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The Challenge

When your great-grandfather started a business that your grandfather and father expanded, where you’ll spend summer vacations is essentially a foregone conclusion.

Steve Dodson, CIO at Dodson Wholesale Lumber Co. Inc. revealed, “I wanted to work somewhere else because it was tough. It was hot, hard work out in the lumber yard. After college, I became an IT consultant, an Oracle DBA.”

The legacy was hard to resist, however, and the company succeeded in luring him back. In 2008, Dodson returned to the family business. “It’s very cool to be part of a fourth-generation company; third generation is already rare. I’m working with my dad and brother, Mark, to continue our 66-year tradition of delivering ‘goods from the woods’ to the Texas and New Mexico region,” he remarked.

An independent, privately-owned wholesale lumber and wood products distributor, Dodson Wholesale Lumber maintains eighteen acres of products across two locations and operates a fleet of trucks to help ensure complete and on-time delivery.

An Accommodating Fit

When Dodson came on board in 2008, he recognized an exciting opportunity to modernize the business. He described, “The entire business ran on a DSL line. We had a low-end IBM mainframe and giant dot-matrix printer. It was stable but unforgiving and inflexible. My first big project for the company was to make us more agile and scalable while delivering relevant data to inform decision-making.”

Dodson evaluated several ERP solutions and chose Epicor BisTrack deployed in the cloud, sharing that: “SaaS was just getting off the ground at that time, but we liked the flexibility. Another plus was that Epicor BisTrack enabled me to tap into SQL to create and run reports that we use to manage the business. Competitors at the time only offered canned reports.” He continued, “We have Linux desktops, which used to be challenging to connect to Microsoft. Epicor said, ‘No problem, we can run a VPN tunnel to access them,’ which helped us to keep our existing environment.”

As an IT team of one, Dodson appreciated the cloud model. “I like software as-a-service even more than I expected. The hosting team is very responsive, taking care of issues and upgrades, and providing high quality support so I don’t have to manage it,” he cited. As an added benefit, BisTrack as-a-Service enabled the Dodson team to work from home for the first time ever during the pandemic, without interruption.

Enhanced Business Intelligence

Dodson commented that Epicor BisTrack improved processes immediately. “Order taking was something we had struggled with,” he recalled. “Each salesman had a notebook with handwritten orders and quotes. The rep would have to find their notebook and flip through it to remember what he quoted the customer. Now, sales can take their own orders over the phone, from anywhere, right into the system.” He added, “Epicor has enabled us to significantly increase the number of orders we can take in a day and our customers like getting an instantaneous email confirmation.”

Accounting also has realized advantages with Epicor BisTrack. Dodson elaborated, “Too often, the bookkeeping side is neglected. Prior to Epicor, our bookkeeper had to run a report, print a copy, and re-enter those numbers into the accounting system. With Epicor, everything flows through it perfectly. We can run a P&L anytime.”

Dodson said a variety of Epicor BisTrack dashboards are used for different groups. For instance, dispatch can see, by region, which trucks are going where, if they are full, and if any drivers are over-scheduled. “With this information, we added another truck, which is a big deal for us. For sales, we have great insights into performance, and we have enhanced purchasing information.”

The business intelligence that Epicor delivers is very good. Epicor BisTrack has facilitated a consistent year-over-year growth rate of 9% since we implemented it over a decade ago.

Making Good on Promises

Approximately six months ago, Dodson deployed the Epicor Warehouse Management Solution (WMS). He admitted, “It was as big a jump for us as moving to Epicor BisTrack. Our goal was the promise: 99% accuracy that inventory would be in the exact spot in the exact quantity. That has been true.”

Prior to Epicor, the Dodson team had to perform a manual stock count, a time-intensive process that required them to close the business on a Saturday. Dodson noted, “With the Epicor WMS guns, we do cycle counts, eliminate the year-end stock count, and have real-time inventory stats. We don’t make the mistake of selling something we don’t have available.” Epicor WMS also enables the company to easily identify dead products and move them to less valuable real estate, optimizing yard space.

Lost staff-hours are a thing of the past. “We have a make-up crew who used to spend a lot of time waiting around for the next job,” Dodson divulged. 

The Epicor WMS gun automatically serves up the next piece of work . . . efficiency went through the roof . . . we’ve seen at least a 50% jump in productivity, which means we can process a lot more volume with the same number of employees.

Next up for Dodson is testing mobile delivery. He commented, “We’ve been with GPS Insight for a long time and recently integrated it with Epicor BisTrack. We expect it to eliminate steps such as needing to scan the signed bill of lading and to enhance proof-of-delivery by providing photos.” He also plans to add the customer stratification module to better understand different customer profiles and boost profitability.

Company Facts

  • Location: Roswell, New Mexico
  • Specialist Industry: Building Materials Dealers
  • Website:


  • Lack of accurate, real-time inventory data
  • Outdated and inflexible reporting 
  • Limited IT resources


  • Flexible, scalable ERP system integrated with Linux desktops
  • SaaS model frees resources, keeps system up to date
  • Supports 9%+ compound annual growth rate, 50% productivity boost
  • On-demand business intelligence
  • Increase of sales by 180% over 12 periods
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