Modernizing Your LBM Software System: When is the Right Time? (Part 1)


There are many challenges that lumber and building materials (LBM) owners are facing right now. Many owners are looking to retire—they've been running a business for a number of years and now want to bring the younger generations up-to-speed on what it takes to successfully run an LBM business. Over the years there has been a significant increase in technologies available to smooth the business management transition process and knowing which products are required to have complete business visibility and integration of branch operations is key. It all begins with reviewing your software system.

One of the first questions to consider is, "What’s the cost of keeping a legacy system?" You use a legacy system and have been a successful company with it. But is there something you’re missing? You may or mayChris Routhe_ business process manager at Millard Lumber_ not realize that on a legacy system, to some degree, it somewhat "isolates" areas of your business in terms of information and how it can be shared. It's more limited at connecting with suppliers, linking information with customers, etc. The reality is, with legacy system inefficiencies, your attention is focused on manual processes so it's hard to turn your focus to growth.

One of the most important things I’ve heard from an LBM dealer is that it's a significant investment of time and money to go to a new system, but it’s worth it. As an industry, we need to attract and retain the next generation of talent alongside experienced employees, especially as the economy continues to recover. Modern and innovative technology is something that next-generation employees care about when they join a company—harnessing new technology in business equates to investing in the future.

LBM dealers have unique operational needs that require modern business management software to compete successfully. Here are a few examples of LBM dealers that have made the switch from a legacy system to the Epicor® BisTrack™ solution:

Chris Routhe, business process manager at Millard Lumber: "We switched to BisTrack software in 2012. Business Intelligence is a tool that was important for us coming from ECS Pro because, since the economy turned around, we've been taking on many large projects that span various dollar ranges. It’s important for us to know where we're making money and where we're not making money. In the ECS Pro days, to capture a job costing of an entire large commercial job we had to crack open every single invoice and type it into an Excel file. With BisTrack, we easily created a dashboard that would do it for us. We're now able to see everything at the click of a button. We also track many other things that we couldn't with ECS Pro. For example, we do daily monitoring of inventory tracking and account adjustments."

Read the full Millard Lumber success story here.

Sunroc Building Materials _Scott Bloomquist, system manager at Sunroc Building Materials: "The implementation process of Epicor BisTrack software was much smoother than we expected because both the BisTrack and ECS Pro products are under the same umbrella company. The coordination between the ECS Pro staff and the BisTrack staff was simple—at least it seemed like that from our end. Our implementer was highly skilled, very responsive, and took time to really understand our business needs and to tailor solutions in BisTrack to meet those needs. Because of the capabilities in BisTrack there are many things we can do now—like improve margin three points in the first year, price better, and tailor our commissions program. BisTrack provides the tools we need to operate more efficiently."

Read the full Sunroc Building Materials success story here.

Posted by Kevin Hodge, Director, Product Development and Product Management, LBM, Epicor Software


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