Built For

Logo of Intuit QuickBooks, which works with Acctivate Inventory Software used by Arabel to optimize business operations
Acctivate Customer


Acctivate has helped us with the inventory of the products and everything — it’s helped us streamline the entire company. I’d say it’s almost like it’s added 100% improvement to the company.”
Frank Santiesteban
IT Manager
Arabel window blind components supplier
Acctivate customer, Arabel

“Our success comes from constantly making right and left turns — you have to be able to change and keep up with trends,”

explained Howard Rothman, CEO. After growing up in the drapery business, Rothman decided to start a business of his own. In 1986, he founded Arabel and although it wasn’t a drapery business, it was still in the home furnishings/window covering arena — parts for window blinds and shades.

Arabel continuously evolves their product lines to embrace the emerging trends in their industry. In the beginning, the popular products in the industry were hard window treatments and vertical blinds, but when soft window treatments and motorization came into play, they were on it. Big sellers for them now are roller shades and motors.

Their success has positioned them as one of the largest distributors of components for the window treatment industry in the southeast. As an import/export business, they sell to manufacturers all over the U.S., Central America and South America.

“After the recession lowered our overhead, we saw 15% growth five years in a row. We are now back up to sales pre-recession by buying a lot of new lines, keeping up with trends and always keeping inventory levels high,” Rothman said. “We project double-digit growth for the next couple of years.”

Arabel roller shades

It was time to keep up with technological trends

Before we got Acctivate, the program we had was very old and we didn’t really have a way to find a history of the customer — what they bought or what price they paid.
The old system was about 25 years old and we were using dot matrix printers. It was not user-friendly,” Frank Santiesteban, IT Manager said.

Arabel window coverings components distributor

Arabel was keeping up with trends in their product line, and to continue being successful, they also needed a more modern and efficient inventory and business management software, so they began the search for such a solution.

“One of the primary things was that I wanted to make sure we could integrate our new solution with QuickBooks,” explained Santiesteban.

Initially we were not using QuickBooks. We had an accounting system, but it was horrible — it was all integrated in the older system we had.
When we were deciding on a new system, we sat down with the person in accounting and she was very experienced in QuickBooks and I’m experienced in QuickBooks also, so we came to the conclusion that we wanted a product aside from being user-friendly and easy for order entry — we wanted to be able to integrate it with QuickBooks.”

The right solution came to light

Arabel importer and exporter

We just did a Google search, found Acctivate and went with Acctivate because it was within our budget and it was simple.
The Acctivate implementation team did an excellent job working with us. I’m glad we did the switch,” Santiesteban said.

Rothman also expressed his satisfaction with making the transition to Acctivate.

As a company owner, I am very impressed with Acctivate – its simplicity, support, the price, everything. We got lucky partnering with Acctivate. It can be hit or miss when partnering.”

Santiesteban explained the capabilities they have gained with Acctivate.

Decision Support

Arabel drapery components

Before we couldn’t access all the information we needed. We had to go back and look in folders; and we also used to lose documents. Now, we can find everything in Acctivate.”

Acctivate is a real-time repository of information with tons of historical data that keeps Arabel well-informed.

Since we went over to Acctivate we’ve established a history of the customer and that’s improved the overall performance in the company. We can track back.
With Acctivate I can pull reports. If I’m asked, ‘I need a report to find out what this customer bought’, I can pull it out of Acctivate with no problem. I couldn’t do that before.
We also have a history with the pricing for the product their buying.”

There are times when information is asked for in spreadsheet form, such as with pricing information in Arabel’s case. Acctivate can be connected to the spreadsheet to display the desired information on-demand in real-time.

Arabel window covering component products

We use specific pricing and special pricing per customer. I developed a spreadsheet for pricing, in which I connect Excel directly with the Acctivate database to get the prices in real-time.
When the owner says he needs to change a price, I can do that there; and when he wants to know what special pricing a customer has, I just pull up that quick little spreadsheet. The ability to do that with Acctivate is great.”

Arabel now has more visibility with Acctivate, which gives everyone within the organization a better understanding of the business, in order to make better decisions.

In Acctivate, everybody can see across the company, everything that’s happening. Before visibility was a disaster because our old system didn’t have a database. Once we switched over to Acctivate, we had a database and that helped us extremely.”


Santiesteban handles the reporting for Arabel with the capabilities provided by Acctivate.

Acctivate has a great reporting system. I use Crystal Reports to create custom reports and most of the time I use the reports that already come with Acctivate.
Reporting in Acctivate gives us a way to be able to track our sales and our customers — how much they’re buying and what they are buying — it just helps the whole company overall from accounting to sales, everything.”


User-friendliness is prevalent in Acctivate for Arabel, including in the purchasing capabilities, which Santiesteban handles first-hand.

When I enter a purchase order it takes me a couple of minutes. It’s very easy.”

Sales & Customer Management

Acctivate helps Arabel manage the entire sales process. Starting with order entry…

I like the way we do orders in Acctivate. I find it very simple with the straight-forward drop-down menus.”

Arabel uses Acctivate for window blind components company

Arabel ships all over the United States, as well as, uses their own trucks to deliver within their state and daily to a port for exporting to Central and South America. Acctivate’s Shipping Workstation Interface streamlines their shipping process.

Acctivate has helped us with UPS shipping since we have it integrated. Tracking information shows up on the orders or the invoicing. It helps a lot with tracking and I would say it has sped up our shipping process more than 50%.”

When it comes time to getting the orders and invoices to the customers there is no physical paper or complicated steps involved, it’s all electronic and done straight from Acctivate.

Another feature that Acctivate has that we didn’t have with our old system was we can email the orders directly from Acctivate and email the invoices to the customer.
Before we would have to make a copy, print it out and send it through the fax machine.”

Acctivate also provides the tools Arabel needs to manage their credit and collections process.

Acctivate has improved our accounts receivable.
We use the Acctivate Aging report for credit and collections. It’s an excellent, easy to understand report.
We also set credit limits in Acctivate and if a customer is past due, we know what we need to do.”


Acctivate’s Kitting feature with multi-level bill of materials has given Arabel a simplified way to build and sell products as a kit that was non-existent before.

We have certain products that we sell as a kit. For example, we sell a product that’s called motorization for roller shades. I sell it as a kit and include brackets and other components. With Acctivate’s Kitting feature it’s helped me put together one product code that has everything in it.
Before, there was no way I could do that. I had to do everything line by line.”


As an expert in the IT field, Santiesteban praised the technology that powers Acctivate.

Microsoft SQL Server is the best there is. It’s the standard product across the board in the computer industry and that makes it a lot easier to adapt to Acctivate.”

Overall results

Acctivate has helped us with the inventory of the products and everything — it’s helped us streamline the entire company. I’d say it’s almost like it’s added 100% improvement to the company.”

Arabel imports & exports

Acctivate has paved a path of growth for Arabel since the beginning.

I would say Acctivate has helped us extremely in terms of growth because I know for a fact that our sales have increased almost 10 to 20% since implementing Acctivate.”

Santiesteban concluded…

Acctivate is just a great product. It’s simple, easy, and user-friendly and implementation is very easy. It’s very important for anyone in IT to have an easy implementation.”

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