Most distribution companies supply items to customers, and they need a way to measure the volume of their activity. Usually, a simple item count will do. But building supply companies deal with another variable. Sometimes they sell items not by the quantity, but by the amount needed to fill or cover a specific area. Think about bricks for a walkway or wood for a deck. The customer will tell you not how many items he needs, but how big an area he needs to cover.

When it comes to your ERP system, how can you track unique units of measurement? This is the challenge we faced when we worked with a building supply company that was switching from their legacy ERP system to a new cloud-based Acumatica ERP solution.

Units of Measure

Most ERP systems can work with materials that are sold by the foot or the square foot. But there is another measurement unit called space square feet which might, for example, refer to a pallet of bricks or blocks. If a customer tells you he wants to cover a 5,000 square foot area in brick, he’s not necessarily interested in how many bricks he will need. He’s interested in the SPACE square feet measurement.

Space Square Feet

The space square feet is the space that will be covered by the bricks when the project is completed. In a traditional ERP system, it’s difficult to know how many bricks would be required. We needed to modify our client’s Acumatica solution so that it would not only keep track of how many bricks were on a palette but how many space square feet were on that palette.

They wanted to track two dimensions, not just one. Additionally, with many types of building materials, there can be different types of Pallet Layer size, which is called “Band.” So not only do you need to know how many bricks are on the pallet and how many space square feet it includes, but you might also need to know how many bands there are and the number of bricks in a BAND. It may sound complicated, but this is precisely the information employees need if they are going to fulfill the customer’s order.

The bottom line is when somebody comes in and orders 5,000 space square feet of brick, the Acumatica system needs to tell the salesperson or yard employee exactly how much brick to sell/pick for the customer’s order.

The flexibility of Acumatica

Our financial, distribution, and, development teams at CAL Business Solutions worked together to customize the Acumatica system for our client to meet this specific business requirement. Now, these customizations did take time, which was an extra cost. But it had a specific and significant benefit for our client, and they deemed it well worth the investment. The flexibility within the Acumatica platform is one of the reasons that we choose to sell Acumatica.  We can turn challenging implementations into ERP success stories.

Read the full story: Building Supply Distribution Company Selects Acumatica as Right System to Handle Growth

If your distribution company is considering replacing your ERP/ accounting software, CAL Business Solutions can help. Our team has specific expertise in ERP solutions for the distribution industry. Contact our experts at CAL Business Solutions and ask us how the flexibility of Acumatica can meet your business challenges. or 860-485-0910×4.

By CAL Business Solutions,