January 20, 2016
Fort Smith, AR
Agility (SaaS hosted)
November 01, 2010
Plunkett Distributing provides laminate, solid surface, hardwood moldings, and cabinet supplies to markets in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas. Founded in 1948 by J.F. Plunkett, the business is into the third generation of family ownership.
Plunkett Distributing handled hundreds of custom orders every month using a multi-step process. An employee would create a sales order in the branch’s system, and then call or fax the production shop where a second employee would re-enter all the details to create the bill of materials (BOM) and work order. It was time-intensive, and there was always a risk of data-entry errors. Plunkett Distributing wanted a more efficient way to handle custom orders.
Plunkett Distributing implemented the Agility ERP system and took advantage of the branch transfer functionality. Agility makes it easy to coordinate remanufacturing processes across multiple locations. Once a rep enters a sales order at his branch, Agility automatically creates the related bill of materials and work order at the production facility. It also queues up shipping and receiving transactions for the final product.
To make the process even more efficient, the DMSi team created a catalog of item blanks for every species and width of molding Plunkett Distributing produced. When reps create a custom order, they are able to pull up one of the product blanks instead of entering all the details from scratch. Order entry is now much easier and faster.
Agility proved to be a very effective platform for Plunkett Distributing. “It has been an extremely positive experience for us,” says owner Don Plunkett. “The rep just has to enter the sales order, and then the bill of materials and the work order show up on the screen at our other facility across town. It’s been a huge help.”
The improved efficiency made it easier for the company to scale up to meet growing demand. “In the last year  we were up about $4.5-5 million, and this year we’re up $7 million as of August,” says Don. “There’s no way we could’ve done that with our old system.” Operations were so efficient, Plunkett Distributing was able to steadily increase production without increasing headcount through 2014. (The company did bring on additional staff in 2015, including several outside sales reps for new territories.)
Don also leverages Agility’s reporting tools. Sales dashboards make it easy to assess and monitor his team’s performance: “We have better visibility into things like market costs and gross margin violations. We can pull out data that we never could before. I’m able to see things as they are trending instead of hearing about it after something goes wrong. It’s been a huge impact on our bottom line.”
Plunkett Distributing has experienced significant growth, and Don is excited about the future. He sees more opportunities for improving operations and expanding the business: “There are things within Agility that are making us better than we ever were before, and we’re ready to take another step forward. It’s just time. We’re growing so much right now.”
“Agility has had a very positive effect not only on our operational efficiencies but also our profitability.” -Don Plunkett, Owner, Plunkett Distributing