For nearly 50 years, DMSi has been at the forefront of innovation for inventory and order management solutions for the building materials industry. With a recent growth initiative, the company is now poised to provide the same level of innovative solutions to the hardwood industry. DMSi’s Log and Lumber Division was officially created earlier this year, as a way for the company to specifically focus on the inventory, production, and order management needs of the hardwood industry.
“Hardwood companies need software that can address their needs that are unique to this industry,” says Henry German, DMSi co-owner and President of the DMSi Log and Lumber Division. “The Log and Lumber Division’s sole focus is on software solutions equipped to handle these needs effectively.”
While just recently announced, the development of DMSi’s Log and Lumber Division was a strategic initiative nearly four years in the making. Beginning with the rollout of TallyExpress in 2018, and more recently, the acquisitions of eLIMBS and Simply Computing International and partnership with Hardwood Timber and Transportation Services; DMSi has been focused on building a team to provide a fully-integrated, end-to-end suite of inventory, production, and order management solutions to the hardwood industry.
“We were introduced to many companies in the hardwood industry through TallyExpress. They liked what we were doing, and began asking about using our inventory system. But at the time, our Agility ERP wasn’t built for what they needed,” German says. “We knew we’d need to either modify our software to fulfill the needs of the hardwood industry, or acquire an existing product and work to integrate it.”
For each product DMSi has acquired, the first step has been to build out the foundations of a team that can handle their growth plans, then begin the modernization efforts to position DMSi to be the last software provider you will ever need. As DMSi looks to the future, the focus transitions to upgrading their offerings by utilizing leading-edge technologies like artificial intelligence.
For users of these acquired log and lumber software products, there are a plethora of benefits to moving under the DMSi umbrella. For one, they get the advantage of being part of a company with more resources to provide an experienced team committed to quality customer service and continual software enhancements.
Another advantage is users can pivot their business up or down the supply chain without having to obtain a new software system. For instance, if a sawmill is using DMSi’s log inventory software and decides to expand into standing timber contracts, they could keep their current DMSi solution and simply add on the functionality needed for their business.
“With our acquisitions, our goal is to leverage what we’ve already done in the other adjacent industries we serve, and bring that expertise to the more niche hardwood market,” German says.
Acquisitions can be tricky, but DMSi has been focused from day one on ensuring a smooth transition for the customer bases of the acquired companies. In each instance, DMSi has retained talent that understands the products and has relationships with the customer base.
“We’re taking experts that have all had to solve the same problem independently in the past, and bringing them together to solve them as a team, leveraging their years as experienced designers and builders to rewrite the software onto an upgraded and widely supported tech stack.” German says.
DMSi initially expanded its investment into serving the production side of the hardwood industry with the launch of TallyExpress, which was first unveiled to the American market at the 2018 NHLA convention in Toronto. TallyExpress is a visual tally app that uses artificial intelligence to automate end tallies from a mobile phone. It turned the process of tallying lumber, which was once a tedious backbreaking manual process, into a quick, accurate and physically less demanding task through a mobile app, trained in minutes. The user base for TallyExpress was largely made up of companies in the hardwood industry, many of whom were not users of DMSi’s flagship product, Agility ERP.
At the end of 2020, DMSi acquired eLIMBS, an Ohio-based company specializing in inventory management software solutions for hardwood timber, log, and lumber operations. eLIMBS was one of the few software company’s built only for the hardwoods industry, making it a perfect contender for the expansion of DMSi’s Log and Lumber Division.
In 2021, Jason Bolstad joined the team as VP of the Log & Lumber Division. Not only did Jason have experience working for a hardwood lumber distributor (and DMSi customer), but he had 20 of years with DMSi leading development teams. “We were growing so fast we had to bring in additional help; in any team you need everyone to get the job done but we wouldn’t be where we are today if Jason hadn’t joined the team when he did,” German says.
Then in September 2022 came the acquisition of Simply Computing International (SCI). Maine-based SCI has been a leading provider of handheld inventory and voice tally software systems for the hardwood and softwood industries for more than 30 years. Most recently DMSi partnered with Hardwood Timber and Transportation Services to expand their customers’ access to the DMSi Log & Lumber software platforms.
“We were already in the distribution/retail end hardwood industry,” German says. “For us, it’s a natural progression to get into log and lumber. We’re just going up the supply chain. By providing solutions to the hardwood market, we can serve the whole supply chain from timber all the way through to the consumer.”
Looking into the future, DMSi plans to fully integrate their suite of products into one application, with various modules users can choose from depending on their company’s needs.
“Hardwoods are unique operations, which makes it fun to build software for and the people we’ve met in this industry are good, hard working people that are just trying to be as efficient as they can,” German says. “We’re excited to be able to focus on this industry and provide them with the solutions and customer service they deserve.”