- Location: Monroe, Washington
- Industry: Lumber and Building Materials
- Number of Locations: 3
- Website: www.chinooklumber.com
“It took about $0.5 million in inventory off our books, and we add an incremental 1 percentage point of margin on our bottom line.”
Joost Douwes, Vice President and General Manager | Chinook Lumber
Epicor BisTrack has become part of Chinook Lumber’s culture, according to Joost Douwes, the company’s general manager and one the first and longeststanding users of Epicor BisTrack software. Chinook Lumber re-designed their processes using efficient Epicor BisTrack workflows, role-based dashboards, business intelligence, and analytics tools. Today, they have not only streamlined business activities, but have introduced cost-saving programs such as Vendor Managed Inventory and online customer account access, which help Chinook Lumber improve profitability while improving customer service.
BisTrack helps Chinook Lumber to do more with less
Chinook Lumber users immediately discovered efficiencies, including a dramatic reduction in paper flow thanks to BisTrack software’s Related Documents feature,which links all related documents to one another for easy search and retrieval.
Joost Douwes, vice president and general manager at Chinook Lumber, also praises the way BisTrack software guides users in their job functions: “One of the big strengths of BisTrack software is the workflow it drives and the way it helps you identify the workload and the volume of work outstanding at each function, from picking to shipping.”
Douwes says that Chinook needs 33% fewer purchasing staff for the same volume of purchases due to BisTrack software features such as Suggested Ordering, which streamlines inventory replenishment for pre-negotiated suppliers.
Further, Chinook Lumber saw improved productivity and performance by configuring BisTrack software’s environment based on the tasks and responsibilities of key functional roles (retail sales, contractor sales, inventory, AP/AR, executive).
“We created Smartviews and Dashboards for each role, to push data to them so they can do their jobs better in real-time,” Douwes explains. “They get all the information they need so customer responses are faster and better. We’ve seen better fill rates because of it.”
VMI program offloads $0.5 million of inventory costs
Chinook Lumber also established a Vendor-Managed Inventory (VMI) program, whereby a vendor owns the inventory on Chinook’s yard until it is sold. BisTrack software’s flexible and powerful inventory and cost management models make VMI product sales easy to track and transparent to sales staff and the customer. About 10% of Chinook’s 17,000 products are part of the VMI program. “It took about $0.5 million in inventory off our books, and we add an incremental 1 percentage point of margin on our bottom line,” Douwes reports.
Improved customer service contractors with online account information
Douwes was impressed with BisTrack software’s modern technology platform and integrated web services. “We saw BisTrack as a platform we could build on to be a better partner in our contractors’ endeavors,” says Douwes. “Through the BisTrack Web Track online portal, we give customers access to their order information on our system. BisTrack software gives them credible reports on their jobs, which leads to better analysis of their projects and helps them distinguish themselves in the marketplace.”
“We want to provide our customers with more than just sticks of wood,” says Douwes. “Giving our customers access to their project order information is just part of our commitment to exemplary customer service.”
User community fosters collaboration
“If you want to take advantage of today’s technology to make your processes better, BisTrack software is the answer,” says Douwes. “Moreover, the people who develop and support BisTrack software have a lot of passion and excitement for their product. They have an active development strategy and the BisTrack solution will continue to evolve.”
Douwes himself has a lot of passion for the product. As cofounder of the BisTrack software user forum, he shares his ideas and tips on reports, Smartviews and other best practices with the user community. That spirit of collaboration has raised the competitiveness of the entire BisTrack software user community.