Enfield, CT Ellington, CT East Longmeadow, MA
February 28, 2011
Kelly-Fradet specializes in custom home building and remodeling projects, supplying the best lumber and building supplies available. For over 65 years, they have worked to help contractors and homeowners in Western Massachusetts and Connecticut build, remodel, and enhance their homes.
Kelly-Fradet is a pro dealer serving professional contractors across Connecticut and Massachusetts. A key part of their business is custom items, many of which have hundreds of configurable options. One of Kelly-Fradet’s biggest challenges lay in serving customers who want an exact copy of custom items ordered months or years ago. With so many configurable parts, customers rarely remember the exact specs of the original piece. To further complicate the matter, Kelly-Fradet’s customers frequently do business at different branches. They may have placed the original order at one branch, but then reorder it at a different location.
Kelly-Fradet wanted to provide even better service to their multi-location customers, so they decided to implement the Agility ERP system from DMSi. “We made the move to DMSi several years ago after experiencing serious growing pains with our previous software,” says Dan Sullivan, Kelly-Fradet’s general manager.
Agility handles every aspect of Kelly-Fradet’s operation, from sales and accounting to purchasing. “Agility integrates all our information into a very efficient system,” says Sullivan. “With just a few clicks, you have everything you need to handle inventory management and fulfillment quickly and accurately.”
Agility streamlines custom order processes, from order-entry to fulfillment. From the customizable Point of Sale screen, Kelly-Fradet’s team can easily search a customer’s order history (including orders placed at other branches) to find a specific custom item. The sales rep can then add the item to the current sales order with a few clicks. “Finding customer information is infinitely easier,” says Rick Barrows, outside sales rep. “Even if a customer isn’t sure about a previous order, we can look up their past orders and re-create the item.”
Another way Agility streamlines the custom item order process is through interfaces with vendors such as Andersen Windows. Once the sales rep creates the original order, Agility pushes details to the interface and submits the order to Andersen. There’s no need for the rep to re-key the order themselves. This not only saves time, it also dramatically reduces the risk of human errors. “The Andersen IQ windows interface lets our staff quickly and accurately complete non-stock quotes and orders from their POS computers,” says Ron Reid, manager for Kelly-Fradet’s East Longmeadow branch. “We can quickly get our customers satisfied and back in the field working,”
When it comes to order fulfillment, Agility turns Kelly-Fradet’s multi-branch setup into an asset. Customers can place an order in any of Kelly-Fradet’s branches, and the shipping department can assign it to ship from the location or stocking branch closest to the customer’s job site. If the materials aren’t currently in stock at the desired shipping location, Agility ensures the product is available at the correct branch by the scheduled delivery date. “Agility auto-generates all the transfer paperwork,” says system manager Mike Knickerbocker. “It’s an awesome time-saver!” This functionality ensures customers receive their orders more quickly, and Kelly-Fradet uses resources more effectively.
Agility’s integrated data helps Kelly-Fradet in several ways. Reid explains, “Live inventory is new to us since our partnership with DMSi. It is a world of difference to have all this accurate information at our fingertips.” For instance, Agility’s Mobile Sales app gives users real-time inventory data from a mobile device. It’s proven to be a major asset to yard and dispatch personnel and allows them to get more done with fewer interruptions. Rob Suprenant, Shipping and Dispatch, agrees. “The app allows me to see if another branch has any in stock without getting off my forklift and walking back into the office.” It also provides excellent visibility into the status of open orders. “Our shippers can see what is being delivered and where,” says Corey Bushnell, sales and purchasing agent. “Then they can transfer deliveries between stores, which saves us time, miles, and money.”
Overall, Agility’s full integration and real-time data allow the Kelly-Fradet team to deliver outstanding service. “Agility works very well handling multi-store transactions,” says Sullivan. “The process is seamless for customers who visit multiple locations.”
“Just about everything is easier with Agility,” agrees Bushnell. “Reps can check a customer’s account status without having to track down a bookkeeper. We can look up an order from four years ago to check the pricing, cost, margin, etc. of a specific product. It’s definitely made us more consistent in our pricing when it comes to quotes and orders.”
Kelly-Fradet continues to expand its services to customers, branching most recently into e-commerce with the Agility online customer portal, PartnerView. PartnerView increases service levels by giving customers a 24-7 way to place orders and pay bills. “The users that are on it like it,” says Knickerbocker. “It’s funny how many people pay their bill after hours or on Sundays when we’re closed.”
Agility has also streamlined the administrative side of Kelly-Fradet’s operation. “We were able to completely revamp and centralize the bookkeeping staff and improve A/R processing,” says Knickerbocker. “The accuracy, speed, and accountability significantly increased. Partly due to a change of accounting practices, DMSi has helped reduce our inventory losses by over 65%.”
“Agility saves so much time and research,” says Sullivan. “There is no more guessing. The data that Agility provides allows quicker and better decisions regarding inventory, payables, receivables, and purchasing. On a daily basis, I’m able to accomplish much more and do so more accurately. DMSi has been a big factor in our company’s growth and success.”
“Accuracy, speed, and accountability significantly increased. Partly due to a change of accounting practices, DMSi has helped reduce our inventory losses by over 65%.”
-Mike Knickerbocker, System Manager, Kelly-Fradet Lumber