Brownstown Electric Supply Co.: Keeping the lights on with OSAS
Brownstown Electric Supply Company was started in 1970 when Carl Shake partnered with his friend and industry associate, Earl Hobbs, who had been in the line construction contracting business for almost 20 years. Carl had a history in the electric utility business, beginning as a lineman for Northern Indiana Power Service (NIPSCO), Public Service Indiana (PSI), and then working for General Electric in their supply divisions (GESCO) in the cities of Terre Haute and Indianapolis, IN.
Incorporated in the state of Indiana over 40 years ago, Brownstown Electric grew from a sales territory that served southern Indiana, to a company with five locations. They now serve a four state region including Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, and Ohio. Brownstown Electric is a closely held, privately owned corporation, giving them the versatility they need to be able to serve their customers to the best of their abilities. They have around 100 employees with extensive electric utility experience and backgrounds in line construction, engineering, safety, purchasing, as well as a first class technical and metering department.
To address their need for a highly customizable ERP system, Brownstown Electric Supply Company has relied on OSAS software from Open Systems, Inc. for over 30 years. Brownstown Electric counts on OSAS to run 24 hours, seven days a week to align with their multiple work shifts and busiest times during disasters. OSAS is able to live up to their motto, “Whatever it takes!”
Adaptability is the common denominator
Brownstown Electric offers a full line of services to their utility clients with the versatility to modify any processes in order to mold a procurement process that best suites the utilities needs, be they Cooperative, Municipal, or Investor-Owned Utility. They supply everything a utility company would need from poles to wires to transformers.
Gregg Deck, President and CEO of Brownstown Electric, said they chose OSAS because, “Open Systems Accounting Software is just that, open. We can change things without any issues. We are able to go to our customers with a clean slate and customize and adapt our software to work with the needs of the customer.” Gregg has been using OSAS since 1984 and is very well versed in the ins and outs of the product.
As Brownstown Electric upgraded their software throughout the years, they were pleased to watch the product grow and add-in many of the features Brownstown Electric had originally been customizing. Gregg said, “Having features built into the software, as well as being able to add our modifications, that’s what’s important to us. As it grew, OSAS is became much more sophisticated so we need to make less modifications today than in the past.”
Trusting in the stability of Open Systems
Brownstown Electric is a “utility only” supplier. Their busiest times are during disasters, as they use their mobile storm support centers, or job trailers, to help those in need. They have over 60 job trailers that are used for dispersing material and providing a meeting place for crews and supervisors.
They need to be able to trust OSAS to keep track of the materials that are loaded onto and unloaded from these trailers. The material is shipped per specified bill of material, but overages or unused materials may be left on the trailer for credit.
At their five locations, Brownstown Electric run daily fill reports, restock normally stocked items, provide “bill of materials” for a given list of units needed to build a service, and allow their customers to check open orders, stock, order entry, and many other services.
Gregg said, “We have EDI interfaced for our customers and suppliers. We are also using payroll, direct deposit, accounting, general ledger, tracking inventory, warehouse management, and using the report writer. We need to be able to count on our system at all times and the service and support we receive from Open Systems, Inc. means everything to us. We have been very fortunate.”
Keeping the future bright with TRAVERSE
Gregg said, “We have done some massive upgrades every few year with OSAS and are now looking forward to transitioning to TRAVERSE.” Open Systems, Inc. is ready to help Gregg and his team make this transition and continue their partnership to “keep the lights on” for the customers of Brownstown Electric Supply Company.