which guy delivered it. It’s a huge time saver resolving problems. I save easily an hour a day.”

“In purchasing, BisTrack generates a report of suggested orders based on the inventory min/max levels we set up,” Stypinski continues. “The store purchasing guy pulls that up, and…bam! It creates the purchase order for him.”

Both Stypinski and Hass like the messaging feature in BisTrack. “I don’t have to track somebody down. I can just send them a message,” says Stypinski. Hass adds that it’s a bonus to be able to stay in touch with the business while away. “Saturday, when I don’t work at the store, I can turn on my laptop and look at what’s going on. I can send messages without having to open e-mail or make a phone call. I was able to keep up while I was away for a week. It’s a simple thing, but for us it’s light years ahead of where we were.”

Savings from near perfect functionality

BisTrack has also brought unprecedented inventory control to Austin Hardwoods. “Our inventory control has never been better. The last couple of counts, we were within one tenth of a percent! It’s so close it’s amazing,” Hass says. “We used to be off $40,000 – $90,000. We’d spend time recounting, making adjustments, sometimes we’d write it off. It was a bookkeeping nightmare. These days, that would trigger an audit.”

Stypinski explains the source of their inventory imbalance was the way they tracked inventory at their milling and moulding shop. “We built a generic waste factor into everything we did,” she explains. “It was an average. So we never knew how much we made on a specific order.”

“Now we know exactly how much wood we used and what we have remaining. We adjust the inventory right then and there,” Stypinski continues. “We made a lot of pricing adjustments after we went onto BisTrack, because we were able to figure out exactly how much it cost us per foot to run a machine. I can’t put a dollar figure on it, but I know it saved us thousands and thousands of dollars.”

Impeccable cost savings

“BisTrack is one of the top three investments we’ve ever made,” Hass comments. “It doesn’t produce money the way our equipment and machinery does. It saves money. It lowers our operational costs, and that turns into a gain for us.”

Hass also points out that BisTrack allowed them to cope with their shift in business to a stronger retail customer base and a higher volume of tickets. “Without BisTrack, I would have had to double our personnel.”

“BisTrack is one of the best investments we’ve ever made,” Stypinski says, acknowledging that it was a very difficult decision to make just as the economy was starting to slow. “It has definitely paid for itself.”



Success Highlights:

Challenges

  • Offer outstanding customer service to mixed pro/retail clientele to maintain competitive advantage while operating efficiently and profitably

Solution

  • Epicor® BisTrack™

Benefits

  • Competitive advantage of outstanding responsiveness and customer service
  • Processing 2-1/2 times more orders with same staff
  • Better support for retail
  • Inventory accuracy within 0.1%
  • Thousands of dollars saved by knowing cost of manufactured products

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