Acme Brick, owned by Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway, is one of the largest manufacturers of brick in the southwest. Acme Brick implemented Oracle Backend as their core order management and financial system about 2 years ago. Acme runs 65 retail outlets where contractors and the general public purchase brick, tile and masonry tools for construction and home improvement. Acme tried using Oracle Backend for point of sale (POS) transactions, but many of their sales people reverted to handwriting sales tickets to speed up the process with the customer. This led to incorrect price and tax calculations and out of balance cash drawer situations. After a design session with CrossView, Acme chose WebSphere Commerce as the software platform to build a customer point of sale system that integrated tightly with Oracle Backend. CrossView built the point of sale system working closely with Acme's Oracle Backend developers that allowed for real-time lookup of pricing, inventory and customer credit information from Oracle Backend. Orders were created via real time calls to Oracle Backend which ensured the customer always received the correct price in Oracle Backend.
Acme Brick is one of the most trusted names in the building industry. Since 1891, Acme Brick has helped to add beauty and lasting value to homes. The company's commitment to excellence is evidenced through its 100-year limited guarantee to homebuyers. Acme Brick ensures that its bricks will endure subzero temperatures and blistering heat while remaining beautiful for at least 100 years.
Acme Brick is owned by the Berkshire Hathaway Group.
About two years ago, Acme Brick implemented a JD Edwards enterprise resource planning (ERP) application throughout its chain of retail stores. But the company found the ERP solution extremely difficult to use when processing simple sales transactions. The application's interface required a high level of technical expertise, making it cumbersome to use when performing basic sales transactions. Order entry of a transaction often took as long as 30 minutes, and many sales representatives reverted to hand writing tickets instead of negotiating the difficult interface in an attempt to provide faster customer service. The manual ticketing led to such problems as miscalculation of taxes, difficulties with tracking and problems with accounting. Acme Brick needed to somehow rework its JD Edwards application to make it easier to use.
Since implementing the WebSphere Commerce Express solution, Acme Brick has seen a reduction in transaction-processing times - dropping from as much as 30 minutes to less than 45 seconds. This improvement directly and dramatically increases customer satisfaction. And since the application is seamlessly integrated with a payment processor, the company saves nearly US $25,000 per year that it used to spend on third-party credit card processing fees. Overall, the IBM solution improves Acme Brick's ability to process sales, manage internal accounting and track inventory levels in real time.
The solution also demonstrates the robust nature of the IBM WebSphere Commerce software when used for POS transactions and not just as a front-end commerce engine.