Materials Marketing is a premier supplier of specialty tile and stone sourced from around the world and distributed through contractors, architects, and professional installers. Headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, the company maintains 11 sales offices around the country and employs up to 140 individuals. This busy operation requires a robust, scalable ERP solution to keep its operations running smoothly. For Materials Marketing, that solution is Sage 300 ERP, ably supported by Mindover Software.
Economic Slowdown Presents Opportunity
Until recently, Materials Marketing ran its accounting operations on an older ERP software package utilizing a FoxPro database. The older architecture made it difficult and expensive to support and there was concern about the overall stability of the system. “We had a number of incidents with the software that worried us, but we were too busy to research and implement a new ERP solution,” recalls Ryan Engel, CFO for Materials Marketing.
The recent economic slowdown provided the impetus for Materials Marketing to act. “We saw an opportunity to invest in our infrastructure, positioning us to grow and expand our operations as the economy rebounds,” Engel says.
Materials Marketing turned to its long-time business partner, Mindover Software for advice. Mindover Software recommended a move to Sage 300 ERP, a scalable and robust solution that also includes an integrated CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system that Materials Marketing had been researching.
Well Executed Conversion
“Mindover Software presented a timetable and plan for converting to Sage 300 ERP,” Engel explains. “We trust Mindover Software and knew that their team could get the job done right. We elected to get the ERP system up and running first, and then implement CRM. It has proven to be a great move for us.”
The company’s multiple locations complicated the implementation; however, Mindover Software was undaunted. In fact, it was the efficient conversion process that most impressed Engel. “Mindover Software handled the conversion exceptionally well,” he says. “They laid out a detailed workflow plan and followed it. Without their guidance, we would have made multiple mistakes. Their experience, knowledge, preparation, and persistence made this project a success.”
The new system provides visibility and consistency across all of the company’s departments and locations. “From accounting, to purchasing, estimating, customer service, sales, and inventory tracking—we are able to manage it all within Sage 300 ERP,” says Engel. “With a single, centralized database, we gain tremendous visibility into our operations that was difficult to achieve before.”
Managers from every location can access Sage 300 ERP and review their store’s financial information and produce reports concerning their operation. “The security features in the software allow us to provide field-level security. This ensures that each manager can access only the information specific to their location,” explains Engel.
The powerful, scalable SQL database offers a robust platform for Materials Marketing’s growing enterprise. “We have none of the data corruption issues we were plagued with before,” notes Engel. “And we can double our transaction volume without taxing the system.”
Data at Your Fingertips
Another benefit to the company is the availability of data offered by its new solution. “We can drill down to uncover the details of any transaction. Using Crystal Reports, I can customize any existing report and generate new reports to give our staff the precise information they need,” Engel says.
One example of the reporting flexibility Engel cites is an intricate real-time sales report that delivers a minute-by-minute snapshot of the company’s sales activity. “Before, we would download data to Excel, format it there, and then publish the reports. But because we were downloading the data remained static and was quickly outdated. Now, I can run this report to screen and instantly have the information I need in real time.”
Materials Marketing and Mindover Software are currently planning the implementation of Sage CRM. “We have big plans for Sage CRM,” says Engel. “The tight integration with Sage 300 ERP will be of huge benefit to our sales and service operations.”
By partnering with a skilled and experienced partner, Materials Marketing has positioned itself to capitalize on the rebounding economy and continue to expand on its success.