S&S Custom Wood
Case Study: S&S Custom Wood Moldings
The Challenge: The Knock on Wood
S&S Custom Wood Moldings is a hardwood-moldings manufacturer with offices in Dallas
and Tulsa. Like most manufacturers, S&S Custom Wood Moldings had a stone-aged IT
environment that centered on a dated version of Peachtree accounting software, which
tapped into a DOS-based database.
Sales information would be keyed into Peachtree, backed up on a one-gigabyte Jaz drive,
hand-carried to other computers that handled invoicing or payroll, and then downloaded.
“We were constantly taking things back and forth because nothing was integrated,” says
Seabolt. “We tried to hook everything up, but going through DOS is pretty impossible.”
Separate systems spawned nightmares. For starters, Seabolt couldn’t make changes to
invoices because Peachtree would force the closure of books. Many of Peachtree’s fluffy
features weren’t user friendly, and thus sat idle. With Peachtree, Seabolt also had to exit
out of one module in order to open up another. “It was a major headache,” he says.
Still, convincing an old-line manufacturer to upgrade technology is akin to splitting wood
with a motherboard. Simply put, most manufacturers shun change. “In our industry, you
don’t fix what isn’t broken,” Seabolt says. “Technology, even old technology, is still
considered a luxury not to be tampered with lightly.”
Then came the fatal flaw. When a technical problem with Peachtree cropped up and
Seabolt telephoned customer service, he was put on hold for up to an hour. Finally, a
representative picked up the receiver only to tell him that there wasn’t an answer to his
problem. “That’s just ridiculous,” Seabolt says, adding that he dumped the technology
shortly after the poor customer-service experience.
The Solution: A Clean Finish
Seabolt chose NetSuite, in part because of NetSuite’s stellar customer service reputation.
NetSuite would also maintain the system at its state-of-the-art facilities — not at S&S
Custom Wood Moldings. Cost-savings was another driving factor: As a hosted service,
NetSuite frees up $100,000 that otherwise would’ve been spent on hardware, software
licenses, integration consulting fees, IT staff, and upgrades.
Moreover, NetSuite offers a range of benefits outside of accounting. Seabolt, for instance,
can check inventory availability in real-time and close sales on the fly. He can customize the
system to purchase stock automatically, if stock fell below pre-set inventory levels. And he
can drive sales over the Web.
But the biggest draw was NetSuite’s unique Kits-and-Assemblies feature in the inventory
module. Specifically, the module scores finished goods, in terms of raw-materials used and
time spent on certain machines. This shows Seabolt how much raw materials are finding
their way into finished products and how much are ending up on the scrap heap.
Consequently, Seabolt can optimize business processes and, in effect, increase the
margins on goods. “This was big,” Seabolt says. “NetSuite’s Kits-and-Assemblies feature
automatically takes finished goods out of our stock, which gives us a more accurate
picture... and everyone in manufacturing could see the value in that.”
The Results: High-Tech Craftsmanship
Tom Seabolt chose NetSuite over a client-server solution and thus saved boatloads of cash.
“I figured we’ve saved at least $100,000 in IT-related costs,” he says. Meanwhile, he’s
using NetSuite’s Kits-and-Assemblies tool to streamline manufacturing processes and boost
margins. “Reducing waste is the key to manufacturing,” Seabolt, vice president, says.
feature automatically takes
finished goods out of our stock,
which gives us a more accurate
picture... and everyone in
manufacturing could see the
value in that.”
— Tom Seabolt, Vice President
S&S Custom Wood Moldings
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