Bluefin Collectibles Leverages Acumatica During Industry Boom
The Company: About Bluefin Collectibles
Bandai Namco group company, Bluefin Collectibles distributes products in the U.S. for Bandai Tamashii Nations, Hobby, and Shokugan.
With the explosion of growth in the Hobby & Toy Collectibles Industry from large-scale events like Comic-Con, Bandai Namco group company, Bluefin Collectibles, quickly outpaced the capabilities of QuickBooks Enterprise. Affordable cloud-based Acumatica provides a more agile solution to fuel technology efficiencies and future growth due to the ease of integration with the company’s warehouse automation technologies.
The Situation: Affordable Solution
Bluefin recognized its fast-growing company would need to move off its aging and slow QuickBooks system to a more agile solution that could easily handle the management of the company’s extensive product line, growing customer base and continually expanding catalog of high-quality and popular collectibles from their many partners. The company needed a flexible, affordable solution with a robust CRM that provided access to a library of enhancements to easily integrate to handle Bluefin’s unique business needs. Bluefin started out looking at different ERPs and was evaluating Oracle NetSuite when they learned Acumatica was a strong competitor.
Business nuances demand a flexible platform
As a licensed hobby & toy collectibles distributor, Bluefin’s customers include 10,000 independent stores as well as large chain retailers. Pre-orders are solicited months ahead to help gauge demand before the products arrive in stores or Bluefin’s warehouses. Toys pre-ordered in March, for example, aren’t made until May, June or even July depending upon a manufacturer’s schedule, which means Bluefin won’t receive them until August or September since they are ocean shipped in containers. “Our customers would always ask when their order is coming, and we couldn’t tell them, even though some of the information was in our system. We take receipt once the toys are shipped but then we have to track how long they take to get to us after going through the overseas port, crossing the ocean, going through our American port, and finally arriving in our warehouse.”
The Solution: Acumatica Distribution ERP
Although initially interested in Oracle NetSuite, the Bluefin team quickly learned that Oracle NetSuite’s offering would be twice as expensive as Acumatica because Oracle NetSuite’s licensing is based on the number of users. “We liked the fact that we could have unlimited users and there are no per-seat licensing costs with Acumatica, so we could add as many users as we need to keep the work moving.” With 50+ employees and more on the way to help handle their rapid growth, having unlimited users was a big factor in the final selection of Acumatica. Bluefin also liked that Acumatica’s Hosted or On-Premise Solution provides for the power of choice to run Acumatica from the Cloud or from a Company’s own Server, with the ability to switch from one to the other as the business requires. Bluefin made the initial decision to host Acumatica on their own servers and chose to limit some critical financial data access to approved company executive management. Bluefin also liked that Acumatica offered a library of integration options, a warehouse and distribution software solution, and mobile access through Internet browsers. Bluefin chose and implemented Acumatica with consulting help from Acumatica partner, Collins Computing.
- Gained deeper insight and traceability into financial, warehouse and distribution operations.
- Saved IT man-hours by report generation function and dashboards.
- Provided mobile access to financial data and key metrics for quicker and informed Executive Team business decisions.
- Streamlined customer communication, improving customer experience & confidence.
- Allowed IT to spend more time making the company productive & technologically advanced.
The Results: Acumatica Distribution ERP Implementation Benefits
Acumatica: much-needed platform for rapid growth
Bluefin grew quickly and ended up moving into a larger space shortly after going live. Today the company’s key metrics are all tracked, and they have gained real-time insight into the business. In the QuickBooks era, Bluefin spent hours fulfilling requests for information from departmental executives to aid in business decisions. Today, executive team members and internal staff run the reports they need themselves, freeing hours of time to focus on streamlining business operations. “Now, I’ll simply build a page and a dashboard screen and show team members how to get there and how to refresh the report, so they don’t have to ask me again. We personalize Acumatica to our needs almost daily; it’s the real hammer and anvil in our cubicles. We use the dashboard to show items like shipments per day, dollar value per day, and on the sales side, we have monthly sales totals, totals by salesperson, invoice amount by order. For shippers – who’s doing the most volume there, and what our top-selling items are. In addition, we’ve broken out our brand partners in Asia so we can see how brand partners perform against others.”
Rapid access to trade show data reveals new insights
Bluefin is an exhibitor at many of their industry conferences like Comic- Con and operates a selling store on the floor. After attending its first trade show with the new solution, Bluefin immediately benefited from reporting and metrics that took months to get previously. “When we return, we can import the sales we had, run a report of the inventory taken to the show, and distinguish how well the items performed sales- wise. We are able to narrow down which brands sold the strongest. Before, we had an idea of what we sold but didn’t have the numbers until months later since that required counts of the products we brought back and putting those figures into an Excel spreadsheet for comparison with what we brought to the show.”
Bluefin continues to build on the new solution and uses B‑to‑B gateway for EDI transmission to large chain accounts and Avalara for sales tax rate calculations. Bluefin is now able to verify product packaging before it leaves the warehouse and in addition, customers can type in the product code and track the distribution of their asset — where it originated, when it changed hands. “By tracking and authenticating asset movement in the supply chain and in the warehouse through use of technologies such as RFiD and blockchain, order verification is automated, minimizing errors and our customers can have much more confidence that the goods they’re purchasing are authentic, not counterfeit,” says Bluefin.
Every employee has access to Acumatica
Bluefin believes that everyone in the company should have access to Acumatica, no matter what their title or function. “Everyone that works for the company uses Acumatica in some way and appreciates they can access it from anywhere. With Acumatica, we eliminate the need for Excel files and Google docs for work around since Acumatica is our single-source-of-truth for information.”
“Acumatica is awesome. Our plan is to grow to $100 million in sales in five years, and we plan to reach that goal with a powerful business solution like Acumatica.”