Timber Trading Group was searching for ways to provide their sales team with more collaborative tools for their white pine lumber distribution business. As the team met with contractor yards and builder yards across New England, they realized the data management aspect of their business was more than their current system could handle.
“Long-term loyalty from our customers means managing the amount of lumber we move between the mills and reload centers. It also means quality control in our shops; and how fast we can ship it out of the warehouse,” said Dave Zappone, General Manager.
Zappone was looking for a modern system that would give his staff a live snapshot of the company’s inventory and delivery schedules and Agility inventory management software fit the bill. Furthermore, using the lumber distribution software through the internet allows Timber Trading to capitalize on their customers’ needs for instant and accurate information, with the added benefit of reduced expenses.
Today, Timber Trading’s entire IT (Information Technology) system runs at a remote data center, allowing them to pay on a metered basis. Adapting to this change ahead of the curve, Zappone first weighed the true value of hosted software to his business including information control, reliance on technical expertise, and infrastructure upkeep costs.
“I first saw software hosted through the internet at a NAWLA trade show and its potential was obvious to me,” described Zappone. “Agility in the hosted environment allows everyone in our office to be more mobile and productive. Our capacity to provide better service to customers has improved substantially. And as a management tool, it makes our office run a lot smoother,” said Zappone.
The instant access to information eliminates the risk of unknowingly selling units of lumber while a second prospect deliberates its procurement is significantly reduced.
“Before Agility, you checked your computer screen and printed 50 or 60 sheets of product information, or you wrote it manually before getting an answer to your prospect,” Zappone said. “Unlike many companies in the industry, no unit length is the same when we receive material. Depending on our customers’ inventory, certain length configurations are more appealing. Complete inventory access from any computer is helpful in closing the sale and keeping our customers happy.”
Timber Trading saves about $12,000 annually by reducing third-party networking expenses. Time savings from handling technical issues are also substantial, especially without having IT resources on staff. Timber Trading has more control of inventory and customer data than ever before.