A consultant and roundtable leader with more than four decades of LBM experience is starting up a new software company that at the very least will bring new competition to a market with relatively few players.
Jim Enter said his software, called Keystone lbm.Solutions, is finishing its programming now and plans to start taking orders by June.
Keystone lbm.Solutions also is the name of the company. Enter has acquired the rights to license and adapt a product for the auto parts supply aftermarket called Fuse5.
Enter said the Keystone software is totally Cloud-based and includes a full suite of capabilities: enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), dispatch and delivery, and document imaging. Fuse5 is the foundations, but other companies also are integrated in the package. For instance, the accounting software is a version of Quickbooks, while a specialist in GPS functionality called Elite Extra will be part of the dispatch and delivery module and Rackspace will provide the servers.
After paying an installation fee, customers will be billed a monthly fee based on sales volume above a certain floor. ““You can have two people online or 500,” Enter said, because it’s software as a service.
Based in Charleston, S.C., Enter founded a group called the American Association of Roundtables, which brings dealers from around the country together to examine and improve their operations. He also worked closely with Leonard Safrit of Safrit’s Building Supply in Beaufort, N.C., to create a formula to help determine the cost of doing business with a customer. That formula was one reason why Safrit was named ProSales’ Dealer of the Year in 2013.
Enter told ProSales he believes Keystone has three advantages over the competition, the first being ease of installation. “I was at a millwork dealer years ago where the owner is very tech-oriented,” Enter recalled. “He looked me in the eye after doing a conversion and said ‘Jim, I hope I don’t live long enough to make a conversion. … My goal is to have the dealer go away for the weekend and play golf and come back and the data is converted.”
Second, there’s no license to buy, so you aren’t straining when business expands or stuck with unneeded capacity when business shrinks, he said.
“The third piece is yard employee training,” Enter continued. “I’m told it can take six to eight weeks for a new employee to enter this independently. If you use your system it’ll be cut to eight hours.
Enter said the Fuse5 software on which Keystone is based has 120 users nationwide, one of which is a company with 81 locations. Meanwhile, Quickbooks can handle operations as big as $1 billion, he said, but if customers think it’s too small a package they also can use one from Traverse.
Keystone isn’t the only software coming into the LBM space. This month, the British firm Kerridge Commercial Systems (KCS) began promoting its K8 software, which it will sell through Dancik, a Cary, N.C.-software company in the floorings industry that KCS bought last year. Meanwhile, all the major existing software companies—notably Epicor, DMSi, Ponderosa and Spruce—have reported robust business.
To learn more about Keystone, contact Enter at firstname.lastname@example.org.