Spruce® ERP Streamlines Operations to Position Company for Strong Growth
The way Kendra Hermann tells it, there were only three things that McCoy Millwork got when they switched to Spruce lumber and building materials ERP software from ECi Software Solutions to run their business: more time, more money, and a lot more information!
When Hermann joined the Portland, Oregon, company in April 2015 as its accounting manager, McCoy Millwork was a long-time user of Dimensions, a DOS-based program that dated all the way back to 1991.
Business maturation demands lumber and building material-specific software
The program may have met the company’s needs once upon a time, but those days were long gone. Hermann and the rest of the McCoy Millwork management team recognized change was sorely needed and they embarked on a search for software that would bring the business into the 21st century.
That search narrowed down very quickly to just two options, Spruce and Epicor, and both companies came in and made presentations. “Epicor was impressive but it did far more than we needed it to do,” Hermann recalls. “We weren’t going to be able to utilize everything that it did and all those extra features came with a hefty price tag.”
Dollars and cents should never be the sole factor behind any business decision, but Hermann and her team could hardly ignore the basic math. “Spruce could do everything Epicor did, but at a level far better suited to a medium-sized business like ours,” she explains. “Spruce gave us everything we needed at about a third of what we would have had to pay for Epicor!”
Training, confidence and a seamless conversion are critical for a lean-staffed operation
Just one month after Hermann came onboard, she found herself in charge of managing one of the most important tasks McCoy Millwork had faced in a long time: moving from the software it had used for more than 25 years to Spruce, a new and very different platform. Fortunately, Hermann, with the support of the Spruce implementation team, proved more than up to the challenge.
“The conversion to Spruce went really well,” Hermann reports. A key to the process, she says, was a series of checklists Spruce provided for each of the program’s modules including manufacturing and millwork, purchasing and inventory, sales, delivery, and rentals.
“I prepared customized checklists for each of our employees depending on which parts of the program they would be using, so they could work through the training they needed before we went live,” Hermann explains.
Another big plus was the support Spruce provided on data conversion. An initial test run of the conversion routine helped identify potential problem areas and fix them early on, so that the go-live conversion went seamlessly, Hermann reports.
“I had an A/R number, an A/P number, and an inventory number that I had generated from our old system before the conversion,” she explains. “Those numbers came through just like they were supposed to and that allowed us to confirm a successful data conversion very quickly.”
Hermann also gives high marks to Spruce for its support on the conversion overall. “Most of our people took the switch to Spruce very much in stride,” she says. “We practiced on the software a lot before we actually went live and Spruce provided an implementation specialist on site for two days. So we had someone readily accessible to help us get any kinks with our software or hardware figured out right away. It all went really well.”
A single, electronic source of data streamlines operations and drives growth
Three fast-moving years after going live with Spruce, life is good at McCoy Millwork. Both sales and profitability are up significantly and, says Hermann, Spruce lumber and building materials software has played a key role in managing that growth. “Spruce has streamlined key areas of our operations and given us real-time information on the company that we really didn’t have with Dimensions.”
With Dimensions, Hermann recalls, managing the business was largely a paper-based activity. Tracking sales involved printing out a 30-page report every night that management would have to carefully review for anything out of the ordinary. And if a customer had a question about an invoice or statement, finding the answer required a time-consuming search through filing cabinets filled with carbon paper copies.
Time-consuming business and IT tasks are automated and simplified
With Spruce, all McCoy’s company and customer information is now stored electronically and can be accessed literally with just a couple of keystrokes. That means major cost savings and a whole lot more time to spend on activities that truly help the business grow. Hermann estimates the company is saving thousands from just reduced paper and printing alone!
Spruce has also made everyone at the company far more productive, Hermann points out. Basic business reports like the end of month financials typically take a third of the time they did with Dimensions. Managing the company’s in-house manufacturing, which involved cumbersome workarounds in Dimensions, is also much easier with Spruce, Hermann says.
Because Spruce is hosted in the cloud, McCoy Millwork personnel are not responsible for server maintenance, software updates, system upgrades, and security. Moving these IT tasks out of the organization frees up still more time for more productive activity.
Delivery management mobile app provides visibility and validation
The program’s Spruce AnyWare delivery management mobile app has brought a new level of efficiency to delivery operations, according to Hermann.
“With the Spruce AnyWare mobile app, our driver can get a digital signature and take a photo of the delivery when he drops it off and it all attaches to the invoice in the system. Being able to show that we delivered everything when we said we did has been incredibly useful for us on numerous occasions.”
For Kendra Hermann and the rest of the team at McCoy Millwork, switching to Spruce means they’re no longer trying to manage the company in spite of the software the way that they once did.
“I don’t even want to think about what shape we would be in if we hadn’t made the change. If we were still on Dimension today, we would probably need four or five more people to do all the work that Spruce does for us now,” Hermann adds. “Spruce is just a very well-rounded program. All of their modules work really well and the program truly has helped take our business to the next level.”