Fabuwood Cabinetry Corp. is the nation’s largest and fastest-growing semi-custom kitchen cabinet manufacturer, a status Fabuwood achieved through its ability to deliver cabinets in only five days thanks to its innovative use of technology. Fabuwood originally used QuickBooks to manage its business but outgrew the software and needed a unified ERP solution that could connect its digital ordering and warehouse management systems. When Fabuwood deployed Acumatica Manufacturing Edition, the company gained a flexible platform for rapid growth, a single source of truth for all data, and improved purchasing and material resources planning with NexVue (now Net at Work)’s guidance and deep Acumatica platform knowledge.
“We’ve seen the power of the Acumatica platform and how easy it is to work with, and how easy and accurate the integrations are. Finance, purchasing, operations can do so much with the GI (Generic Inquiry) tool, importing and exporting data.”
– Sendy Stern, Senior VP of Technology, Fabuwood
- Implemented a single, connected, robust finance and manufacturing platform able to support its rapid growth
- Gained real-time data visibility into operations, promoting unparalleled speed to market
- Acquired a flexible platform that seamlessly integrated 15 third-party applications
- Gained a manufacturing management solution including MRP that improved material purchasing and planning costs
- Obtained next-level reporting with clean and robust, in-depth data from end-to-end operations
- Eliminated downtime and improved data integrity, eliminating corrupted data occurrences experienced in QuickBooks
- Acquired an easy-to-use, consistent interface that accelerated user adoption
- Increased customizations and dashboard use by business staff with no-code Generic Inquiry tool
- Gained an xRP platform with open APIs that enabled the development team to create custom processes, procedures, and new applications to meet unique business requirements
Headquartered in Newark, New Jersey. Fabuwood is a semi-custom kitchen cabinet manufacturer focused on delivering quality cabinets within five days of the order.
Yes. Five Days. Whereas typical delivery time frames for new kitchen cabinets take one to two months. Many businesses experienced longer delivery times when the pandemic disrupted supply chains.
How does Fabuwood achieve superior delivery times?
“We’re a technology company that happens to make kitchen cabinets,” explains Sendy Stern, Senior Vice President of Technology. The company invested millions in technology, which enables it to make cabinets fast and become a nationwide pioneer in the semi-custom kitchen cabinet market. Eighty of the company’s 1,200 employees work in the IT department.
“We have a great team, a great staff from top to bottom that embraces challenge and speed and understands speed to market and the technology,” says Joel Epstein, Co-Founder, and Chief Operating Officer.
Fastest Growing Kitchen Cabinet Maker
Epstein started Fabuwood in 2009 with 40 employees and a small warehouse at a time when most cabinet makers still used fax machines for business communications. Today, Fabuwood operates in a state-of-the-art one-million-square-foot facility filled with highly automated machines and technology, and a second 400,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Jersey City.
Fabuwood is the largest and fastest-growing semi-custom kitchen cabinetry manufacturer in the country, selling kitchen cabinets through 2,000 dealers. All dealers order through Fabuwood’s internally developed digital pricing tool, EZ Pricing which contains more than 15,000 SKUs, much more than most online catalogs. The EZ Pricing tool allows dealers to view current inventory, check prices, print quotes, check customer history, print reports, submit orders, receive manufacture and delivery times, and obtain shipping costs, including sales tax. Once an order is placed, manufacturing and the warehouse are notified and begin working on it.
Like many startups, Fabuwood chose QuickBooks to handle accounting. “As we started growing, we developed our own WMS system to track cabinets so we could see all the products in the warehouse,” Stern says. “Then we created our pricing system. We realized we would quickly outgrow QuickBooks and hit the ceiling with it. QuickBooks was basically not made for large enterprises. It was slow, and data was often corrupted. There were no controls, and there wasn’t an MRP, automation, and no customizations of the system.”
Data Analyst Shlomit Katz adds, “Our legacy systems had everything siloed, so making the manufacturing, inventory, and finance systems talk to each other was always difficult. Getting data out of those systems required intense coding, which wasn’t quick or easy.”
Making sure data from different systems was in synch and matched proved difficult and resource intensive. Synching data “always caused a little bit of a mismatch or had inconsistencies and discrepancies,” says Katz.
As a result, the company began looking for an ERP system that could handle Fabuwood’s immediate needs and most importantly, scale efficiently to support future needs and ongoing rapid growth.
“We’ve seen tremendous growth in the past four years,” Stern says. “We’re one of the largest kitchen makers in the semi-custom market, and definitely the fastest growing.”
ERP Platform with Manufacturing
Fabuwood searched for an easy-to-use ERP solution knowing it would speed adoption. They insisted on a flexible solution that could be easily customized and connected to third-party applications. Initially, Fabuwood did not consider manufacturing capabilities in its ERP search, believing they had to handle manufacturing capabilities in a separate, standalone system.
Fabuwood reviewed 10 ERPs and eventually narrowed its choices to Oracle, NetSuite, and Acumatica.
“Back when we started looking for an ERP, Acumatica was not as popular and everyone had heard of NetSuite,” Stern says. “We wondered whether we should go with Acumatica or not, and invited both back for additional demos. Acumatica won and the main reasons were our development team liked Acumatica’s flexibility and ease of integration.”
In addition to applauding Acumatica’s flexible, customizable platform, the Fabuwood team was delighted to learn Acumatica offered a Manufacturing Edition, which encompassed core manufacturing, financial, project accounting, and reporting applications with optional, connected applications to tailor the system – all within the same ERP platform.
Acumatica designed its Manufacturing Edition to support various kinds of manufacturing, including make-to-stock, make-to-order, configure-to-order, engineer-to-order, and project-centric manufacturers. Acumatica Manufacturing Edition also includes native apps that connect data and business processes for engineering change control, production management, material planning, advanced planning and scheduling, estimating, and rules-based product configuration, among others.
Modern, Flexible Platform
Fabuwood’s development team praised Acumatica’s agile, modern, and flexible xRP platform because it integrates seamlessly with multiple services and third-party solutions. As a result, the Fabuwood development team could use Acumatica’s open platform to create custom processes, procedures, and new applications to meet its unique business requirements.
“The ease of integration was very important because we are growing so fast, we needed to make sure we could customize as much as possible,” Stern says.
Fabuwood also liked Acumatica’s easy-to-use interface and the support Acumatica provides. “After a little bit of training, everyone loves Acumatica,” Stern says. “It was easy to adjust to and it’s really user-friendly.”
In addition, the Fabuwood team believed Acumatica would offer better service than NetSuite, owned by Oracle Corp. “The support you get at Acumatica, you don’t get at any other company,” says Stern, citing Acumatica’s direct customer support, community forums, Acumatica University training opportunities, and annual in-person Summit, which includes a developer track, various third-party application providers, and many customers, all of whom love to share information.
Go Live in Five Months
Many industry friends and their Acumatica partner, NexVue (now Net at Work), cautioned Fabuwood about ERP implementation timeframes, claiming it could take as many as nine months. However, Fabuwood went live with Acumatica in just five months. Stern credited his internal development team and the NexVue (now Net at Work) team, particularly Dan Schwartz, who spearheaded the outside integrations.
NexVue (now Net at Work) Information Systems is an Acumatica Gold Partner, an Acumatica ISV development partner, and one of Acumatica’s founding partners. The Stamford, CT-based company has developed two vertical market solutions fully embedded in the Acumatica framework as well as over 70 add-ons and extensions for its clients. The company has dedicated itself to learning Acumatica from every angle; from the front-end application to the deepest levels of the development framework and serves clients nationwide.
Such a deep understanding of the platform was needed to seamlessly connect Fabuwood’s internally developed EZ Pricing tool and warehouse management system GPS, says Schwartz.
“In our demo, we showed Fabuwood how the Acumatica framework could be modified to its business and easily integrated with its in-house tools,” he says. “Later, we took great care to understand Fabuwood’s internal processes and challenges so we could fit the application to what they wanted it to do. We didn’t force them into the application and didn’t have to because Acumatica is very flexible.”
Understanding the end-to-end ordering to manufacturing to delivery processes and the speed at which Fabuwood works, “we minimized the risk by rehearsing the cutovers with all of their integrations,” Schwartz says.
Fabuwood held rigorous go-live dress rehearsals and thoroughly tested 120 or so operational steps. “We did a lot of testing, and made sure to test again, and again and again,” says Stern. “We went live with no hiccups. Everything was perfect, and the balance sheets matched.”
“The NexVue (now Net at Work) team was great,” adds Stern. “Dan made sure our transition was rock solid and the team had a lot of patience, and made sure our financial data was safe and clean.”
Acumatica Manufacturing Core Foundation
Deploying Acumatica Manufacturing Edition gave Fabuwood a modern ERP platform that serves as the company’s core. “Acumatica is now our single source of truth, and all integrations work off the ERP platform,” Stern says. Everything is funneled through Acumatica as a point of entry from order management to manufacturing to inventory and through shipping and distribution. Acumatica automatically moves data back and forth using Acumatica’s web services and APIs.
With NexVue (now Net at Work)’s help, the business platform connects to more than 15 applications, from Fabuwood’s own EZ Pricing tool and custom-made warehouse called GPS to PowerBI, to Avalara for sales tax automation, just to name a few.
Clean Data, Better Reporting
For the first time in several years, Fabuwood has clean data with no corruption issues. As a result, they achieved a higher level of reporting and empowered employees to create their own dashboards and KPI reports rather than submitting requests to the development team.
“One of our biggest improvements is actually the ease of getting data out of the system,” says Katz. “In addition to having manufacturing and finance on the same platform, we can just pull data out so easily. We don’t need to write any complex code. We pull data straight into our reporting software and everything is there at our fingertips.”
Before Acumatica, Fabuwood spent multiple days making sure the data matched up between the two systems, she adds.
“We saw the power of the system and how easy it is to work with, and how easy and accurate the integrations are,” says Stern. “And how easily you can write your own GIs (General Inquiries). Finance got the GI training, the purchasing team, the operations team… They can do so much with the GI, importing and exporting data.”
Having clean data alone greatly increased efficiency while automation further optimized processes, leading to immeasurable efficiency gains. “Having clean data alone saves you time,” he says. “We have easy access to reports, which are integrated with PowerBI. Acumatica takes us to the next level.”
More Efficient Manufacturing Operations
Thanks to their new ERP solution, purchasing and inventory management also improved. Acumatica’s Materials Resource Planning (MRP) functionality enables the company to track material costs better, view Bill of Materials (BOM), and obtain multiple level BOMs, and other manufacturing information that was previously unavailable.
Fabuwood Finance Controller Jim Murray explains, “Now, I see all the data in real time. Having a formal bill of material (BOM) and formal routing, we can see what’s happening to all those different products from purchasing all the way through the manual manufacturing cycle day-to-day, minute-to-minute, hour-to-hour.”
Gone are the manual inputs into QuickBooks. “Things are being scanned in. We’re using barcodes. Transactions are really being processed through a backflush process, so we don’t have 50 people in a room just typing in all this manual data. It’s very, very automated,” Murray says. “We’re talking thousands and thousands of transactions per day. I get to see this in real-time. For me, it’s really nice to see this full integration right into the P&L and balance sheet. Now, we’re able to look at the data, start making decisions, improve processes, and drive to the solutions that are expected.”
Stern also appreciates how Acumatica helped set up the MRP. “MRP is complicated, and there’s a lot of learning and understanding the best approach to set it up,” he says. “The Acumatica team is amazing and was extremely helpful. It really is amazing how much you can do in the system.”
Fabuwood’s EZ Pricing tool is what really makes it a leader in the kitchen manufacturing business and sets it apart. It’s essential that the tool has timely and accurate information, which wasn’t always the case with QuickBooks.
“That’s why it’s so important to have a good ERP platform,” Stern says. “We really needed a flexible core solution that helps EZ Pricing be so successful. With Acumatica, we can sync more orders with more accurate data.”
Poised to Move Fast & Grow
With Acumatica Manufacturing Edition, Fabuwood has a flexible technology platform it can grow with and count on for years to come. Coupled with its proprietary developed software, Fabuwood doesn’t have to invest in additional software because “Acumatica delivers to us what we need,” Epstein says. “In the time that other companies make decisions, we are already up to our next. And this goes back to Acumatica. We want to change, we want to know our future, and we need things fast. And we feel like Acumatica delivers that.”
“We’re planning to open up multiple satellite locations throughout the country,” he adds. “We’re definitely not slowing down anytime soon.”
And NexVue (now Net at Work) will be there to support Fabuwood with any new steps in its digital transformation. “Fabuwood has an open mentality about investing in its technology platform to make its operations more effective as it grows,” Schwartz says. “Whatever they need, with Acumatica, there’s very little we say no to. The answer is always yes.”
“The Acumatica team is amazing and was extremely helpful. It really is amazing how much you can do on the platform.”
– Sendy Stern, Senior VP of Technology, Fabuwood