Dakota Red Corporation is the holding company for King’s Material, Midland Concrete Products, Hawkeye Ready Mix, and Stone Concepts, which offer ready mix concrete, landscaping, concrete masonry, brick and a large assortment of building products. The company’s previous CFO joined the company in 1988, installed its first computer and software system, and used that system, along with spreadsheets, Microsoft Access and later Sage 100, for more than two decades. As the company grew, database after database and spreadsheet after spreadsheet were added to keep track of various business entities.
“We were running Sage 100, but only for accounting and payroll,” says Matt Stoner, Dakota Red’s new CFO. Individual locations used a custom program within Microsoft Access to handle point of sale tickets and transactions. Each standalone database contained inventory lists that were exported from Sage and then they imported sales information back into Sage.
“The system was put in place when we were only one company with three locations,” says Pat Sauter, co-owner of the privately-held family business. “We now have 12 locations and 15 entities.”
“We were pushing Microsoft Access to the limits and started to notice errors and issues,” adds Stoner. “We had no inventory visibility across locations, and some managers spent a lot of time walking their yard to see if they had certain products in stock.”