How this supply center uses ERP software to engage with their customers more efficiently.
We’re excited to share a conversation that we had recently with Glenn Wenger from Coalway LLC. Glenn is the Accountant at Coalway and has been working closely with his Account Manager since they implemented EBMS in 2020. He’s impressed with the process improvement he’s seen in his company, so we asked him a few questions about his experience and how Coalway has been using EBMS.
In a nutshell, who is Coalway LLC and what does Coalway do?
"Coalway has three divisions: Hearth, Culinary, and Outdoor.
Hearth Division Mission: To offer a complete package of parts and services for the very best in indoor hearth products that provide heat and/or ambiance, including appliances that operate on wood, coal, gas, pellets, and electricity.
Culinary Division Mission: To provide a full line of outdoor culinary products including grills, smokers, ovens, fryers, spices, fuel, and a wide variety of accessories. We are committed to sharing our knowledge and expertise of the latest outdoor culinary trends with our customers.
Outdoor Division Mission: To offer the highest quality fireplaces, firepits, low-maintenance furniture, and structures designed to enhance each customer’s outdoor living space while delivering exceptional service.
Coalway serves a wide customer base including backyard grilling enthusiasts, professional chefs & caterers, homeowners, building contractors & landscapers.
Coalway currently serves our customer base with two locations: our main facility in Apple Creek, OH and a second location 20 miles south in the village of Charm, OH."
The partnership between Coalway and Koble started in 2020. Since then, how has EBMS helped your company achieve its objectives?
"With two locations having all of our business processes on one platform has proved to be a boost to productivity. These processes include:
- Sales – Proposals to final sale
- Purchasing & Receiving
- Inventory Tracking
- Financial Statements & Reporting
- Tasks & Calendar Maintenance
- Job Costing
Utilizing all these processes and options has allowed our sales, service, and installation personnel to focus on the customer while reducing the manual labor required by handwritten paperwork and inventory tracking. With components for both customer and vendor on a single system, it allows us to serve our stakeholders promptly and efficiently."
How would you describe your process prior to using EBMS?
"Extremely labor intensive - All the sales had to be handwritten and then manually entered into a basic accounting program. We experienced a massive sales increase over the past 2 years - we would be looking at a lot of additional labor if we continued with our old systems and processes. We would have struggled to serve our customer base efficiently under that increase."
What types of tasks and processes are you using EBMS to accomplish?
"We are currently using EBMS for:
- Inventory Maintenance
- Financial Reporting
Coalway is collaborating with Koble to go deeper with the following aspects of the software:
- Tasks & Work Order – automation set up using Eagle's API gateway to allow schedules to show in Outlook Calendars
- Job Costing – I am currently using this to track maintenance costs on our service truck fleet and out large equipment.
- Budgeting and Forecasting"
What are the biggest challenges on the horizon for your industry?
"With the change in the economic forecast, it's hard to predict what is going to happen to the market for high-end durable goods; that being said, people are also wary of being tied into only one heating resource - so they’re looking for backup plans like wood burners. So we have those 2 forces at play. The economy could slow down our growth, but because of our variety of heating resources, we may see an increase in people looking for additional options.
Supply chain constraints also continue to create challenges in getting inventory in a timely manner. We have seen lead times from 6 to 38 weeks. Pre-ordering inventory that far in advance comes with a unique set of financial risks which can be challenging to manage."
How can our partnership help Coalway amidst those challenges?
"Continuing to learn to use all the tools EBMS has is going to be helpful for us and enable us to be very efficient when dealing with customers. The MyEBMS app is one thing that could enable the guys out in the field to efficiently finish a job without having to get back on the computer to do the final pieces. There are a few things that need to be worked out there yet, but we’re working with Koble's Solutions team to address them. So these things may not be specific to the industry challenges we’re facing, but the overall increase in efficiency is going to set us up for success.
Coalway’s partnership with Koble puts a strong arsenal of tools at our disposal. Taking advantage of the customer support system at Eagle helps us put those tools to use. Further, Koble has a Solutions Team in place to allow the end user to purchase training and consulting time in blocks that work for the customer. Coalway is currently partway through our second retainer, and we are looking at the possibility of booking another retainer to keep developing our skills.
Coalway has one of the more complicated workflows in the industry, we may have as many as 6 people needing to access and process parts of a customer’s order at various stages of implementation, having all the information searchable and usable in one location is vital to the success of Coalway’s Mission and Vision."
To learn more about Coalway LLC, visit their website - CoalwayOhio.com
Janelle Lieberher is the Manager of our Account Management team here at Koble. She has worn many other hats over the years with us, but this is her favorite! She loves building relationships and finding ways to improve our client’s overall experience. When not engaging with clients or colleagues, Janelle enjoys time with her family, reading and spending time in nature.