Buffa Bowling "bowls a strike" with commercebuild

From its humble beginnings in the basement of founder Frank Buffa’s home, Buffa Distribution Inc. has grown into the largest bowling products distributor in Canada. It’s an $8 million enterprise, with a large distribution centre, a retail store, and fully-equipped pro shop, serving businesses and consumers in over a dozen countries. Buffa Distribution takes the business of bowling seriously, investing in technology to grow its operations efficiently and profitably. commercebuild is a significant part of Buffa Distribution’s technology solution, promoting efficient, sustainable growth, 24 hours a day.


A complete eCommerce solution


Referred to XM Developments by Genatec, Buffa Bowling implemented commercebuild simultaneously with their implementation of Sage 300. “We had an entry-level accounting package before, and it just couldn’t keep up,” recalls Mark Buffa, CEO. “We had eCommerce capabilities too, but only B2C. With commercebuild, we saw we could expand our webstore capabilities to serve our business customers as well." Buffa says that commercebuild was a big part of the decision to move to Sage 300. “We looked at Microsoft Dynamics too, but felt that Sage had the better solution with the integration of Sage 300 and commercebuild. That level of integration is hard to find elsewhere, and we can incorporate additional integrated solutions like Sage CRM.”


More same day shipping


Orders placed through commercebuild move into Sage 300 and on to the warehouse in a matter of seconds. The company processes an average of 150 orders a day, and Buffa says the streamlined order handling commercebuild provides allows them to ship more orders the same day they are received. “As a distributor, we may be selling many of the same products as our competitors, so in order to differentiate ourselves, we have to be better. We have to be faster. With commercebuild, we can focus more resources on getting our orders out quickly and accurately.”


Working seamlessly, 24/7

The integration between Sage 300 and commercebuild is strong and comprehensive. Customers can see all open transactions, not just those they’ve placed through the webstore. If an order has shipped, customers can view the carrier’s tracking number and follow a link to trace the package. “And if a product they’re looking at is on backorder, we’re even showing them the estimated arrival date that comes from Sage 300,” says Buffa.

The software supports what Buffa describes as a very complicated pricing matrix, with various loyalty tiers and discounts. “Our old system couldn’t support it, but commercebuild handles it easily. We also run frequent sales and promotions, and as soon as we configure those in Sage 300, they are active in commercebuild,” he says.

The company’s customers are open nights and weekends, and with commercebuild, Buffa Distribution is open too. “We’re effectively open 24 hours a day now,” notes Buffa. “Customers can shop and check order status any time of the day.”

Buffa Distribution is a fully bilingual company, with both English and French websites, and naturally Sage 300 and commercebuild support both languages. “We had no issues with multi-lingual capabilities,” says Buffa. “It’s built into the software.”

Buffa says the product support he has received from commercebuild has been prompt and professional. “We can speak to a support rep, log in to the support portal and submit a screen shot, research a question, or create a new support ticket. It’s friendly and easy to use.”


Integrated payment processing


Integrated payment processing means customers can pay for orders or open invoices by credit card through commercebuild, with payment data flowing seamlessly into Sage 300. It eliminates the need to manually process credit cards and record approval data in the software, freeing additional staff time and further speeding order processing times.

“We’re effectively open 24 hours a day now. Customers can shop and check order status any time of the day. That’s a huge advantage, since our customers are open evenings and weekends.”

Mark Buffa, CEO, Buffa Distribution Inc.

Grow while optimizing workforce

Previously, the company had four full-time people entering orders, but with the majority of B2B (business to business) orders coming directly through commercebuild, those personnel are now free to focus on marketing and promotion activities. “They are now working to build stronger customer relationships, not just taking orders,” says Buffa. Buffa concludes, “We’re providing customers with a great experience — they tell us they love doing business with us through the webstore. commercebuild allows us to focus on growing our customer base and building our business. We know we can scale the business further without adding more staff, thanks to the efficiencies the software provides.”

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