A&M Kiln Dry grows 33% in the first year of operating with Acctivate Software amid global pandemic & without hiring additional staff
Kiln Dried Hardwood Lumber Distributor
Unbalanced financials and inventory levels due to inefficient real-time inventory tracking.
Live, automated inventory management integrated with financials for company-wide visibility.
33% growth in the first year of using Acctivate.
A&M Kiln Dry fulfills hardwood lumber needs with their multiple distribution yards and millwork facilities headquartered in Ohio with divisions in Indiana and Illinois. They purchase their product inventory in high volumes and distribute it in smaller quantities. At their millwork facilities they plane and rip the wood, as well as meet individual customer specs with dimensional lumber.
QuickBooks & spreadsheets fail A&M Kiln Dry for inventory tracking
A&M Kiln Dry began to search for a real-time inventory management software after dealing with inaccuracies and inefficiencies. Initially, QuickBooks was used for both managing financials and inventory tracking. Then, they built a program in Microsoft Excel to keep track of inventory, which also proved cumbersome being that it required manual data entry and was disconnected from QuickBooks.
Abraham Raber, the president of A&M Kiln Dry, described the challenges they faced without an inventory system integrated to their financials in QuickBooks and a lack of live inventory visibility.
“In order to get accurate financials, at the end of each quarter we would do a physical inventory, then do quarterly financials through the accountant, and wait a month until everything was done after the quarter ended before we got our financials back. By the time we realized something was off as far as margins, or anything, we were three to four months behind all the time.”
QuickBooks was sufficient for invoicing and accounting, but their number one need was a better way to track inventory.
“Excel just had our raw inventory. It didn’t have any finished products. As soon as we sold material, we would go in and pull it out of the system, so that the sales guys wouldn’t sell it twice. Therefore, if it didn’t ship for a week or two weeks or whatever, we’d call it ‘finished product inventory’ (stuff that has been pulled and is ready to ship). We had no number on that until we did a physical inventory at the end of the quarter.”
A&M Kiln Dry discovered the real-time inventory visibility they needed in Acctivate Inventory Software
A&M Kiln Dry integrated Acctivate with QuickBooks and Acctivate became their primary means of inventory management in May of 2020.
We have live inventory. That in itself—just having the exact numbers on a daily basis, allowed us to grow around 33% in 2020, even with COVID, and without adding extra personnel,” Raber said.
Acctivate’s process automation and 24/7 monitoring has empowered A&M Kiln Dry to know precise inventory levels and true cost of goods sold to accurately purchase and sell product.
We’re able to track margins now. We were never able to track margins because the inventory system was separate from QuickBooks. I look at reports at the end of every day, and I have an accurate balance sheet—that allows us to make decisions based on accurate numbers.”
The company’s staff stays alerted to pertinent product information with Acctivate’s Product List. The consolidated view includes a full history of inventory transactions, sales orders, purchase orders and activities for each product in a Timeline tab, among other important insights.
We use the timeline feature on all of the products on a daily basis. Across the board, we use it to see what is on order, what the open POs are, and what we’re paying for the next load that’s coming in. Our inventory costs fluctuate from one PO to the next, even on the same product, so it allows us to stay updated on what our current and future costs are with what’s on PO and what’s coming in,” Raber said.
Acctivate’s ability to create, manage and track within multiple warehouses enabled A&M Kiln Dry to merge their Indiana, Ohio and Illinois divisions, so they could maximize Acctivate for all locations.
We merged it into one operating company, and we just created additional warehouses. In QuickBooks, we created a couple of classes. Acctivate syncs into QuickBooks and keeps track of the performance of each warehouse via the classes.”
The other divisions use Acctivate daily by simply remoting into the server of the parent company in Ohio.
A&M Kiln Dry gains even greater tracking precision with lot number traceability in Acctivate. They assign lot numbers to each individual lumber tag.
Acctivate has allowed us to backtrack a package. If we sell a product to a customer, and there is a quality complaint or an issue, we can track it back to see which supplier that came from.”
Acctivate surpasses competitors with better affordability & ROI according to A&M Kiln Dry
I did a lot of research on what kind of software system would work for the hardwood lumber industry specifically. There are quite a few out there that have the hardwood lumber industry down pat, and have everything they need, but nothing is even close to the cost and the return on investment of Acctivate,” Raber concluded.