Timber Trading Group

Timber Trading Group

Company

Timber Trading Group

Location

Worchester, MA

Website

www.timbertrading.com

Sales Profile

13 Users, 1 Location

System

Agility (SaaS Hosted)

Implemented

February 01, 1999

Industries

Lumber

Information

Timber Trading was established in 1983. As a major distributor of Eastern White Pine and other superior grade wood products, Timber Trading has earned a reputation as one of the most highly regarded lumber companies in the Northeast.

The Challenge

Timber Trading Group was searching for ways to provide their sales team with more collaborative tools to reinforce their dominance in white pine lumber distribution. As the sales team met with contractor yards and builder yards across New England, they realized the data management was more than their current system could handle. “Enticing loyalty long-term requires managing the amount of lumber we move between the mills and reload centers; quality controls in our shops; and how fast we can ship it out of the warehouse,” explained Timber Trading General Manager, Dave Zappone.

The Solution

Dave Zappone was looking for a modern system that would give his staff a live snapshot of the company’s inventory and delivery schedules. DMSi’s Agility Software and SaaS (Software as a Service) fit the bill for Timber Trading. Utilizing lumber distribution software through the Internet allowed Timber Trading to capitalize on their customers’ needs for instant and accurate lumber information with the added benefit of reduced expenses. “Our capacity to provide better service to customers has improved substantially. 30 percent better, no question, since we started using Agility SaaS,” Zappone stated. “As a management tool, it makes our office run a lot smoother.”

Today, Timber Trading’s entire IT 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. “The SaaS program allows everyone in our office be more mobile, more productive, and offer customers real-time answers when out of the office.”

The instant access to information eliminates return phone calls, a common practice before Timber Trading opted for the remotely hosted business management application. Plus, the risk of unknowingly selling units of lumber while a second prospect deliberates its procurement is significantly reduced. “Prior to 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.”

Breaking from traditional computerization keeps infrastructure hassles far out of the office. Timber Trading saves about $12,000 annually by reducing third-party networking expenses. Time savings from handling technical issues are substantial, especially without having IT resources on staff. Timber Trading has more control of inventory and customer data than ever before. “Initially we wondered about expenses in a SaaS environment. But, to stay up-to-date otherwise, you’re changing equipment every four hours before it’s obsolete,” Zappone joked. When the switch to SaaS was announced company-wide, sighs of relief by staff confirmed Zappone’s recognition of the bottom line benefits. “Implementing this new technology will be one of our industry’s challenges over the next five years as we become more integrated with customers,” he added. “If you want to stay current in sales, you’ll need this kind of system. With Agility we’re delivering a value-added service faster to make us more efficient and better competitors.”

“Our capacity to provide better service to customers has improved substantially, 30% better, no question, since we started using Agility SaaS. As a management tool, it makes our office run a lot smoother.”    -Dave Zappone, General Manager, Timber Trading