Expedited business processes tops list of reasons for switching to Spruce software for building supply businesses
After 15 years in the building supply business, Brandon Ford knows just what he wants from his management software. “Everything needs to flow,” he says. “The last thing you want to be worrying about when you’re trying to run your business is your computer program. You’ve got plenty of other things to take care of that are a whole lot more important.”
The good news for Ford and the rest of the team at Albertsons Home Center in Parksville, British Columbia, is that since switching to Spruce software from ECi in 2015, computer worries are very much a thing of the past.
Albertsons outgrew its system and needed to take its core competencies to the next level
“If you’re in the building supply business, Spruce is a program that makes it easy to take care of ordering, receiving, and getting customers through the checkout smoothly,” says Ford. “And if we can’t do all that and do it well, we’ve got a problem.”
Before switching to Spruce, Albertsons had used Profitmaster from ACCEO®. Folks at the company were used to the program, but as an organization that prides itself on innovation and superior execution, Ford knew it was time for a change.
The solution had to be short on the learning curve and long on features
“We really needed a program that was more current and more user-friendly and that offered more options than what we had with Profitmaster,” he says. And once Ford saw Spruce’s features and benefits up close, making the decision to switch became very easy.
“The Spruce sales reps came into the store, made their presentation and I told them right there and then that we wouldn’t be looking at any other programs,” he recalls.
Spruce was more affordable than Profitmaster and a lot of other LBM programs too, but that was not the key factor in its favor, says Ford. “The decision to move to Spruce had a lot to do with the software’s ease of use and the fact that it is a Windows® based system.”
Once Albertsons went live with Spruce, training, for example, became a very different process. While Ford says getting a new employee up to speed on Profitmaster could take as much as a week, these days, things go just a little faster. “With Spruce, our new hires can be up and running on their own after just a few hours, and that’s a big plus,” he points out.
To compete in today’s environment, the system had to maximize employee productivity
Spruce has also brought significant cost savings to Albertsons in other key areas. With Profitmaster, sending out monthly statements to the company’s commercial accounts was a labor-intensive, print-and-mail process.
Thanks to Spruce, says Ford, about 70% of the company’s statements now go out via email, not only saving hard costs for paper and postage but also freeing up valuable time for Albertsons’ staff to spend more productively.
Transforming inventory management at Albertsons was another high priority
With Profitmaster, Ford says the company would take inventory once-a-year and bring in an outside company to handle what was a complex, lengthy, and costly process. Moving to Spruce has enabled Ford and his team to adopt cycle counts by group and section throughout the year. The move is not only saving money, as outsourcing the annual inventory count came with a hefty $8,000 fee but is also generating more timely and accurate information.
Put all this together with other features like Spruce’s powerful management dashboards, easy-to-use document tracking capability, and its flawless purchasing interface with Orgill (Albertsons’ main supplier), and it’s no wonder that Ford is a big Spruce fan.
Spruce keeps Albertsons on the leading edge of business performance
“Technology is important for any business today but for us it’s huge,” he says. “Our customers expect to be served in an expedient time and in a professional manner, and Spruce makes it possible for us to do just that. As a company, we pride ourselves on always being on the leading edge. Spruce gets us there and keeps us there.”