Epicor has announced that Kimal Lumber Company has completed its implementation of Epicor BisTrack Software (for US and Canada). Founded in 1981 by Al Bavry and Kim Pavkovich the company has grown substantially. It now has seven locations around West Florida and delivers lumber and hardware across the region with 25 trucks.
Kimal had used Falcon/Catalyst, another Epicor product for several years. Allen Bavry, Jr., Information Technologies-Corporate, Kimal Lumber commented: “When we decided to replace our aging software system, we wanted to give our company a technological boost that we didn’t have previously. Additionally, we wanted to change our company systematically and procedurally—we used this new software installation as a way of convincing our entire team to embrace industry best practices. With the technology that Epicor BisTrack software affords us, we can already do tasks faster, more efficiently, and provide our customers with that extra level of service.”
Using technology to full advantage
Kimal did not just look to Epicor for a product upgrade. They reviewed the market and also looked at DMSi as a potential alternative according to Epicor. They elected to deploy BisTrack from the cloud and went live after six months. With more than 50 concurrent users on the system this is not a small implementation.
In addition to the cloud they wanted to take advantage of the mobile capabilities of the software. These were improved in the v5.5 release earlier this year. All drivers now have smartphones that use the BisTrack mobile application. It allows the company to improve the efficiency of its delivery operation. With 75 deliveries a day, a wrong delivery had a substantial knock on effect. It reduced customer satisfaction, increased administration work and increased costs as another order needed shipping.
They are now using BisTrack Journey Planner and BisTrack Delivery applications to improve their service. The BisTrack Journey planner allows it to coordinate deliveries between locations and should reduce the cost of deliveries. The mobile app ensures that deliveries are checked, photographed and signed for with evidence.
Bob Hinman, general manager, Kimal Lumber commented: “We currently have the stereotypical dispatch office—the clipboards up on the wall representing each truck. One of the great advantages we see with BisTrack software is it will enable us to optimize our truck and driver usage, boost efficiency, and minimize delivery errors. When we complete installation of the BisTrack Journey Planner and BisTrack Delivery applications we’ll be able to generate real-time information for our team and especially for our customers as to when a delivery should pass, provide pictures, and documentation for each drop. We recognize that as a big advantage and we’re viewing it as not only improving our efficiency but also offering better service for our customers.”
This isn’t just about increasing efficiency though. Hinman also sees it as a way to gain a competitive advantage over other lumber and building materials (LBM) dealers. If Kimal can reduce the cost of deliveries, they will either increase profitability or can reduce their delivery prices.
The increase in accuracy of orders should also help to improve customer satisfaction and referenceability. It will be interesting to see in a few months time what metrics Kimal has achieved using the software.
Only the first phase of the project has been completed. In the next phase Kimal are looking to implement Epicor ecommerce software. Currently the Kimal website only provides a brochure and allows businesses to request quotes. In future clients will be able to choose their requirements. It will be interesting to see how the installation is developed and how Kimal take advantage of the latest features of BisTrack.
Kevin Hodge, director, product development and product management, Epicor Software commented: “Kimal Lumber is a company driven by their customer needs and is always striving to implement new processes and technologies that will move them into the future. We’re proud to partner with Kimal Lumber to expand and enhance its LBM operations—they are now well-positioned to positively flip workflows and deliver on seamless customer deliveries for continued business growth.”
What does this mean
One can argue that this is merely Epicor replacing one of its legacy installations with a SaaS solution. However, it was still a competitive win. In recent months Epicor has seen increasing competition from other vendors such as Dancik. Epicor has a substantial presence in the LBM market. Completing this implementation demonstrates that its cloud portfolio is on track. There is still a long way to go though and it needs to persuade many more customers to cloud over the next few years to retain its position.