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Mendocino Forest Products - Allweather Wood

Company Facts

  • Location: Windsor, California
  • Industry: Wood Products Manufacturing
  • Number of Locations: 2 Sawmills, 6 Treating Plants, 4 Distribution Centers
  • Web site: www.mfp.com and www.allweatherwood.com

"Although our volumes have increased, we haven't needed to add administrative staff. We were able to manage the business and keep up with normal operations during the transition to Epicor LumberTrack. I think that's a testimony to how easy the software is to learn."
John Hansen, Operations Controller | Mendocino Forest Products

Shared IT resources improve financial controls and reduce costs for sister companies

The dominant supplier of redwood and treated wood products in western US states is not a single company, but an alliance of companies with complementary operations: Mendocino Forest Products, Allweather Wood, Coos Head Forest Products, and Humboldt and Mendocino Redwood Companies. The sister companies pooled resources and introduced supply chain efficiencies to better position themselves competitively and financially. Together, they supply redwood, treated wood, and a variety of other wood products for residential, commercial, and industrial applications.

They use Epicor LumberTrack as their wood products ERP platform. It is the common thread that unites their operations, transactions, and financial information. When asked the benefits of all companies using the same software platform, Jon Le Roi, director of IT for all sister companies, says, "There's visibility to be able to see where product is and to move product between the organizations. From a financial standpoint, having a single set of numbers is key."

ERP software specifically for lumber products

John Hansen, Operations Controller with Mendocino Forest Products and a comanager of the LumberTrack evaluation and implementation project, explains the reasons behind their decision to implement LumberTrack: "We wanted software designed for the lumber products industry, a system that supported the specific requirements of our manufacturing and treating operations. We did a thorough assessment, rating several products on many variables. We selected LumberTrack because of the functionality we saw in the demos, but also because of the breadth of its user base and the positive experience we had with the LumberTrack team."

"Although our volumes have increased, we haven't needed to add administrative staff. LumberTrack has also enabled us to be more efficient in accessing and analyzing transaction data," said Hansen.

Cost savings in IT, EDI, and user training

"We've been able to continually reduce our cost of EDI," said Le Roi. "We were able to consolidate all our EDI into a single environment. We save a few thousand dollars every month by reducing the number of circuits dedicated to EDI, and we retired a server."

"Also, with everyone in the company using a common tool, we get to leverage expertise in the system," said Le Roi. "When the person in distribution is talking to somebody in another company, they can easily go into the system, navigate through it, and exchange concepts to get what they want out of it."

Hansen agrees: "Learning LumberTrack and training people was relatively easy. We were able to manage the business and keep up with normal operations during the transition to LumberTrack. I think that's a testimony to how easy the software is to learn."

Fast, easy analysis, and reporting

"The visibility and accessibility of information has been a huge benefit to our finance team," said Hansen. "We all want instantaneous answers. With LumberTrack, you can filter information to see what you want-for example, what business we've done for a certain period of time for a certain customer. You just click and wait for your screen to refresh, and there is up-to-date information on the SmartGrid."

"The Cube is an excellent resource for people who want to analyze transaction data," said Hansen. "And I really like LumberTrack's interface to Excel. You don't have to be a reporting or SQL expert.

With one right click, your SmartGrid is copied to Excel so that you can do what you want with it. It's tremendous."

But Hansen says the best part is knowing that the data the management team looks at is valid and consistent. "Before people were extracting data using different tools and databases, and we spent a lot of time checking the validity of the data and reconciling discontinuities. Now, that has been eliminated. We're all using the same set of numbers, across multiple companies."

Le Roi agrees, pointing out the benefits of sharing a database: "It's a big benefit to go to a single database with consolidated information. It's much faster to grab all the information for your report. Our monthly financial reporting is much faster. And we've been able to share some customized reports and tools that we developed for one company with the other companies."

Epicor support is "fantastic"

"But probably the biggest benefit to me is the relationship with Epicor," said Le Roi. "I appreciate being able to pick up the phone and talk directly to the developers and support team, as opposed to going through trading partners and agents. The level of support we have gotten has been fantastic."

Hansen agrees: "Without hesitation, I would say that the people we work with at Epicor are highly professional."

About Epicor

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 www.epicor.com.



Success Highlights:

Challenge

  • Operate related businesses on a common wood products software system to take advantage of supply chain efficiencies, share corporate resources

Solution

  • Epicor ® LumberTrack™

Benefits

  • A single wood products software system with visibility into inventories and work orders at all sister companies
  • Better financial controls
  • Reduced IT and EDI costs
  • No administrative staff added for higher volume, easier employee training
  • Easier employee training

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