Manufacturing & Distribution
Fishing fans across the country know Hard and Soft Fishing, Inc. through their venerable brands, including Acme Tackle, Beaver Dam, and Uncle Josh. The company’s origins date back to 1922 when two fishermen friends began using pork fat to make lures.
Today, the best-selling lures respect that history through names like “Big Daddy Pork Frog” and “Pork Nightcrawler.” Much has changed over the years, including a recent ownership change, with Hard and Soft Fishing now employee and investor owned. Today, the company is a modern enterprise that manufacturers and distributes its products both through major retailers and directly to consumers. To ensure fishing enthusiasts everywhere have accurate fish tales to share, Hard and Soft Fishing relies on SYSPRO ERP and BT Partners.
"“With BT Partners’ help, we’ve grown what was just incremental business into a significant revenue stream for the company.”"
While the company has been using SYSPRO for years, when Becky Beth joined as CFO several years ago, she didn’t like what she saw. “SYSPRO was installed but not implemented,” she says. “We really needed to start over as the partner we had been using had dropped the ball. I asked other companies using SYSPRO who they recommended, and BT Partners’ name kept coming up. We visited some of their references and were convinced. We hired them to perform an evaluation and reimplementation of SYSPRO — and they did it right.”
Beth says that BT Partners reimagined and reinvented the way the company uses SYSPRO — to great advantage. “We use SYSPRO to track our manufacturing processes, manage our inventory holdings, and keep distribution flowing. BT Partners is helping us make much better use of our technology and use its capabilities to grow the business.”
Hard and Soft Fishing sells primarily to big-box retailers, including Walmart and Cabela’s. However, during the course of the pandemic, the company’s direct-to-consumer (DTC) channel grew exponentially and now includes a large Amazon presence in addition to its own eCommerce site.
BT Partners’ engineering team designed and developed integrations between SYSPRO and both Shopify and Amazon.
“They are two-way integrations, with orders flowing into SYSPRO automatically, and SYSPRO updating the sites with inventory levels and shipping details,” explains Beth. “It’s been game-changing. We don’t need to touch the orders. Our direct-to-consumer business has more than doubled over the past two years, yet we’ve only hired one additional employee. With BT Partners’ help, we’ve grown what was just incremental business into a significant revenue stream for the company. BT Partners was a big part in making that happen. We had to ramp up very quickly and they were there, working by our side to make it happen.”
To allow the company to continue to grow and scale efficiently, BT Partners helped implement a grocery-style scanning solution in the company’s warehouses that uses smart logic to speed the process and make it more accurate. “Our shipping team simply scans the item UPCs for the entire order and the software immediately prints out a shipping label. The label is placed on the box and moved along without delay,” explains Beth. “It was a manual process before, with one employee at the keyboard and another printing the label. Now, our orders are more accurate, and we can process twice as many in the same amount of time.”
During the course of its partnership with BT Partners, Hard and Soft Fishing has grown exponentially and has added a secondary entity to its books. SYSPRO is rich with intercompany capabilities, giving the company the confidence that both its ERP and its business partner will scale with it far into the future.
Beth has nothing but praise for the consulting and engineering teams at BT Partners. “BT Partners is easy to work with. They are highly capable and enjoyable to collaborate with. In addition, they place a high value on teaching us to be self-sufficient, encouraging us to fully understand the software’s capabilities and be curious about what more we can do with it. That’s what I call a partner, not a vendor.”