Go Search

Detroit Band Saw Works

Company Facts


  • Location: Livonia, Michigan
  • Industry: Industrial
  • Number of Employees: 7
  • Web site: www.detroitbandsaw.com

"Peachtree® could not in any way, shape or form compare to what Prophet 21® has  enabled us to do."

Joe Goudeseune, Owner | Detroit Band Saw Works

Detroit Band Saw Works is not a large company: it has only seven employees to handle the business of selling, making, and repairing band saws and saw blades for customers throughout southeastern Michigan from its base in Livonia.

You might think that a business this small could get by with accounting software like Sage® Peachtree. And you would be wrong if you did.

"I bought this company in December of 1999," said owner Joe Goudeseune. "When I purchased, it had no computer system, and I realized that this just couldn't be. My office manager, who was our sole point of entry for order processing, accounting, and our other back-end functions, recommended Peachtree to me."

"We managed our inventory manually offline, and we used Peachtree to handle our
accounting and process our packing slips."

Wanted: The Power to Make Everyone an Expert 

It didn't take Goudeseune long to come to the conclusion that Peachtree was too small for his business. To begin with, the only person who could use it was the office manager-it wasn't set up to support multiple users. "I wasn't comfortable with just one person having all the knowledge of the back-office systems," he said. "I wanted to get away from a system that only one person could operate." 

Then there was that inventory, which consists mainly of coils of steel blades that are cut and welded to fit the customers' saws. "In a business like ours, with all the waste and loss inherent in the order fulfillment process, you have to keep on top of your inventory to keep your costs down."

To address both issues, Goudeseune turned to one solution: Epicor® Prophet 21. "We went from a one-user system to a three-user system, and we've since added a fourth," he said. "We also revamped the way we did everything after moving from Peachtree to Prophet 21."

"Peachtree was able to handle certain accounting aspects of what we were doing, but it could not in any way, shape or form compare to what Prophet 21 enabled us to do."

The Power To Enjoy The Weekend 

The most important thing Prophet 21 enabled Detroit Band Saw to do was work far more efficiently. "The reporting functions of Prophet 21 blew my mind with their ability to drill down into transactions and records for details," Goudeseune said. "I used to spend weekends analyzing data to find trends. Now the information I need is just clicks away." 

"The management summaries are also great; I use them quite often to get a quick snapshot of what's going on a daily basis. And the Item and Customer Master Inquiry screens are incredible tools that enabled me to dial down quickly into a product's or customer's details."

It has also improved staff efficiency: "From the most simple tasks to such things  as batch faxing and e-mailing of invoices, Prophet 21 has significantly reduced the time staff need to get things done."

And as a result, they get more done in the same amount of time. Goudeseune said, "To put it in perspective, when I bought the company, we were doing about $1.1 million in sales annually. As of 2008, we did $2.23 million with only one additional person. So the technology that Prophet 21 delivered has enabled us to be as efficient as possible without adding staff"-and it has still more room for him to grow built in: "I can increase my band saw tooling sales by another 40 percent before I would have to add another employee," he said. "That's a good figure, and if I attain it, I'd be glad to hire someone new."

And Technology That Grows With The Company 

As the staff add more information to the system, it and they become smarter and even more efficient. "Once we built up customer histories in our system, the time to process each customer's order went down," he explained. "Since we process our product in custom-ordered lengths, whenever we get a new customer, we have to  create a new custom order in our system. But then we can just call up what's already in our system in order to handle subsequent orders from that customer." 

"For existing customers and frequently purchased items, this saves more time as it goes on." But perhaps most importantly, using Prophet 21 means that should something happen to his office manager, Goudeseune's company won't be crippled. "We crosstrained our staff on the various functions so we'd be less exposed to disruption," he said. "In addition, I can get support from Epicor if I need, and the Epicor support is wonderful. I can bring consultants in and get Web-based help with system functions."

And as the business grows, Goudeseune is confident that, unlike with Peachtree, he won't outgrow Prophet 21, for it has capabilities the company has yet to fully exploit. "What you're willing to put into learning the system is what you get back from it," he said. "We began by just scratching its surface, and as time has progressed, we've gone deeper and deeper into it and gotten more out of it."

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:


  • Help a Livonia, Michigan-based custom band saw distributor and manufacturer streamline processes and protect against loss of critical staff


  • Achieved true multi-user environments
  • Doubled sales volume with only one additional staff member
  • Dramatically reduced time spent on order fulfillment and data analysis