SB-Tactical: B2B and B2C Distribution and Outsourced Manufacturing using Acumatica
Updated: Mar 3, 2021
SB-Tactical's journey began one day at the firing range. USMC and Army veteran Alex Bosco was shooting with a disabled combat veteran when the range master asked Bosco's friend to stop firing for safety concerns due to lack of control. Bosco had an idea to help his friend and other wounded combat veterans and he produced the first Pistol Stabilizing Brace prototype in his garage.
The biggest challenge with the brace was that when adding the brace to the pistol, it could be argued that it would change the classification of the weapon, which would make it subject to additional regulations. Initial approval was obtained by the ATF in November 2012, but it went back and forth over several years before the device was officially approved and could be mass-produced.
By 2018, sales had skyrocketed. The company had around 15 employees and was working out of two locations, one in New Hampshire and one in Florida. Their technology stack consisted of QuickBooks Online, ShipStation, SOS Inventory, WooCommerce, and Microsoft Excel. While these solutions were cheap and helped the company get off the ground, it had many technical challenges including integration issues, reporting and visibility issues, and many manual workarounds to get the system to work. Exports were being run on a daily basis from the different systems and then compiled into spreadsheets to manage the growing backlog of orders, determine which goods should be shipped to customers, and to send information to their contract manufacturers to determine the subassemblies and finished goods to produce. The company was growing so fast that they could not keep up with the demand for the product. Orders were backlogged anywhere from 4-6 weeks or sometimes longer, depending on the item being ordered. A new system to support the growth and manage day-to-day business operations was needed desperately.
In 2018, SB-Tactical purchased Acumatica and worked with EIS to help them improve their internal infrastructure and operations. Their goals were to:
accurately track inventory and have its value correctly tied with their financials
track B2B orders from distributors and other partners
track B2C orders from the web store side-by-side with B2B orders
prioritize order fulfillment based upon customer priority and backorder status
gain visibility into the outsourced manufacturing process
forecast demand and place planned purchase orders with outside manufacturers
track consigned inventory at third-party locations
link sales orders to purchase orders for both special and drop-ship orders
manage replenishment rules and monitor inventory levels
perform lite assembly in-house for packaging finished goods
enforce credit holds for customers that are late on paying invoices
eliminate many of the daily manual export and import processes
EIS replaced QuickBooks Online and SOS Inventory with Acumatica and used AcuSync to integrate Acumatica with WooCommerce. All financial transactions from QuickBooks, including Invoices, Payments, Credits, Bills, Vendor Payments, Vendor Credits, Expenses, Bank Deposits, Credit Card Charges/Credits, and Journals were all migrated to Acumatica to provide historical visibility. Each accounting period migrated tied out perfectly, including the AR and AP subledgers. Inventory counts were updated in Acumatica from SOS Inventory, and new business processes and automations were put in place to achieve their goals.
While many of SB-Tactical's issues were solved by native Acumatica features, there were some customizations needed to help reduce manual labor. Here were some of the customizations that we built for SB-Tactical in Acumatica:
Scheduled Order Processing Credit Check: Acumatica natively checks the Sales Order for a credit hold before the order is approved. Due to the large number of backorders, they breakup products on orders onto multiple lines with different shipment dates instead of shipping out an entire order at once to a customer. This causes problems if customers do not pay their invoices and more product is scheduled to be shipped on an order that is already approved. We created an process that automatically checks all open orders on a daily basis and places orders back on credit hold that were already approved if the customer violates their credit terms.
Drop-Ship Invoice Tracking Number: Because the manufacturing of some finished goods are outsourced, they are directly drop-shipped to the customer. To avoid issues with receiving payment, SB-Tactical wanted the tracking number to appear on every invoice. While Acumatica does this natively for items shipped through Acumatica, it does not do this with a drop-ship. We extended the Purchase Receipt screen to allow the entry of the tracking number provided by the vendor that drop-shipped the product, and then customized Acumatica to have that tracking number included on the invoice when printed/emailed to the customer.
Live Level Order Shipping Priority: Due to the scheduling of orders for different quantities to be shipped on different dates, SB-Tactical wanted to be able to pre-determine the order in which different lines would be fulfilled, based upon information about each customer. The problem is that Acumatica natively wants to fulfill orders at the order header level instead of the line level, which would cause some customers to receive all backordered products while others would receive none when additional goods were received into inventory. SB-Tactical wanted to evenly distribute the received inventory based upon the requested ship dates and the order schedule so that all customers would receive some product based upon their requested shipment dates. We added a custom field to allow them to prioritize the order lines, and then we created a special processing page to create the shipments based upon this priority.
SB-Tactical's business continues to grow. They have plans for implementing additional Acumatica modules in the future, such as Fixed Assets and a Customer Portal for their B2B customers. Overall, they are extremely happy with their Acumatica purchase and have the support from EIS whenever needed. We continue to engage with them on a recurring basis and make tweaks and changes to the system to further improve and automate business processes.
Customer's Website: www.sb-tactical.com