Success Story: BE Furniture

Takes TeamDesign to the Cloud and Finds Benefits on Multiple Levels

Janet Elman, BE Furniture

After 20-plus years in the office furniture business, Janet Elman knows what it takes to run a successful dealership. That’s why for most of those years, she’s used TeamDesign®, the industry’s leading project management software from ECi Software Solutions.

“TeamDesign has been an excellent program for us,” she says. “I really can’t say enough positive things about it!”

As general manager of HNI dealer BE Furniture in Parsippany, NJ, Elman does business in one of the most competitive markets in the country. Every day, she and her team go up against mega-dealers who don’t think twice about bidding for jobs with margins in the low single-digits and she’s keenly aware that the only way to match that kind of competition is by running as lean as she knows how.

TeamDesign, she says, has given her and her team the ability to do just that.

Manage projects from order to invoicing

“TeamDesign allows you to manage a project from the inception of a quote to the end all the way through to invoicing using a single piece of software,” she explains. “You can attach literally any file or piece of information to a project or proposal and it all flows seamlessly, so there’s no double-entering data and the information is accessible whenever you need it. And it’s easy to learn and very user-friendly for our new hires.”

Elman also gives the TeamDesign developers kudos for not only staying ahead of industry trends but also continually adding upgrades and add-on programs to enhance the program’s value to the dealer.

Case in point: the PlanetPress® Software Suite that enables easy creation and printing of professional invoices, purchase orders, delivery tickets and statements, and more.

“PlanetPress is an amazing program that has totally changed the way we do our forms,” reports Elman. “It has not only allowed us to present a more professional face to our clients but it has also generated significant savings because now we’re emailing business documents instead of having to print and mail.”

Fate motivated her to move her software to the cloud

TeamDesign, says Elman, has been an important resource for BE Furniture from day one but about two years ago, it became even more valuable when she implemented the cloud-based version.

“Putting our software on the cloud was the smartest move we ever made,” she says, remembering that one of the most important motivators had very little to do with office furniture.

You see, Elman’s dealership was in the path of Hurricane Sandy, the October 2012 storm that devastated much of the Northeast with its powerful winds and severe flooding.  

By the time the storm was over,  in New Jersey, it had not only created enough debris to fill a 170-acre landfill—a process that would normally take at least seven years—but Sandy also caused a near total shutdown at her dealership for three full weeks, with no phones, electricity or computer.

Cloud-based software provides many benefits

While it was Sandy and the devastating downtime it caused that motivated Elman to consider moving her business software to the cloud, once she started thinking about it earnest, she discovered major benefits on multiple levels.

“ECi Cloud for TeamDesign has become a huge anti-paperwork tool for our dealership,” says Elman. “In the past, our people would go out on an installation with a stack of project folders. Now, because all the information is accessible via the cloud, they don’t have to. It’s made us a whole lot more productive and things get done so much faster and more efficiently.”

That’s just for starters, though. Some of the ECi Cloud for TeamDesign’s most important benefits are the ones that show up on the operating budget.

“We saved at least $50,000 in the first year after we went on the cloud,” Elman reports happily. There was the monthly $2,000 fee she paid to an outside IT company to service and maintain their own system and the $25,000-plus bill the dealership was looking at to replace its outdated servers. When BE Furniture switched to ECi Cloud for TeamDesign, those expenses went right out the door!

And, the company has seen zero downtime since it made the transition!

The cloud-based version of TeamDesign has given Elman and her team a less expensive and far more flexible and accessible system to manage projects.

Most important of all, it’s given her the knowledge and confidence that if another Sandy-like weather event hits, BE Furniture will be able to stay in business and keep operating on all cylinders no matter how bad it might turn out to be.