How a POS Upgrade Gave a Small Business a Leg Up

Fred Peters, owner of Morris Build-All Centres Ltd. in Morris, Manitoba, knew he needed to a full upgrade for his hardware and software. “Our point of sale system and the hardware that runs across all our divisions including retail, contracting, and building services wasn’t working anymore,” he says. Their old, Linux-based system was frustrating to use and, worst of all, lacked tech support. “For the simplest of help it could take three to four to five help calls.”

But how much would a whole new system cost? And would the upfront costs really be worth it in the end?

Rising Above the Competition


At first, Peters scoffed at the high price of Spruce Computer Systems. But Spruce offers a Microsoft Windows-based information management tool designed specifically for the lumber, hardware, and building materials industry. It was well worth the costs, Peters found. “Nothing could compare to what I have now with the Spruce System.”

In order to run the new Spruce system, Morris Build-All needed a processor that could keep up. After consulting a local IT specialist Peters selected the Intel Xeon processor E5-2407 v2 and Lenovo ThinkCentre M73 Tiny desktops with the Intel Core i5 processor. The new solution gives them real-time inventory management, instant sales data records, digital signature capture, and electronic copies for invoices and receipts.

The upgrades have pushed Morris Build-All out ahead of the competition. “We are better than any of the small guys and we can go head to head with the big ones,” Peters says.

Instant Visibility, Lower Overhead

With this new Windows-based solution, Peters has been able to get rid of filing cabinets. “Importing data and moving information around the system is quick and seamless, which saves me a lot time.” All this instant visibility saves them costs, too. “We have conceivably dropped approximately $150,000 off our inventory. For a company our size, that’s a substantial reduction.”

Soon after upgrading, the Morris Build-All team realized they could go nearly paperless in the office, which has delivered even more cost savings. They used to mail out 350 customer statements every month, which took almost two days to prepare. With the new paperless system, they’ve cut that number down to 12 statements, saving the company $300 a month in postage alone.

Estimates are also easier now. Customer quote requests can be plugged into a program and sent to the manufacturer instantly.

Seamless Integration, No Matter Where You Are

Peters and his wife have a second home in Arizona. Before making the upgrade, traveling back and forth between their homes caused unnecessary stress. “The last thing you want to do is buzz off for a weekend and leave your staff scrambling.” Now he doesn’t have to worry. All the business information is available instantly and from anywhere. “I know everything is at their fingertips so they have easy access to everything they need,” Peters says.

The system is so seamless, it’s getting noticed by other professionals in the building business. “When we moved to this system, the contractors started demanding it,” he says.

Learn more about Morris Build-All’s upgrades and how the right small business solutions could save your business time and money. Have you upgraded recently? Comment below and tell us about what’s helped your small business compete! And, if you haven’t already, follow us on Twitter.