Go Search

Manning Building Supplies

Company Facts

  • Location: Jacksonville, Florida
  • Industry: Lumber and Building Materials
  • Sales Profile: Professional Builders
  • Number of Locations: 8
  • Website: www.mbs-corp.com

"BisTrack takes you to a whole different place. You can see anything you want if you think it will give you insight and help you make a better decision. That's where we derive benefit."  

Spike Cissel, President | Manning Building Supplies


Manning Building Supplies serves professional builders in Florida and Mississippi. They implemented Epicor BisTrack software to achieve the efficiencies needed to grow profitably. The business recognizes the true value of the BisTrack solution—providing easy access to information so employees and managers can be proactive, make better decisions, and resolve issues quickly.

Higher special order margins with daily reports and margin analysis

“Special orders are about 35-40% of our business, so it’s important to track their progress and know what we make on them,” says Spike Cissel, president of Manning Building Supplies, explaining they used BisTrack to create the daily reports used to manage special orders. “Every day, the managers can see what special order receipts hit his dock and the status of current special orders so he can plan deliveries and storage accordingly.”

More important to Manning Building Supplies is analyzing special order margins, which have more latitude than commodity margins. They use the BisTrack OLAP cubes functionality to compare margins by location, salesman, customer, and invoice—then spot patterns and opportunities for improvement. Spike surmises, “if we’re doing $20 million dollars in special orders, and we can increase our discretionary margin by 5% points, that’s a million dollars in gross profit.”

Proactive branch managers

Manning Building Supplies uses BisTrack software to create a suite of daily and monthly reports for yard managers. Spike explains, “We want them to review certain things—daily sales, cash payment, and any checks written on their account. And monthly reviews of general ledger items, inventory, order monitoring, special orders valuation.”

Jimmy Cissel, vice president of business development for Manning Building Supplies, says BisTrack software makes it easy to manage each store’s inventory as well as branch transfers. “When we transfer inventory between branches, BisTrack makes all the journal entries for you behind the scenes.”

“A great unexpected benefit of BisTrack is that I get P&Ls the day after month-end,” Spike says. “Before, billing and receipts would take several days and expenses would straggle in. We’d have some store managers waiting 10 days for P&Ls. Now, our store managers can be proactive and immediately make adjustments rather than reacting 10 days later.”

Powerful Problem Resolution

When looking for documents in the past, Manning would go to the filing cabinet in hopes they were attached to an invoice. Now the BisTrack ‘Find Document’ functionality searches using any information available. “The ‘Find’ function has tremendous value in my mind,” says Spike Cissel. “When you’re talking to a customer about inventory or pricing or credit issuance, you’ve got their entire sales history, payment history and margins in front of you. BisTrack ties all the data together so you can find the answers to resolve issues and make decisions while you’ve got them on the phone.”

“Transaction analysis is easier,” he continues. “You can go back and see how something got screwed up. For example, if my bookkeeper is out of balance by $3.13, she can ask BisTrack to find a $3.13 transaction and it will search the data. It saves a ton of time.”

Easy data access and formatting benefits

“With our old computer system, we were limited to whatever kind of reports the software provider included in their software. We just learned to live with that,” Spike recalls.

“BisTrack takes you to a whole different place,” he says. “You can see anything you want if you think it will give you insight and help you make a better decision.” For example, Manning Building Supplies sorts inventory variance sheets different ways to help spot and quickly resolve the variances. Jimmy adds, “It definitely helps shorten the process. The variance report used to take nearly an hour to run. Now reports are created and sorted so quickly. It takes less than a minute.”

“When you realize that there are no longer limitations to accessing and formatting the data…that’s the beauty of BisTrack. That’s where we derive benefit,” Spike summarizes. “It is a really powerful deal.”

Success Highlights:


  • Achieve the efficiencies needed to grow profitably with new business solution so staff can resolve issues quickly


  • Epicor® BisTrack


  • Margin analysis and control
  • Month-end reporting 10 days faster
  • Efficiency, time-saving
  • Faster problem resolution
  • Better branch management