Build Your Business: Upgrade to Accounting-based Business Management

Amity Insulation Group Inc., a leading Canadian distributor of industrial insulation, has used Oneir Solutions’ Accounting-based business management software to improve its overall operation

by Andy Shaw

Amity Insulation Group Inc. (Amity) has grown to be one of the larger ‘one stop shop’ distributors in the industrial insulation industry, but its owners and management team have not rested on those laurels. To generate savings and speed up Amity’s workflow, the company began an upgrade of its accounting system several years ago. Working directly with Jon Mainwaring, the co-founder and vice president of Oneir Solutions, Amity has put Oneir’s remarkably nimble, Linux-driven, accounting, sales, and inventory controls to profitable work.

These days, we use Oneir every day,” says David Landro, General Manager of Amity. “What’s particularly useful to us is Oneir’s ability to instantly turn our more commonly-used documents into a PDF file format and then immediately email them out. If we hadn’t worked with Jon and upgraded to Oneir a few years ago, most of our correspondence would have been sent out by regular mail. Oneir allows us to perform day-to-day functions more quickly and efficiently

The company has been a satisfied customer of Mainwaring’s ever since Amity’s founder, Eugene Patrick, started using Oneir’s DOS-based predecessor, Vigilant, for inventory control over 30 years ago.

“With all the insulation materials, metal jacketing, and accessories we distribute, there are several thousand inventory ‘skus’ involved in the sales process and we’ve always been impressed with how well the Oneir software, with its specific code and description for each sku, can track our inventory,” says Landro. “We asked Oneir to have its customer support team perform customized work so that we could use the sku descriptions in greater detail. The programming team has been excellent to work with (especially Jane and Ian Giggal) when helping with the design and wording of our quotations, confirmation, purchase orders and invoices. They have even added custom descriptors to facilitate handling our materials in a more efficient manner.”

Such tailoring to specific client needs is a high Oneir priority, says Oneir President Jane Giggal: “Every company has its own uniqueness and so we designed our software to be very flexible. But the custom programming we can add before the software goes live makes Oneir fit that client like a glove right from the get-go. And we keep the costs for customizing nominal because it can be good for us too. Quite often we are able to incorporate something we’ve developed for one client into the next version so that everyone can benefit.”

During its evolutionary process, Oneir has built its bookkeeping software foundations over several decades into an all-encompassing business management tool. But though it’s more powerful, transitioning to Oneir usually goes smoothly.

We had absolutely no issues when Oneir upgraded our system and the conversion was completed promptly,” says Landro. “Our company became faster at getting material in and out the door and the financial reporting was more accurate. To me, that reflects the deep understanding the Oneir team has in terms of accounting standards, and what Oneir can do for a business beyond just keeping the books.

Oneir’s software upgrade has benefited Amity by enabling President Dana Landro to focus on planning the company’s future without the usual paper-trail tracking that impedes managers and staff at other companies. Amity’s management has seen many firms tied up for years after transitioning to a new technology. Now that Oneir has freed up more of the company’s day-to-day logistics, Amity’s president, general manager, and staff have more time to focus on other important areas of their operations.

As you may know, the term “insulation” refers to a process wherein a non-conducting material is used to isolate something from its surroundings and thereby sustain its normal state of being. Fitting then that accounting, sales, and inventory controls from Onier are now an integral part of Amity’s more productive state of being.

Andy Shaw is a freelance writer, broadcaster and international journalist with articles in many business and technical publications.

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