McFarlanes' Quickly Bounces Back After Fire with Epicor Support and Hosted Solution
- Location: Sauk City, Wisconsin
- Industry: HWHC/Farm/Home
- Number of Employees: 200+
- Web site:
- Affiliation: True Value and Wheatbelt
"Epicor was outstanding, and through this tragedy we truly found out the importance of partnerships."
John McFarlane, President | McFarlane Manufacturing Co, Inc.
What began as Wisconsin Tractor Company in 1917 has since diversified and expanded into multiple divisions under McFarlane Manufacturing Co, Inc. The company features a True Value and farm supply store, farm implement dealership, tire sales and service center, agriculture tillage equipment manufacturing, and structural steel fabricating divisions. Still operating with the same commitment to serve customers the best way possible, McFarlanes' is currently running under the watchful eye of third-generation family members.
Disaster Recovery with Epicor and Community
McFarlanes' True Value hardware store and the entire retail facility went up in flames on May 20, 2013-suffering a disaster that destroyed the main building, inventory, server, and a number of peripherals. Fortunately with the support and coordination of the Sauk Prairie, Wisconsin community and strategic Epicor teams, McFarlanes' was able to quickly get back on its feet. "To be honest, when I got the emergency call I thought it was a false alarm," said John McFarlane, president of McFarlanes'. "When I arrived on scene, I saw the fire trucks, the police, and then the smoke-we spent the next few hours in shock. Yet, we were blown away by the immediate outpouring of support we've received from our community and Epicor. We not only immediately planned to rebuild after this disaster, but we did everything we could to restore the services our customers have come to expect over the last three generations."
McFarlanes' was running again three days after the devastation. The quick actions to get the business back up required coordinated team efforts from Epicor licensed platform specialists (LPS), technical support, sales, and networking. Damaged hardware needed to be replaced, firewalls had to be upgraded in all three locations, and the business' data was to be migrated to the Epicor Eagle Hosting solution. "There was a lot of work to be done in order for our doors to reopen," said McFarlane. "Epicor was outstanding, and through this tragedy we truly found out the importance of partnerships."
A Glimpse at the Timeline
|May 20, 2013|| 10:52 p.m., fire began and alarms sounded. |
|May 21, 2013 || 5:30 a.m., fire department had fire controlled. |
|May 21, 2013 || 9:30 a.m., Epicor notified of fire. |
|May 21, 2013 || McFarlanes' signed to implement Epicor Eagle Hosting. Offsite backup tapes delivered to Epicor datacenters. |
|May 23, 2013 || Up and running on Epicor Eagle Hosting. |
|June 1, 2013 || Back in business in a new [temporary] location. |
|October 5, 2013 || Grand re-opening celebration held for the public. |
Preparation Pays Off
Operating the business with Epicor solutions for more than 20 years, McFarlanes' understands the importance of disaster preparation. "One of our saving graces was that we had backup tapes offsite, so the only data information we lost was from the day of the fire," said Rauel LaBreche, information services director at McFarlanes'. "I would caution every business to seriously consider implementing a business disaster plan that includes regularly replacing and storing tapes offsite-it's a small task that in return could save your business."
Immediately following the fire, McFarlanes' was one of the first Epicor customers to implement Epicor Eagle Hosting. "Epicor really made our recovery so much smoother," said LaBreche. "We are impressed with the first-class service we received in order to get the business going again. With a quick call to our Epicor LPS, we had the hosting solution implementation in progress the same day the fire occurred. All we had to do was send our backup tapes to the Epicor datacenters-52 hours after the fire, all three of our locations were operating on Epicor Eagle Hosting. With the business a bit askew since the fire, we've been grateful to be operating with this solution. The cloud-based system is much more efficient, we are extremely happy with the solidity of the connection, and take comfort in the encryption level of our data, as well as the robust authentication process. We don't even need to worry about backup tapes or system updates anymore-it's all done for us automatically. This gives us peace of mind after the tragedy we experienced."
Reporting Pulls Through
McFarlanes' was required to file its insurance claim immediately after the disaster and was very concerned about submitting complete information. "We had numerous business people comment that we would struggle dealing with the insurance company," said McFarlane. "Fortunately, by having the Epicor Eagle viewers available, the reporting went effortlessly and we were able to produce all of the inventory and business data reports the insurance company needed. This proved to be very beneficial because all of our physical materials had been destroyed. Because we managed our backup tapes offsite, we were able to show the insurance company all the reports we had and they accepted everything."
Success After the Fire
Four months after the fire, McFarlanes' True Value officially re-opened its doors to the public. On October 5, 2013, the company held a "McFarnaval" celebration in honor of its grand re-opening. "During the first few months we were operating with only a few tables and a small variety of products-increasing our inventory displays daily with significant support from True Value personnel," said McFarlane. "Our new [temporary] location is quite a change for our customers. It now features a greater variety of products, higher ceilings, better lighting, and wider aisles that are much easier to navigate compared to our original hardware store. We can once again offer the services to our customers that they have come to appreciate."
"We have really come full circle since the fire and because of our partnership with Epicor, the sky is the limit," said McFarlane. "We are very thankful for all the support Epicor has provided and will continue to provide going forward."
Epicor Software Corporation is a global leader delivering business software solutions to the manufacturing, distribution, retail, and service industries. With more than 40 years of experience, Epicor has more than 20,000 customers in over 150 countries. Epicor solutions enable companies to drive increased efficiency and improve profitability. With a history of innovation, industry expertise and passion for excellence, Epicor inspires customers to build lasting competitive advantage. Epicor provides the single point of accountability that local, regional, and global businesses demand. For more information, visit