Nordost Makes the Connection With Sage BusinessWorks
"With Sage BusinessWorks, we finally have a real accounting system."
Lisa Higgins, office manager of Nordost Corporation, had lost patience with QuickBooks. "We were trying to run a world-class company with low-end software, and it wasn't working," she says. "QuickBooks crashed all the time. It didn't have internal controls, so people could overwrite entries by mistake and mess up the entire system. Our biggest problem, however, was that QuickBooks could not handle both manufacturing and distribution functions. We wanted a replacement that was powerful, full-featured, and easy to learn. We found it in Sage BusinessWorks Accounting."
Nordost pioneered the world's first Flatline and Super Flatline cables, used for superior-quality home theater and stereo systems. Every major English language audio magazine, including Stereophile, What Hi-Fi, Hi Fi+, and The Absolute Sound, has acclaimed Nordost's patented wire as being the best in the industry for technical brilliance and acoustic purity. Nordost cables can be purchased in boutique dealerships, and the company exports to more than 40 countries, allowing customers around the globe to "make the Nordost connection."
What does Nordost use Sage BusinessWorks for? "Absolutely everything," Higgins notes. "It automates our sales orders, purchase orders, and receipts, tracks all orders through manufacturing, and manages our inventory. Now we're implementing StarShip also, so the system will even streamline shipping."
Most important to Nordost is the fact that Sage BusinessWorks provides two-tiered inventory tracking. "We can use the system to document raw materials when they arrive, and then determine which assemblies they go into," Higgins says. "Sage BusinessWorks has given us real-time inventory, which we never had with paper systems. Although we still perform physical inventory counts, we no longer shut down for two days a month for everybody to count. The year-end inventory report that used to take weeks is now done in a single day."
"We could not be the organization we are today without Sage BusinessWorks. The software has allowed us to cut receivables by 25 percent and slash inventory turnaround in half, from six months to three months. Our profit margins have improved dramatically because we have access to accurate, reliable information."
Real-time inventory translates into important efficiencies and insights. "I can look at detailed reports in Sage BusinessWorks to view complete manufacturing history," says Higgins. "This lets me do more accurate forecasts for raw materials. There's a fine line between having enough materials to build a complete assembly and having too much, which ties up cash flow and space. Better forecasting has freed up so much room that we have increased our product lines by 10 cables in two years without requiring more space in the warehouse."
The distribution business has improved too, thanks to the new system. "With Sage BusinessWorks, we know exactly what we have in stock. We also know typical sales volumes for each product, which is something we could only guess before. Improved stock accuracy means happier customers because we are better prepared to meet their needs," Higgins explains.
Terrific Time and Cost Savings
The office is excited about implementing StarShip freight manifest software by V-Technologies, which integrates with Sage BusinessWorks to automate the entire shipping process. StarShip will calculate freight charges, print carrier-approved bar coded shipping labels, and write freight costs back to a sales order. "We had planned to hire a new shipping person," says Higgins, "but now have shelved that idea for the time being due to the efficiencies that StarShip provides."
Company-wide improvements that can be attributed to the new software are mind-boggling. "We could not be the organization we are today without Sage BusinessWorks," says Higgins. "The software has allowed us to cut receivables by 25 percent and slash inventory turnaround in half, from six months to three months. Our profit margins have improved dramatically because we have access to accurate, reliable information. We definitely could not have doubled in size in just four years without the help of Sage BusinessWorks."