Townsend Building Supply

Opened in 1921, Townsend Building Supply is now a third-generation lumber and building materials (LBM) company. The company started as a sawmill and evolved into a building supply business over time. Townsend Building Supply has continued to grow over the years and currently operates five locations in the Southern United States.


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"Processes we've seen improved and streamlined because of BisTrack software are purchasing and inventory management. We buy better now and we manage our inventory much more efficiently. Our shrink has gone down by 50 percent because of data BisTrack software provides."

Michael Townsend, President | Townsend Building Supply
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Company Facts

Challenges
  • Operate with new technology to stay competitive and efficient in an ever-changing market

Solutions
  • Epicor BisTrack
  • Epicor BisTrack Journey Planner
  • Epicor BisTrack Customer Stratification

Benefits
  • Increased employee count from 45 to 85 employees
  • Expanded from two locations to five
  • Sped decision-making based on accurate data because of efficient software
  • Reduced shrink by 50 percent
  • Diminished mistakes involving inventory, stock receiving, and payables
  • Eliminated paper-based dispatch and delivery processes
  • Consolidated deliveries to fewer locations to better utilize people and equipment

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“My grandfather got into the business when he acquired a local hardware and lumber supply store in his hometown of Chipley, Florida. Then, my father joined in and really helped to grow the business,” said Michael Townsend, president, Townsend Building Supply. “Now, my dad has retired, and so my brother and I are running the business together.”

“We have a manufacturing facility, which is unique in our market. We also have a high-end indoor window showroom,” said Townsend. “I think certainly from a technology standpoint we’re on the cutting edge compared to some of our competitors, and we’re able to do things that most can’t. Our processes and procedures are significantly streamlined because of Epicor BisTrack software, and that puts us ahead of our competitors.”

A system to grow into

“We’ve operated with BisTrack software for about six years now,” said Townsend. “Previously, we were on quite an old software system and we knew we needed to do something different to stay competitive and efficient. We couldn’t get data out very quickly and we couldn’t do some things we would have liked to do. We looked at several systems, but we decided we wanted a system that we can grow into and a system that would help us develop, rather than something that we would outgrow in a couple years. So, we selected BisTrack software, and with it we have plenty of room to expand and we’re very happy with the solution.”

“One of the specific things we wanted with a new system was the ability to get data out of the software and analyze it,” continued Townsend. “Our old system had a proprietary database, which made it hard to get in, get data out, and do something with it. We only had paper reports, and you’d have to put that in spreadsheets—all time-consuming, manual work. Now, BisTrack software does all of that for us. It gives us the ability to get at our data in real time without spending unnecessary time breaking down the data, putting it in spreadsheets, and then analyzing it. We can see—whenever we want—how we’re doing. That’s one of the bigger impacts BisTrack software has had on our businesses. Our decision making is real time, faster, and it’s based off of accurate data.”

Improved operations for competitive advantage

“A few processes we’ve seen improved and streamlined because of BisTrack software are purchasing and inventory management,” said Townsend. “We buy better now and we manage our inventory much more efficiently. Our shrink has gone down by 50 percent because of data BisTrack software provides. Other mistakes involving inventory, stock receiving, and all the way down to the payables side have diminished.”

“We’ve seen huge improvements with dispatch and delivery,” said Townsend. “Before, we didn’t have software that helped us manage our deliveries. The BisTrack Journey Planner portion of the software has really improved operations here and gives us a competitive advantage over those not doing any journey planning. It’s probably the one tool that’s helped us change our business the most. We used to use clipboards and paper, and no one knew what was going on in the dispatch office. Now, we don’t use any paper and everyone in the company knows what is happening with our dispatch and delivery operations. That’s probably the biggest impact operationally. We’ve been able to consolidate the dispatching of deliveries for all our locations down to one person—we previously had five people, one per location. And, we’re even consolidating deliveries to fewer locations to better utilize people and equipment, as well as to be more efficient and profitable.”

Investing in people and capital

“BisTrack software has allowed us to grow without adding overhead staff,” said Townsend. “Since 2009, we’ve gone from 45 employees to 85 employees and moved from two locations to five. We can invest in our people and our capital in the front lines rather than in the back office. The BisTrack solution has enabled us to do more with less, which we wouldn’t have been able to do with any other system.”

Foundation for productivity

The BisTrack solution was designed to be open and accessible, with multiple simple ways to look at business data. “The business intelligence functionality in BisTrack software is one of my favorite aspects because—not only for me as the president, but also for my people—we can all easily access the data that they used to have to come to me for,” said Townsend. “Everyone can see sales performance, margin performance, truck fill performance, etc. in real time, which help us run the business with fewer interruptions.”

Better engage customers

Identifying and strengthening strong customer relationships—and limiting the impact from unprofitable ones—can help drive growth. Townsend Building Supply is just getting started with a tool to help them do so. “We recently implemented the BisTrack Customer Stratification tool,” said Townsend. “Having data on our customers is crucial to see how well they are actually performing versus what our perception is of their performance. Our future goals with Customer Stratification are to better engage our customers so that their relationship with us, and ultimately their purchasing, increases as time goes on. We’ll know more about our customers, what they buy, and what they don’t buy so that we can target them with specific marketing efforts rather than just generic.”

Cultural shift for business growth

“BisTrack software is well suited for us—and the lumber and building materials industry—because much of what we do in the pro-LBM space is deliveries,” said Townsend. “We complete approximately 22 deliveries daily with 12 trucks, drivers, forklifts, and equipment that all needs to be managed simultaneously. Being able to manage that well—so that our fleet is effective—is huge for our business.”

“Because BisTrack software does so much, it helps put all the pieces of our business together—our own markups, manufacturing, high-end window indoor sales, and, particularly, running multiple branches,” continued Townsend. “All of our branches have transparency, which has helped us become more competitive by helping us work together so we can leverage our size. BisTrack software helps us work together as a team better. We no longer have silos and walls between branches, which has been a culture shift for us over the last few years. It’s important that our company works together as one seamless unit, not five separate companies.”

“We’re larger than our other competitors in our market, and so BisTrack software helps us leverage that asset and bring more to our customers than our competitors. It helps us to be more profitable, drive efficiencies, and squeeze more out of a nickel than we did before,” concluded Townsend.

 

 

 

 

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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