If Keith Ford, president of Eagle Fence Distributing, LLC, had been asked ten years ago what his top worry was, he would have listed software. And for good reason. Eagle Fence had been operating on multiple, disconnected instances of Sage 50 since 2008, and the company had a litany of problems because of it. Keith and his team decided to replace Sage with a cloud software solution. At the recommendation of Mike Augello from i-Tech Support, they included Acumatica in their ERP options.
When the pandemic and the ensuing supply chain disruptions hit, they were glad they did.
From Cumbersome to Nimble
Eagle Fence sells high-quality wholesale fence products. They include access controls; agricultural fencing, vinyl fence; wood, steel, and aluminum ornamental fencing; chain-link fence; gates for farm and ranch, residential, commercial, industrial, and high security applications. The thriving business is a subsidiary of chain-link fencing manufacturer Southwestern Wire and shares their headquarters in Norman, Oklahoma and has its own distribution facilities in Birmingham, Little Rock, Houston, St. Louis, and Chicago.
Offering prolific fencing products and unmatched service, Eagle Fence was doing well, but the company’s growth was hampered by its business management solution. Keith says in the company’s Acumatica customer success story, “We started on Sage 50 at the first location and as we grew, we would add another local server with another instance of Sage. None of the five Sage instances were connected and each was housed on its own servers at the branches. There was no interconnectivity, no data views, and it was difficult to VPN into those servers to try to collect information. It was very cumbersome.”
Add to that the fact that each location had different methods of operating (including different names for customers, different products, and different ways of operating) and a ransomware attack, and the Eagle Fence team knew it was time to move on. Like many companies, Eagle Fence researched a few of the well-known ERPs, including Oracle NetSuite, Infor, and Sage Intacct. They added Acumatica after it was recommended by i-Tech Support.
Narrowing the field to Acumatica and Sage Intacct, the Eagle Fence team weighed the two options and discovered that Acumatica’s capabilities exceeded Sage’s. Specifically, they appreciated Acumatica’s twice-yearly updates based on customer feedback, unlimited user licensing, mobile app, robust CRM, ability to evaluate credit worthiness, and comprehensive distribution software.
And working with i-Tech, a company well-versed in many industries, including the fencing industry, meant Eagle Fence had found the perfect combination. “We knew we really had a great fit between the correct solution provider along with the correct partner in i-Tech,” Keith says.
The Benefits of Implementing Acumatica
Eagle Fence implemented Acumatica’s Wholesale and Distribution Software with Advanced Financials, Fixed Assets, Multi-Entity and Intercompany Accounting, and Inventory & Ordering Management, and CRM. It also seamlessly integrated with third-party application provider Avalara Sales Tax Automation.
The company’s benefits included:
- Acquiring an integrated cloud-based solution
- Gaining remote access for all employees
- Optimizing and synchronizing inventory management across all locations
- Measuring vendor and customer credit worthiness
- Obtaining critical data for making strategic decisions and growing revenues
- Revitalizing their new-location roll-out roadmap for rapid expansion
Additionally, and very importantly, because the implementation occurred prior to the pandemic, Eagle Fence had unwittingly prepared themselves for the unexpected crisis. Says Keith, “As Covid hit, for the management and outside sales team to work remotely with 100 percent visibility was invaluable.”
So too was their ability to navigate the supply chain challenges. “When global supply chain problems caused prices on every widget that we sell to flux, we had to be nimble and quickly get replacement costs into the system overnight. Acumatica was able to handle that.”
As the supply chain disruptions continue, Eagle Fence is able to efficiently manage inventory levels and fluctuating costs, something Sage would have not been able to do for them. “In Sage, there was no way to control or even implement any kind of standardized pricing, track margins or replacement costs.”
Overcoming Supply Chain and Pandemic Challenges with Acumatica
Eagle Fence has thrived during an uncertain time, using Acumatica’s cloud ERP solution to automate sales processes and add new locations quickly and easily. Their software is the very least of their worries. In fact, it’s the thing that makes their worries go away.
“We’ve been very pleased with Acumatica and our Partner, i-Tech, in getting us to market rapidly. And then also being very secure. Our uptime has been 99.9%,” Keith says. “Being in the cloud and being able to be up that much and have secure data and being able to service our customers, that’s invaluable to us.”