- Location: Sparta, Wisconsin
- Industry: Lumber and Building Materials
- Number of Locations: 5
- Website: www.lakestateslumber.com
“Overall, we are pleased with BisTrack software. It allows each office to work more efficiently and improves communication between the five locations."
Andy Kick, Chief Financial Officer | Lake States Lumber
Lake States Lumber Company is a manufacturer and wholesale distributor that services a network of quality building material dealers in Wisconsin and Minnesota. Since 1979, the company has grown to five locations and 160 employees thanks to a reputation for offering value-added services, a wide variety of inventories, and unmatched commitment to quality service.
Lake States knew it needed to upgrade business software to keep pace with the ongoing growth and strategic initiatives at the company. They selected Epicor BisTrack software to help them achieve those goals.
Software for growth areas: FSC products, manufacturing, multiple locations
Lake States requires business software that tracks FSC product in compliance with its chain-of-customer certification from the Forest Stewardship Council. Furthermore, with a fair amount of transfers between its locations, finding a system that could provide real-time company-wide inventory tracking was of paramount importance.
“The BisTrack Journey Planner module had the ability to coordinate activities between our locations, and we really liked that feature,” said Andy Kick, Chief Financial Officer. “As we also do some light manufacturing, the work order process was another nice feature. Most importantly, we know BisTrack software is on a platform we can continue to grow with, and that it will have plenty of capacity for us.”
Industry expertise adds value to implementation
During Lake States’ implementation period, BisTrack software support staff were available every step of the way.
“We have a lot of similar products and lumber, so we spent a lot of time defining and consolidating our product codes. We also spent a lot of time looking at how the accounts and the customer accounts should best be setup,” said Kick. “The Epicor team was great. They were very willing to work with us and were always receptive. They have quality, knowledgeable, professional people on board. Our implementation and rollout went much better than we had anticipated.”
Inventory accuracy and visibility improved
One of the earliest benefits was BisTrack software’s ability to keep more accurate inventory.
“With our old system, we’d have inventory items show up as a negative quantity on hand when you invoiced before receiving it or processing the work order. Now with BisTrack software, we can manage the receiving and the work order processes better, thanks to better criteria and security options,” says Kick.
“System permission setups allow us to prohibit any user from invoicing into the negative. As a result, people are required to investigate a problem before just invoicing and making stock go negative. That allows us to keep better, more accurate inventories. In fact, security has been great in terms of being able to really define and be specific about what you allow certain people to do. I think security is a real strength of the BisTrack solution,” said Kick.
“Another benefit we’ve seen is the amount of information that is available. The product histories are very good. Whether it’s the Stock Transaction report, the Stock Movement report or the Product Price History, it shows the history on every item. That’s critical in terms of costing of our inventory. Even though we’re just a wholesale operation, it’s critical we manage those costs and adjust them when we need to. Just to be able to manage that process is great,” says Kick.
“The BisTrack solution also saves us a lot of time when it comes to researching things, finding an audit trail, or locating history on a particular transaction. Related documents, and scanned documents have all made a difference,” says Kick.
“Overall, we are pleased with BisTrack software. It allows each office to work more efficiently and improves communication between the five locations. In addition to the product, the Epicor team has been really good to work with, especially in terms of being receptive to ideas for enhancements. Many additional tools have been developed in the BisTrack solution that have helped tremendously. The support has been excellent and there are continual enhancements so it’s always evolving. We see ourselves on BisTrack software for many years to come and look forward to the expected growth and expansion of the functionality,” says Kick.