Building a Future for Distributors and Dealers of Building Products

March 2006                                Volume 45,  Issue 2

Hard Take on Software
Software Products Can Help Take Stress Out of Business

Distribution businesses has transformed into “just-in-time” businesses. Parts and products need to be in the warehouse at a certain time, as do finished goods. Trucks need to deliver product at a certain time because of customers’ limited warehouse space.
Here are some products that can help do anything from keeping track of orders to tracking products from the time they enter your warehouse to when they are delivered.

Sale by Software
Friedman of Deerfield, Ill., has unveiled its Quote Management Information Systems (QMIS), designed for construction-related products. The software allows dealers and subcontractors to add products to a central database for quoting and to establish definitions for measurements, product categories and discounts, according to the company.

The quoting tool can be used as a management system to facilitate the sales process. Product images and documentation can be displayed during the quote process and inventory of stocked items can be verified easily. Also, options can be attached to any product and all products can be organized into categories and subcategories. 

The company says the software manages the entire sales process from quotation to final invoice, including alternate quotes, purchase orders, work orders, packing lists, inventory tracking and final invoice, with the capability to integrate into Intuit’s® QuickBooks Pro.

Software Simplifies Tracking Orders

Smithfield, R.I.-based Computer Associates’ (CAI) Ponderosa software called Warehouse Management System (WMS) is a fully-integrated, Windows-based software system for building materials distributors, millwork jobbers, lumber wholesalers and door and window manufacturers. The company says its software automates and optimizes all business functions, including sales order processing, product configuration, costing and pricing, inventory management, purchase order processing, accounting and 18 additional industry-specific modules.

The software provides immediate inventory visibility so that one can monitor material flow from the time raw materials arrive to the shipment of finished goods.

When materials or finished goods are received, warehouse staff can use a range of handheld scanners to capture order, lot, serial and invoice number, weight, quantity, supplier, manufacturer and manufacture date, carrier, volume and cost and other essential data.

Say Goodbye to Filing Cabinets

AccuBuild, a company from Canada, has launched an integrated document management module for its AccuBuild® construction software that provides electronic storage and sharing of a contractor’s paperwork and documentation. The AccuBuild Document Management System (ADMS) reduces the administrative costs associated with filing, retrieving and re-filing documents, according to the company. 

A computer search retrieves a document and makes changes or annotations. Then, re-filing, printing, faxing or e-mailing the document is accomplished with a click of the mouse. 

Contractors can scan paper documents to create digital files or store existing files, such as word processing documents, spreadsheets, portable document format files and job site photos within the software. Features such as batch scanning, drag-and-drop file attaching and various shortcut keys speed data entry and simplify use. User and group-based security provides control over who can access documents and make changes to files. 

The software is fully integrated with all of the AccuBuild Construction Software modules, according to the company.

Order Entry System Makes Work Easier

WoodWare Systems of Memphis, Tenn., has added new capabilities and enhancements to its door, window and millwork industry computer software and technology solutions. Among these innovations is the fully-integrated windows-based Warehouse Management System (WMS) and web-based WoodWare WebConnect™ configured order entry and quoting modules.

WoodWare’s WMS utilizes hand-held Radio Frequency (RF) based barcode scanners throughout the warehouse. The use of RF devices provides real-time updates and inquiries to the inventory control module so that products can be tracked throughout the warehouse, literally every time they are “touched” or moved. 

WoodWare’s WebConnect configured order entry and quoting module provides a way for customers and outside sales representatives to place orders and get product quotes over the Internet. They can point-and-click their way through the product selection process, including pictures of the doors, sidelites, inserts, etc., to arrive at customer-specific pricing and discounts.

Reaching Out With Technology

Omaha, Neb.-based DMSi has partnered with Majure Data, a provider of WMS solutions, to implement the WMS solutions to customers. Significant enhancements have been made to both systems to address the demands of the industry, including millwork, general building products, moulding, roofing and siding and contractor yards. 

WMS utilizes bar-coding and wireless technology to increase a company’s competitive advantage. According to the company, the software has more than 99 percent inventory accuracy, 20 to 30 percent productivity improvements, reduction of safety stock, improved responsiveness to customer demands and commitments, more pro-active management and less fire-fighting.

BidMaster is Beneficial

Smyrna, Del.-based BidMaster has unveiled its new 32-bit version of the BidMaster program. The program has benefits including its heightened resistance to ad ware and spy ware. 

The program is compatible with Windows Operating Systems 98 and above, and it will also work with the new Windows Vista Operating System, which has not been released. The company says it runs faster and smoother than its previous version, features enhanced graphics for windows and grilles and has additional features to help customers with technical support problems.

Edgenet Offers a m2o Dealer Solution

Edgenet of Nashville, Tenn., has introduced a new m2o solution designed specifically for dealers. The software ties together m2o millwork catalogs and adds enhancements to help serve builder customers effectively. 

The solution comes with features such as a blueprint take off to automate the selection of windows by room, home or elevation, custom door design, dealer-level price and promotion management, along with value-added services. Also available is an installed sales application that allows professional dealers to efficiently manage the installation of doors and windows and offers true project selling. 


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