Style in Form is a wholesale furniture broker located in Canada. For over two decades, the company has served as one of the country’s premier furniture providers to hospitality companies, hotels, restaurants, and retailers.

The Challenge

Before partnering with The Answer Company, a top Canadian Acumatica partner, Style in Form faced operational challenges stemming from their existing system, Sage 50, which handled accounting but had limited functionality in other areas. 

The most pressing issue for the furniture company was the disjointed and manual handling of product information, inventory, customer information, KPIs, among other things. Using a range of platforms like Dropbox and Google Sheets to track data resulted in siloed and disparate sources of information, where only one or two employees knew their way around the inventory. This not only hindered productivity but hampered the ability to make strategic decisions. 

According to Allison Buchanan, CEO & Owner of Style in Form, “We needed a brain where all information is immediately accessible.” 

Style in Form’s challenge was exacerbated by a sprawling business, multiple warehouses, and pandemic-related inventory challenges. Managing inventory across multiple locations was a logistical nightmare, with limited visibility into stock levels, cost tracking, and timely order fulfillment. Moreover, COVID-related supply chain issues resulted in a huge inventory surplus, leaving the team with too much inventory and an overwhelming lack of visibility into their supply levels.  

As a prominent furniture distributor with several potential streams of business, Style in Form decided they wanted to take their business to the next level and undergo a comprehensive digital transformation, upholding their commitment to serving their customers, empowering their employees, and growing strategically.

  • 50%

    Reduced inventory tracking time while reducing variance

  • $800,000

    Reduced surplus inventory in 9 months

distribution with Sage x3

Selecting the Right Tools for the Right Job

CEO Allison Buchanan spearheaded the quest to find the right ERP for the business, interviewing employees and doing meticulous research to find an ideal solution to fit their distribution and inventory needs. 

It was crucial to Style in Form to implement a system that could provide inventory visibility, track costs, and have key information and reporting on hand to ultimately save costs. Essentially, the team needed all of their information in one place (from customer data to inventory) to be able to fully optimize their operations. 

Ultimately, the team chose to proceed with Acumatica Distribution Edition due to the cost-effectiveness and ease of use of the solution. For Style in Form, it was crucial to implement a system that all – even non-technical employees – could use to empower strategic decision-making across the organization. They soon began working with the top Canadian Acumatica partner, The Answer Company, as their chosen integration partners, Acumatica experts, and ERP consultant team. 

A Trusted Canadian Acumatica Partner

Choosing The Answer Company was inspired by positive feedback from other leaders in the industry who had previously worked with the team. The Answer Company is one of Canada’s largest business management and software consultants specializing in Sage and Acumatica systems. With a mission of propelling businesses forward by empowering them with the right technology at the right growth stage, The Answer Company partnered with Style in Form to make the implementation as smooth, intuitive, and user-friendly as possible. 

“Throughout the implementation process, we felt exceptionally comfortable with The Answer Company’s team due to their extensive experience working with distribution companies. This expertise, combined with their technical proficiency, made the transition seamless.” – Allison Buchanan, CEO of Style in Form. 

Transforming Distribution Excellence: How Acumatica Empowers Growth 

Acumatica Manufacturing Edition provides end-to-end business support for planning and controlling manufacturing operations. The technology offers an integrated environment to manage complex products, track materials, and connect Bill of Material (BOM) with inventory, costs, and workflows. It is a highly versatile tool for distributors seeking to optimize their operations. With experience in both this technology and the distribution space, The Answer Company corroborated Style in Form’s decision, supporting that Acumatica was the best possible ERP for their particular business needs. 

According to Allison Buchanan, “Steve Namen from The Answer Company helped us understand the best practices and steered the ship. Their support team was crucial during such a huge transition.

Democratizing Inventory Tracking

In order to support the company’s goals of frictionless inventory tracking and data-driven decision-making, The Answer Company proposed the use of scanners and barcodes to create a universal repository for inventory tracking. This innovation was intended to democratize access to real-time inventory information, enabling all team members – rather than a select few – to make short- and long-term decisions. The inventory management solution automatically deducts and adds products as they’re scanned, meaning no more lengthy and inaccurate inventory counts.

The Results

Reducing Inventory Management Time by 50% and Inventory Surplus by 99%

Following the implementation of Acumatica in collaboration with The Answer Company, Style in Form radically transformed their visibility and insight into their inventory. The transition empowered the entire team to track inventory movements, which led to a remarkable 50% decrease in inventory management time. The new system means that even non-technical staff have access to crucial information at any time.

Additionally, the new inventory system enabled Style in Form to reduce its inventory surplus by an incredible $800,000 in just nine months, a crucial development in its post-pandemic effort to eliminate overstocking. With the introduction of barcode scanners, inventory accuracy has improved exponentially. Before deploying the new system, the inventory count was traditionally out by around $30,000 at the end of the Year. After 2 Year-End periods with Acumatica, the surplus has reduced to just $107 – a staggering 99.7% reduction.

 

Informed Decision-Making and Data-Driven Operations

With the successful transition, the Style in Form team can now access inventory, finance, reporting, customer information, KPIs, and more in one single place. Armed with this information, Style in Form can now identify and maximize their best-selling products, among other informed decisions. This data-driven approach has not only improved their efficiency but allowed them to cater to customers more effectively.

According to Allison Buchanan, “Now we operate as a cohesive unit, we move forward with everybody on the same page.

End-to-End B2B Functionality and Business Expansion

The integration of Acumatica had a profound impact on existing areas of the business, as well as opening up new opportunities. For one, the transition helped Style in Form to achieve full end-to-end B2B capabilities. What’s more, the robust ERP system included the ability to enter the B2C market through e-commerce, further diversifying their offerings. Finally, the new system facilitated the expansion of their business model into room staging services.

With a solid ERP foundation in place, Style in Form can continue to expand into new growth models.

 

Improved Customer Service and Organizational Cohesion

By eliminating siloed information sources and manual inventory tracking, Style in Form’s staff now have easy access to the information they need as well as new layers of insight into customer behaviour and best-selling products. Armed with this information, Style in Form has been able to expand and personalize its product experience by giving customers more of what they love. Such access has impacted all areas of the organization, including enhancing customer service by providing more informed, strategic support throughout the customer journey.

Benefits

  • Streamlined inventory management and reduced inventory tracking time
  • Enhanced team communication and visibility into key data

 

 

  • Improved customer service and were able to meet customer’s buying needs using deeper insights into inventor
  • Informed, data-driven decisions across all areas of business