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Star Building Materials

Star Building Materials operates two divisions: the Calgary division operates a lumberyard and truss plant, and the Winnipeg division operates a lumberyard, truss plant, and packaged sales. Each operation functions as an independent profit center, which is consolidated for financial reporting. Ken Crockett, vice president of the Calgary division says, “Epicor BisTrack software gives us the ability to run multiple divisions and profit centres under one software solution, and provides us visibility into what's happening in each location.”

“Having better visibility has definitely helped us increase revenue and profitability.” 

Ken Crockett
Vice President of the Calgary Division | Star Building Materials

Dashboards provide visibility of key metrics

“The biggest advantage we gain with BisTrack software is visibility on whatever metric we want to see,” says Crockett. He explains that they have created data-rich dashboards for every department. The dashboards display the information needed by each department for better decision making. Crocket asserts, “The dashboards are very critical to our business. I don't know how we could function without them.”

“We track metrics such as daily sales budgets and actual vs. budget-per product category, per salesman, per customer category-both revenue and margin,” says Crockett. “We review these as a team every day.”

Delivery visibility increases OTIF deliveries

“In our business, delivery is everything. So we track on-time in-full deliveries week-to-date, month-to-date, and year-to-date through BisTrack software,” reports Crockett. “It flags on a dashboard if a shipment doesn't go out on its scheduled delivery date. And if there are any back orders, the dashboard displays the order as not shipped in full. Before, we used spreadsheets to track delivery metrics and now it's automatic, so that's time that can be spent doing more productive functions.”

“We also look at what's being shipped in the next five days, which we use to try to balance the week,” says Crockett. “If one day is looking really busy, we might send out some e-mails or make calls to maybe ship a day earlier. BisTrack software gives our sales and purchasing teams the visibility to make those decisions.”

Better decisions boost revenue and profits

“Having better visibility has definitely helped us increase revenue and profitability,” Crockett reports. “With live information on the dashboards, you start to make decisions going forward instead of looking at what happened two to three weeks ago and trying to catch up. Sometimes it's too late, and you miss a seasonal adjustment or an opportunity.”

“BisTrack software gives us the ability to create and track live metrics. That alone has helped us grow the business,” Crockett asserts. “With the BisTrack solution, we have the ability to see where we are doing well, where we are not doing well. We can compare to what it was like last year, or last month, or last week. We review these daily, and make adjustments on-the-fly to our purchasing, products mix, our customer base, or our customer types.”

Real-time order status increases productivity

“BisTrack software has enabled us to grow the business with a lot less constraint,” says Crockett. “One of the biggest benefits on the operations side was the visibility of the status of an order. Is it picked, is it being picked, is it scheduled for delivery, when was it delivered?”

“In the past, it would take multiple phone calls or e-mails to find those answers, or you'd have to pull something out of a file. Now it's either a push of a button or it's already on your screen,” Crockett says. “Personnel in all our departments spend less time on those non-productive tasks. We've been able to grow without asking whether some department can handle the growth. BisTrack software allows us to manage the paper flow and questions a lot faster and more efficiently.”

Growth and increased market share

“We know we have increased our market share. It's a result of a lot of little things we have done. But certainly BisTrack software has enabled us to grow.” Crockett concludes: “To me, it comes down to the visibility of the business, the departments, and the members of each team. Visibility is critical because it allows people to make better decisions.”

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