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Dunn Lumber

Dunn Lumber is a family-owned and operated business with nine building materials stores in Washington state. They pride themselves on offering exceptional products and customer service to their mixed contractor and homeowner clientele for over 100 years.

Dunn Lumber upgraded from Advantage to the Epicor BisTrack business management system to deliver superior customer service and maintain their traditional competitive advantage in the marketplace.“It has made a huge difference,” said Tyler Banken, IT director at Dunn Lumber. “BisTrack helps us stock product, provide information, and make the business decisions that benefit our customers the most.”

“We're able to better serve our customers-both online and in our stores-with accurate and visible product, transaction, and stock information for all our locations."

Tyler Banken
IT Director | Dunn Lumber

Online presence for better customer service

One of Dunn Lumber's recent initiatives has been to use the BisTrack web portal-called Web Track-to build an online catalog and store. Tied directly to BisTrack, all visitors to Dunn Lumber's online catalog can check current availability of stock in each of Dunn's locations. In addition, almost 12,549 contractors and frequent customers have registered for a Web Track account, which allows customers to view account history, get copies of statements and invoices, and see their negotiated prices in the online catalog.

“Our contractors use Web Track as a tool in the evenings when they're bidding their jobs,” said Banken. “When our contractors log in, they get their exact pricing. They can do their quotes at night, so that they have time to deal with their customers during the day.”

Incremental online retail sales

“Being in Seattle and surrounded by the tech industry, we have a lot of tech-savvy customers who expect an Amazon-like web experience-we get held to a pretty high standard. Most of our eCommerce sales have been retail,” said Banken. “And all the research said that even if they don't buy online, customers will look online to see what you have, check availability, and then go to a store to buy it once they have all that information.”

“We've seen a huge jump in online sales with an increase of 267 percent in the number of sales transactions and an average of 1,600 user sessions per day,” said Banken. “Moreover, the dollar volume of each sale and its margin has increased proportionally, 300 percent and 285 percent, respectively. This has also resulted in an increase in sales 138 percent year-over-year compared to last year.”

However, to their surprise, about 80 percent of online purchases are from “anonymous” users-visitors to Dunn Lumber's website who have not registered for a Web Track account. “We thought our online sales would come from our current customer market, but we're appealing to a more general audience where many of the benefits are not reflected in the sales but in the interactions we have with customers and how often they come back to do research on our products.” said Banken. “Our online sales are mostly incremental.”

With the BisTrack Delivery mobile application, Dunn Lumber is able to provide up-to-date information to everyone involved at every point in the delivery cycle-order entry, change order, picking, and delivery. “Having delivery details readily available was a big motivation factor to implement the BisTrack Delivery application. Our customers and entire team expect to have a record of what was actually delivered,” said Banken. “The ability to track actual delivery time is critical-the app allows you to add delivery photos and then flag the order as delivered which adds a timestamp of exactly when that order took place. Before we had BisTrack Delivery, we found many salespeople giving unrealistic delivery promises to customers. This helps us measure ourselves so that we're not falling flat on promises to our customers.”

“My recommendation for dealers not using BisTrack Delivery is, 'What are you waiting for?' To add this application is a no-brainer, and having the real-time information available to you and your customers is worth every single penny,” said Banken. 

Tighter inventory control

The BisTrack inventory management system is fundamental to having accurate stock availability visible on Dunn Lumber's website. In BisTrack, sales transactions automatically update inventory data for up-to-the-second accuracy. “We also do cycle counts all the time, and the BisTrack Mobile Count application dramatically shortened the time it takes by about 10 hours each week,” said Banken. “It frees staff up to do other tasks, such as making sure bin tags are correct and shelves are stocked full.”

“BisTrack Suggested Orders has tightened up inventory control,” said Banken. “We have fewer stockouts - which are potentially lost sales-and we're now able to follow sales trends through the seasons so that we can reduce inventory where sales are slowing and bring in more of what is selling. It has made a huge difference.”

Running the business proactively

The BisTrack order processing work flow is also helping Dunn Lumber to manage customer relations proactively and improve the service it offers. “In our old system, orders were invoiced right away and you didn't know if the material actually went out,” said Banken. “Now, we're able to keep track and follow the transaction all the way through every step. We can make sure the customer is happy, and accounting is happy because transactions are processed properly.”

“Having quick and easy access to all the data we need through BisTrack reporting and dashboards has made a big difference,” said Banken. “Before, reporting was troublesome. You'd have to contact someone at Advantage and have them write something for you. Now, whatever you can dream of, you can write it with SQL.”

“BisTrack has enabled us to make a mind-shift in how we run the company,” concluded Banken. “We can make business decisions based on hard numbers showing what's actually taking place at that time, rather than waiting for month-end numbers to finally get cleaned up. We can be fully proactive now.”

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