Central Steel Supply has been serving the Northeast’s metal industry for 70 years. The general line service center serves all New England, except Vermont, and offers a wide variety of products and value-added services to customers primarily in the construction and manufacturing industries.
To keep up with customers and the industry, Central Steel Supply recently made changes to its software platform, which in turn has allowed the company to streamline operations and service customers more quickly and efficiently.
“For the most part, a lot of the steel industry software is pretty antiquated,” says Kristina Iovine, sales manager at Central Steel Supply.
Iovine, who has more than 20 years of experience in the steel industry, says the AS/400 software platform that was being used by the company when she first came to Central Steel Supply in 2009 was dependable but not without limitations.
“It’s a very reliable platform, but it wasn’t meeting our needs anymore,” she says. “We really started to outgrow it.”
As business started to pick up and the company saw its client base, product line and service offerings become more diversified, the decision was made to upgrade its software platform. Ultimately, they choose Enmark Systems Inc.’s Windows-based platform, Eniteo.
Despite being on the higher end in terms of pricing, Iovine says the software has been well worth the investment. “We were looking for something that was as agile as we are,” she says. “I have to say, I’m very glad that we chose Enmark.”
On the market since 2004, Enmark’s premier ERP system has been helping service centers, such as Central Steel Supply, improve their businesses by offering industry focused solutions within a 21st-century framework.
“Eniteo integrates a multitude of different facets of Central Steel’s operations,” says Joseph Fellwock, executive account manager at Enmark. “From purchasing to receiving to accounts payable to quote-to-order entry to the shop floor and then all the way to shipping, billing and accounts receivable, it’s the whole cradle-to-grave business operation.”
What makes Eniteo unique, according Fellwock, is its singular focus on the service center industry, combined with its ability to integrate with the latest Microsoft software, such as Outlook, and Excel. “Our system is much more user friendly, and it’s much more intuitive,” he says.
When Enmark set out to create Eniteo, it started from scratch, allowing the software platform to be written in a way that incorporated modern design features. Fellwock says some other systems have programs that allow companies to access data that looks a little friendlier “but really isn’t doing what it should be doing, which is utilizing all the tools and all the capabilities of today’s modern software programs.”
Those capabilities include an array of features that are built into to the system, as well as many that can be added to the base Eniteo platform. According to Iovine, Central Steel Supply is taking advantage of many of these features. “Enmark is coming out with some new products, and we’re kind of jumping onboard with all the new stuff they’re coming out with,” Iovine says.
Central Steel Supply changed over its contact management database to Microsoft Dynamics CRM, which integrates with Eniteo. The company is also in the process of converting its warehouse from manual entry to a system using a barcode scanning technology included with Eniteo.
“The barcode scanning really allows them to speed up picking for orders and doing physical inventories or moving inventory around in the shop in real time,” Fellwock says. “When you dovetail the barcode scanning technology with the base platform, Eniteo, you really see a whole lot of enhancements in operations as far as time and accuracy.”
And that’s not all. Iovine says Central Steel is setting up an online web portal for outside sales and inside sales, which will eventually be available to customers as well. This feature allows the company to pull information from Eniteo and give customers access via web page and login credentials, which Fellwock says will boost productivity.
“Customers will be able to go in in real time and pull MTRs or pull payables or receivables or open orders or whatever is available to that customer,” he explains. “Instead of a customer calling up one of the employees at Central Steel and having them look for an MTR, all the customer has to do is go online and get the information themselves. That frees up an employee at Central Steel to be doing something more productive.”
So far, the software has been paying dividends for the Marlborough, Mass.-based service center.
“Central Steel is one of our more advanced users because they’ve been adding all these bolt-on modules, so they’re going to see an increase in efficiency in their operation because of that,” Fellwock explains.
From management’s perspective, Iovine says the software has been a lifesaver. “I can get to my information so much easier and so much faster to be able to make decisions at a much faster pace.”
One feature Iovine is particularly fond of is the report writer, which she says helps compile and present data sets easily and in a variety of formats. Most importantly, Iovine says it’s is easy to use, even for people without a computer background.
“That is the really nice part because it used to be that everything just fell on me,” she says. “This is much easier. Everybody can figure out their stuff and do it on their own, which has been huge for me.”