Case Study: HVAC Distributor System

Pricing and Inventory Tracking

A leading HVAC provider wanted to take their pricing and inventory tracking systems to the next level.

T.F. Campbell made its name as the first HVAC controls distributor in the Pittsburgh and tri-state area. Now with 100 years of experience under its belt, this company remains one of the top stocking distributors of HVAC building controls for the commercial, combustion and residential markets.

The Challenge

Although T.F. Campbell was using solid accounting software, it was not being leveraged to its fullest capabilities. Therefore important functions like pricing and inventory for their 40,000+ products were not up to date since they were kept on a static spreadsheet.

Inaccurate data was negatively affecting their sales. Oftentimes, salespeople needed to physically check warehouse shelves when a request or order was made. An item on a holding shelf might not appear to be in stock even though it was so the system would falsely mark that item as 0. Also, pricing could not be confirmed easily. In addition to being inaccurate and time-consuming, this process was frustrating for all involved. And it made creating a robust ecommerce site virtually impossible.

The Solution

Enter BPA’s team of QuickBooks® experts. We worked with T.F. Campbell to make the system work harder and smarter for them. Since pricing information from their myriad vendors arrives in various formats and at various times (just like their inventory), we created an import excel file that pulls all of the important information from these sources (including PDFs and hard copies) and then calculates margins and any other pertinent information; we also added real time inventory information with will call/hold shelf custom fields.

This spreadsheet is instantly uploaded to QuickBooks for up-to-the-minute pricing and inventory, so there is no doubt as to what’s on the shelves and what it costs. We also implemented regular cycle counts to keep inventory up to date, and encouraged employees to remove items from the shelf for will call. This saved everyone tremendous time and frustration.

From the BPA Team:

We loved working with T.F. Campbell on this upgrade. Since we thrive on solving puzzles, creating creative solutions like the easily uploadable spreadsheet was very enjoyable. We draw on decades of experience to find the best solutions for our clients, and if we haven’t done something quite like it before, we figure it out. For T.F. Campbell, this meant optimizing a current solution to make it work more effectively and efficiently for their needs.

Sometimes the solution goes beyond the software, like the implementation of cycle counts. We look at the entire picture to recommend a holistic course of action. T.F. Campbell was very amenable to the process; they were very forthcoming about their challenges, open to new ideas and were happy to deploy the new solution right away.

Client Endorsement

BPA helped us see how a small change in the process could make a huge change operationally for us. They are efficiency engineers as well as accountants. By making this change, we’ve reclaimed countless hours that had been spent on pricing updates and inventory tracking, not to mention avoiding the headaches that come with pricing and inventory inaccuracies."

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