Mid-State Lumber Corp.
Agility (SaaS Hosted)
August 01, 2005
Mid-State Lumber provides building material products to retail lumber dealers throughout New England and the mid-Atlantic states. They view education and technology as central to their customer service strategy, and provide resources such as videos and a virtual warehouse through their website.
Mid-State Lumber is a family-owned business that prides itself on unparalleled service. The company has grown significantly since its founding in 1976, adding multiple locations and expanding into new territories. Mid-State Lumber needed to deliver the same quality of service to their customers as the operation continued to grow.
Agility ERP software allows businesses to maintain accuracy, efficiency and quality of service as they scale up their operations. Designed for the building materials industry, Agility contains features tailored to the unique needs of business such as Mid-State Lumber. It centralizes key business processes, so sales, accounting, purchasing and dispatch transactions are created and managed from one place. Any changes made in Agility happen in real-time and are reflected across the entire system. This is critical for companies like Mid-State Lumber where purchasing, sales, and dispatch may operate from separate branches.
Agility has proven to be a good fit for Mid-State Lumber. The industry-specific functionality is an asset for the company. “I have worked in every department in the company, and I find that Agility is helpful in every area,” said Maria Hall, Mid-State Lumber’s primary system manager. “Anything that you want to do from quoting, to automated processing, to reporting, to viewers…you name it. Agility does it all. I love the system.”
Agility allows Mid-State Lumber’s departments to coordinate effectively. Because Agility provides real-time data, everyone sees current information. There’s no need for departments to update each other over the phone or email. “If I change anything, the sales agents and the shipping department see it right away,“ says Maria. “If I get a phone call telling me a customer won’t be ready for their order until next Wednesday, I can just open my viewer, change the day and then the shipping department automatically sees that it’s done.”
Real-time data makes it easier for the Mid-State Lumber team to provide excellent service. Employees in every area of operation know information in Agility is current and accurate. There’s no need to double-check that a product is available before placing an order or scheduling a delivery. “You can be confident in what you are looking at,” says Maria. “If you see that you have 8,044 feet of item A, that’s because that’s what’s in the warehouse. The same thing in accounts receivable. If a customer account is listed as past due $3,000, it’s because they are past due $3,000. It’s not a mistake.”
Agility allows Mid-State Lumber to be extremely responsive to customers’ needs. Credit manager Anita Toupin appreciates that results are instant: “I love the way it’s real-time. As soon as a guy enters an order, I have receivables change. If a customer is past due and on credit hold, as soon as we get checks and apply them, it frees up their account.”
Agility has also helped Anita reduce the paper trail common in many offices. Agility’s reports and queries pull up all the data she needs in one screen. For instance, she can run a report to find all invoices past due by a certain number of days. Or she can use the A/R Credit Details screen to view an account’s credit information across all branches. “They have come up with a lot of new things for us that have helped us keep our receivables in a good standing,” says Anita. “I’ve been with the company for 30 years. We used to work off of a weekly aging report, notes written on paper, going back and forth, posting by hand, blue sheets, etc. And now it’s very simplified. The mounds of paperwork we had are gone. We have come a long, long way being on Agility. “
Agility’s interface includes customizable dashboards and viewers, which give users fast access to the things that are most important. Maria can find exactly what she needs right away: “There’s no more drilling down. For instance, if I wanted to go to Accounts Payable, that’s in my Favorites. I can just go to my ribbon and click. It’s right there. It’s like opening a book to the exact spot you want. It’s simple.”
Agility’s viewers show the current status of things such as scheduled work orders, open quotes, pick tickets and deliveries. Viewers play a key part in core processes such as picking and staging orders. “The operations guys can see the daily deliveries and where they are going, so our sales people know exactly what’s going on and can communicate that information to our customers,” says Anita. “I have guys in those departments that were very negative about using a computer, and now they are using them and a lot of it has to do with the viewers. It’s made their lives a lot easier.”
The DMSi team has worked closely with Mid-State Lumber and developed solid relationships with their counterparts. As a veteran employee of a service-based company, Anita is keenly aware of the impact those relationships can have: “DMSi is like a family. It really is. They treat their customers the same way, and that’s a really positive thing.”
“When you are looking at Agility, you can be confident in what you are looking at. We know the information that is there is reliable. There is no ‘if’ with Agility.” -Maria Hall, Primary System Manager, Mid-State Lumber Corp.