Single Source of Truth Between Financials and Web Store
With Acumatica and its connection to Magento, AMI’s online orders now flow into the financial system in real- time. Order information is automatically sent to all departments, eliminating manual data input into various software and reducing errors.
The company gained a more secure payment gateway, the ability to issue credits, and the ability to charge credit cards at the time of order instead of the time an order shipped.
Speedily Pivot to Work from Home
Installing Acumatica was a lifesaver for American Meadows. “I don’t know how we would have gotten through the initial Covid-19 outbreak without Acumatica,” Platt says. “We were able to make the switch to be fully remote within a few days of making the decision.”
“We were also able to handle our onboarding training remotely, which we would have never been able to do with our old system.”
The ability to quickly pivot also allowed American Meadows to tackle unforeseen growth. “We are among the guilty few that have benefited from the pandemic,” Platt explains. “Our sales are up over 75 percent year over year. Everyone is home and gardening, and we’ve been able to scale very quickly.”
That’s a remarkable feat given that American Meadows brings on some 25 people in the spring to handle its seasonal burst in business. Upon hearing from his peers about the difficulties they were facing from dealings in China, Platt recognized the potential impact to American Meadows, and he began planning quickly. “It’s a blessing that we were an early adopter of Microsoft Teams so there wasn’t a learning curve with a lot of the technology that other companies had to figure out,” he says.
In addition to distributing the technological tools needed to operate the business, Platt’s team had to train its new employees remotely as the pandemic hit. It was a lot easier than expected thanks to Acumatica, he says. “A lot of the new employees don’t know about gardening and we have to cram a lot of information into a short time,” Platt explains. “Thankfully, we have built out very good documentation with Acumatica that allowed us to train them on how to use the system quickly.”
Data-Driven Insights Powers Customer Experience
Through Acumatica’s General Inquiry capability, AMI staff mines its data for greater insights. “We can create really amazing views that have an impact on our business,” Platt says. For example, they can now quickly identify potential shipping problems and act before it impacts the customer. “We have dashboards that show orders printed but not shipped and are greater than a day old,” he says. “We can build views that identify potential issues before they become a problem.”
For example, he cites an incident that happened as they moved into a 10,000-square-foot seed warehouse in Vermont, which coincided with the Acumatica Cloud ERP deployment. As part of the move, the team found 12 orders printed and set aside but not shipped. “We quickly identified them, got them shipped, and kept those customers satisfied,” Platt says. Avoiding delays and problems boosts customer satisfaction and keeps buyers returning frequently and on an annual basis, essential drivers of American Meadows’ business strategy.
While that example may seem trivial, “this is the level of gritty detail that matters to us and to the customer,” Platt says. Amazon has set the bar high for speedy deliveries, and consumers’ expectations of every business have risen as a result. “It’s a challenge for small organizations like us to meet, but customers expect it,” he says. “You need to have a tool like Acumatica that’s integrated with all the other tools you have in place to meet Amazon-level consumer expectations.”
Executives now have a high level of access to data that they previously lacked, critical to decision making. Platt also likes that he can securely access data from anywhere and at any time using the Acumatica mobile app.
Since American Meadows’ strategy is to grow through acquisitions, as exampled by the addition of High Country Gardens to serve the unique needs of gardeners in higher altitudes in 2013, having a solution like Acumatica in place that can handle a multi-brand company environment was also important, Platt says. “Just as gardening is different depending where you are at, we now have the flexibility and power of information to treat every customer with a uniquely personalized approach,” he says. “We now have the data visibility and accessibility to identify our core customers, understand their challenges, and support them with tailor made gardening solutions. We can do all of this at scale now by leveraging cutting edge technology thanks to Acumatica.”