For more than 60 years, Specialty Products Company has provided wholesale floor coverings to contractors and retailers across Texas and the Southeast. When President Lori Anthony-Thomas took over for her father fifteen years ago, the company was just beginning to computerize its operations. “I told him I would not come to work until he purchased accounting software,” she recalls. “He purchased Sage 300 (formerly Sage ERP Accpac) way back then and it has been our solution ever since.”
Falling Behind the Technology Curve
It has not always been smooth sailing, though. Once the software was up and running, the business partner who performed the implementation disappeared, leaving the company without support.
“Fortunately, Sage 300 is so stable, that we did not require much support—we just kept working,” she recalls. “However, that meant that we never updated the software, so our technology quickly was out of date.”
As the business grew and changed, lot tracking became critical. Sage 300 offers a robust lot tracking module, but Specialty Products Company would need to update to the current version of the application in order to add the new module.
“That’s when we realized how far behind we were,” Anthony-Thomas says. “And just how much we were missing.”
The Right Partner at The Right Time
Specialty Products Company engaged Mindover Software to assist with the upgrade and implementation of the new functionality. “We wanted a firm that would do more than just sell us software—we wanted a firm to partner with us and help us get the most out of Sage 300 and keep us current with features and technology,” Anthony-Thomas says. “Mindover Software impressed us from the start with their clear, open communications. They carefully explained the upgrade process and walked us through the entire process.”
Anthony-Thomas appreciates that most of the conversion was handled remotely by Mindover Software, saving travel expense. “It worked very well. In addition, they were willing to come to our site whenever we needed personalized training or troubleshooting,” she says.
Better Decision Making
Every busy executive needs quick access to their company’s financial metrics to allow them to make informed decisions. One tool Anthony-Thomas uses to get the data she needs is Uni Sales Analysis, a reporting and analytical tool that makes it quick and easy to obtain metrics such as top-selling items, most profitable customers, and top-producing salespeople.
“I love Sage 300’s reporting functionality—I can see the big picture clearly and drill down to the underlying details,” Anthony-Thomas says. “For example, I can look at a specific SKU and see a detailed cost history. That allows me to make better, and more strategic pricing decisions.”
Strategic Inventory Management
Specialty Products Company employs a product manager for each of its product lines. The product managers rely on Sage 300 to give them up-to-date information about stock levels and lead times. The Inventory Analysis reports are favorites; they show what is in stock, on order, and also what is selling and what is no longer selling.
“Trends change very quickly in this industry,” Anthony-Thomas says. “So, we don’t want to overstock, yet we still need to have sufficient inventory to meet our clients’ needs. It is a balancing act and the data we get from Sage 300 helps us purchase only what we need to meet customer demand.”
Color matching is imperative for a large order and the Lot Tracking module enables the company to track the various dye lots for its flooring. Full integration across the Inventory Control, Order Entry, and Purchase Orders modules ensures that full transaction history for each lot is maintained.
In addition to the new Lot Tracking module, Mindover Software helped to implement the Return Material Authorization (RMA) module for Specialty Products Company. It simplifies the return process; staff can create an RMA from the original customer invoice and track the status of the return.
Value in the Relationship
Anthony-Thomas is pleased that she has found a business partner her company can rely on to support the software that has served them so well throughout the years.
“We were so far behind we essentially had to start over with the new version. We could have abandoned Sage 300,” she says. “But I’m glad we didn’t. Mindover Software turned the conversion process into a good experience. We receive real value from our relationship with Mindover Software.”