Sanford and Hawley

“Productivity” is the overriding theme when Bob Sanford—president at Sanford & Hawley, Inc.—speaks about the impact that Epicor BisTrack software has had on his company. They are doing more with fewer people and have improved the customer experience and company profitability. In fact, Sanford asserts that Sanford & Hawley is at or above the industry benchmark for efficiency in a contractor yard, and he acknowledges that much of that can be attributed to Epicor BisTrack.

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“Everybody loves Epicor BisTrack because it's much more flexible and there's so much more information available. We often marvel at how we ever managed before.”

Bob Sanford, President at Sanford & Hawley, Inc.
Company Facts
  • Location: Unionville, Connecticut
  • Industry: Lumber and Building Materials
  • Number of Locations: 4
  • Sales Profile: 90% Contractor, 10% Retail
  • Website:

  • Processes needed to be optimized for efficiency and productivity
  • Customer service required improvement to maintain competitive advantage

  • Epicor BisTrack
  • Epicor BisTrack Journey Planner
  • Epicor BisTrack Mobile Delivery
  • Epicor BisTrack Cloud

  • Increased sales per salesperson 
  • Improved dispatch with better asset utilization and more dollars delivered per driver
  • Dramatically improved Accounts
  • Payable processing and availability of supplier information
  • Lowered cost of settling disputes
  • Delivered faster customer responsiveness and services

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Selecting the most user-friendly and accessible system
“We decided that we needed to make the move from ECS Pro to BisTrack software, because we had a server that didn’t make practical sense,” said Sanford. “We went out into the marketplace and looked at a variety of software options available to lumber dealers and supply houses. We had a team of employees from different areas of the company—sales, operations, and finance—look at the systems we were considering, and everyone felt hands down that BisTrack software was the most user-friendly and accessible system.”

“We signed on to BisTrack software in late 2008 and went live in March 2009,” continued Sanford. “After we trained our employees, we found ourselves looking back and saying, ‘How did we ever use ECS Pro for so long?’ BisTrack software is much more efficient and helps us provide better customer service. For example, with large commercial projects, there could be 100 to 200 invoices. With ECS Pro, we used to print the invoices, lay them down in piles on the floor, and then add them to Excel files. Now, with the smart views and dashboard in BisTrack software, the information is exactly where we need it to be without the extra work. With BisTrack Cloud, we can open up a sales order from a smartphone at a moment’s notice. That’s been immensely
beneficial to us.”

Integration of all business functions
After years of using a software solution with bolt-on packages for dispatch and document scanning, Sanford extols the benefits of the Epicor BisTrack all-in-one solution. “It’s a huge—huge benefit,” he said. “Everybody loves Epicor BisTrack, because it’s much more flexible, and there’s so much more information available. We often marvel at how we ever managed before.”

Epicor BisTrack has dramatically improved Accounts Payable processing and the availability of supplier billing information. Further, the solution’s information accessibility has eliminated the bottleneck in their dispatch department. “Now, probably 95 percent of the time, whoever answers the phone can answer the customer’s question,” reported Sanford.

Epicor BisTrack boosts sales efficiency
Sales efficiency has also improved with an increase in the number of sales per salesperson. One of the reasons for this—Sanford believes—is the ability for Epicor BisTrack to import orders from third-party vendor software—such as 20/20. Sanford & Hawley’s salespeople previously would spend “endless hours” rekeying the order information.

Responsiveness to customer inquiries is also much faster, because it’s so easy to find the information you need in Epicor BisTrack. “Time is precious,” said Sanford. “Getting answers quickly is very important to our customers. We’ve enabled staff to do tasks on their own now with BisTrack software. In the past, our sales team members would have to pick up a phone to ask when an order was going to be delivered. Now, they can
easily see all that information in the system. A purchaser might want to see how much an actual invoice is and they can simply go to related documents to access that information. This functionality has taken the burden off the office and operational staff, and empowered our entire team.”

Epicor BisTrack has also opened up new avenues for Sanford & Hawley’s product and account information availability. The customer web portal allows customers to check account information and place orders 24/7. “It’s working out well for builders who want to do estimating or billing on nights and weekends,” said Sanford. ”They can get product pricing, place orders, and get copies of their invoices online at any time.”

For customers who like the personal touch, they can walk through the yard with Sanford & Hawley personnel who will scan bin numbers and quantities on a handheld tablet, then instantly generate the order and delivery
specifications. Sanford says customers like it because “it doesn’t take them long to get in and out.”

Delivery efficiency and cost savings
Since implementing Epicor BisTrack, Sanford & Hawley has centralized dispatch and gone from three dispatchers one. Now, a single dispatcher who schedules deliveries for all four locations using the software’s built-in Journey Planner integrated with GPS systems in each truck.

“It’s just so much better having centralized dispatch,” said Sanford. “We use the GPS Insight functionality to be able to see journey information and capture things like truck mileages, arrival times, and delivery photos. I
can’t reiterate enough just how easy it is when a customer calls with a question, problem, or inquiry and we have that data readily available. We can see exactly where the truck is, when a delivery was made, and a photo. We no longer have to chase things down. All the data is there when we need it. Before, we’d have trucks criss-crossing, or we’d turn down deliveries in one location—even though we had an idle truck in another. We have better asset utilization using Epicor BisTrack.”

“We made several changes to improve efficiency,” Sanford went on. “As a result, the dollar value of delivered sales per driver has increased significantly in two years, and I surmise a third of this is directly attributable
to the solution’s centralized dispatch and journey planning.”

Further, Sanford & Hawley outfitted their drivers with the Epicor BisTrack Mobile Delivery application. Drivers capture signatures electronically, eliminating the need to file signed delivery slips. Sanford also says taking photos of the delivered load has saved them time and money resolving issues. “Once or twice a week, a customer would question whether they received the full load,” said Sanford. “Now, the photo makes it clear
if something was delivered or not. I think our incidences of forgetting to unload the small items has decreased now that the drivers are photo recording the load.”

Electronic document management

“We have four locations and we handle things individually at each location. With BisTrack software, we no longer have to move paperwork back and forth to the central office—everything is filed and attached electronically. If I wanted to drill down on a specific file, I can access related documents and go all the way back to the customer quote, vendor quote, customer’s order, customer’s invoice, customer’s delivery photos, etc. It’s a built for function package within BisTrack software and it saves us thousands of dollars on paperwork every year,” concluded Sanford.

Epicor solutions are designed around the unique operational needs of manufacturers and are available in the cloud or on premises. Customers can better manage complexity and focus on core growth activities.

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