There are plenty of good reasons, if you’re a lumber and building materials dealer, to use Spruce™ business management system from ECi Software Solutions to run your business. The program was designed for dealers by dealers and the fact that there are today over 15,000 users of Spruce software in the industry worldwide speaks for itself.
But over and above the basic features and benefits of the program, there’s also the added advantage that when you put the power of Spruce to work for your business, you also gain a valuable partner who’s just as committed as you are to making sure you make the most of what the software offers.
Just ask John Niland at Woodbury Supply Co. in Woodbury, Connecticut.
Woodbury Supply made the move to Spruce in January 2016. Potentially, at least, it could have been a tortuous, high-stress process, with the potential ultimately to end up causing more problems than it solved.
The company made the change after many years of using off-the-shelf accounting software to run the business. It was a generic program that required extensive double-data-entry and offered no features or functionality specifically designed to meet the special needs of a building materials operation.
But the Woodbury Supply team were used to the old program and many of them, particularly long-time associates, viewed the change with something less than totally unrestrained enthusiasm.
Spruce's support made implementation easy for Woodbury Supply
Fortunately, the training and technical support team at Spruce have handled more than their fair share of system conversions and they put a plan in place to ensure things went smoothly, both from a technical perspective and for the people involved.
"Janet Ward, one of Spruce’s business systems analysts, spent a week onsite with us and analyzed how we were doing things, so that she could adapt her role to meet our particular needs rather than doing some one-size-fits-all, generic training," recalls Niland. "She made a point of getting into the details of our processes and really making sure she understood our business."
When Woodbury was ready to go live, Ward came back again and spent another week with the team onsite to make sure they got off to a good start with the software.
"Janet did a very good job of getting us ready," Niland says. "It was obvious she knows the software very well and was able to answer all the questions we had. She also was able to help us adapt the software to our procedures and that was a big plus."
Just as important as software tweaks, though, was her ability to adjust her training style to help the Woodbury Supply team reach a comfort level with the program quickly.
"Some of our people are not particularly tech-savvy but our Spruce trainer did a very good job of adjusting for that and giving them the time and attention they needed," Niland explains. "It could have been a source of real problems but Janet handled it well. She was very good at dealing with the different personalities in our organization and bringing them along at their own speed."
Spruce LBM software brings new efficiencies to Woodbury soon after going live
Less than six months after Woodbury Supply went live, the features and functionality of Spruce are already bringing new levels of efficiency and productivity to the business.
The days of duplicate data entry are gone and work that sometimes used to take hours now gets done with just a few keystrokes and mouse clicks. "We have totally changed the way we do business as far as our back office is concerned and things are so much better," Niland reports.
"Spruce has given us a much better handle on our business and how we’re doing in real-time," he says. "Before we switched to Spruce, we ran the business on gut instinct and partial insights rather than hard data. Now, so much more information is available to us."
And, he adds, access to information is available company-wide in a way that it wasn’t before. "With Spruce, we now have an electronic filing cabinet and it’s so much easier to look up documents like old invoices or orders," he explains. "Not only can everyone in the company find things when they need to quickly and easily, Spruce is also helping us cut down on our paper use in general."
In addition to its building materials business, Woodbury Supply operates a custom mill shop and, says Niland, the company is managing that side of the business far more effectively than before thanks to Spruce.
"Spruce allow us to track our costs and time in the mill shop so much better," he says happily. The Woodbury Supply team is also managing inventory a lot more efficiently since moving to Spruce. "We never had live inventory of stock items before Spruce but we do now," Niland explains.
For John Niland and the rest of the Woodbury Supply team, there’s a new confidence about how they’re running the company since they went live with Spruce. Decisions are being made on the basis of real-time data rather than guesswork and gut feel.
While they’re still relatively new to the program and learning more about its features and functionality every day, there’s one key thing they know already: With Spruce they’ve got a solid platform to keep the business running smoothly, backed by a veteran training and technical support team that will be with them as they move forward every step of the way.