Copper State Bolt and Nut

Distributor and manufacturer lays a foundation for simple, seamless growth with Microsoft Dynamics 365

Client: Copper State Bolt and Nut
Industry: Building Materials, Retail, Manufacturing, Distribution

Copper State Bolt and Nut sells over 125,000 fasteners, bolts, and nuts every month. By moving to the cloud-based application, they are able to keep up with the complexity and rapid growth of their data.

Following a period of impressive growth, Copper State Bolt & Nut Company quickly outgrew its previous enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution. After evaluating its options, the family-owned and operated distributor and manufacturer chose to migrate all its ERP data to Microsoft Dynamics 365—a platform that could easily grow alongside the business. Now Copper State Bolt & Nut can ensure that it will never need to compromise on its commitment to delivering the high-quality fasteners and parts its customers need, when they need them.

A lot of moving pieces

For almost half a century, Phoenix, Arizona–based Copper State Bolt & Nut Co. has succeeded the old-fashioned way; it stocks simple, high-quality products and sells them to lots of customers. In fact, Copper State serves more than 6,500 customers, selling more than 40 million fasteners, safety supplies, industrial products, construction products, tools, and accessories every month. That’s a lot of moving pieces to track.

Despite experiencing explosive growth in recent years, at its heart Copper State is still the same family-owned and operated business it was on the day it was established in 1972. It’s still a great place to work, and it’s still producing high-quality US-made parts. Above all, it’s still committed to delivering the best possible outcomes for every one of its loyal customers.

But managing that growth hasn’t always been easy. With more customers to serve than ever, maintaining the company’s commitment to quality in both its products and customer experiences became harder. In response, Copper State sought out new technology solutions that could help it more efficiently and effectively manage operations as it grows.

Although Copper State’s products are relatively simple, its operations are anything but. With a broad product catalogue and a large, diverse group of customers, the company faced major challenges managing operational complexity and needed an ERP system that was truly fit for the purpose. To support—and drive—continued business growth and optimize its finance, manufacturing, and supply chain management, Copper State adopted Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Supply Chain Management and Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Commerce.

"Copper State Bolt & Nut Co. has been very privileged to have Arbela as our Microsoft Dynamics 365 migration and implementation project partner. The Arbela team’s project management and consulting skillsets have demonstrated superior levels of broad Microsoft/AX to subject matter expertise, open-mindedness, willingness, eagerness, availability, commitment, and understanding." 

Fred Robinson
Project Manager
Copper State Bolt & Nut Co.

Long-term growth with Dynamics 365

Initially, Copper State had upgraded its home-grown system to an on-premises ERP system, Dynamics AX 2009, in October 2011. But after several years, Copper State was once again outgrowing its IT. Struggling to find an ERP platform that could keep pace with its growth, the company looked to the cloud to find a more scalable alternative that could support it long-term.

That’s when it discovered Microsoft Dynamics 365. Copper State Finance Vice President Carl Spackman spoke to the Microsoft team and learned that Copper State could quickly and easily migrate all its current ERP data into Dynamics 365—and start getting more from that data right away.

“With Dynamics 365, I feel like I have my hands on all the levers of the business at once,” says Spackman. “I have total visibility into our data, and I understand exactly what that data is showing me at all times.”

One of the main benefits of Dynamics 365 for Copper State is that the company won’t have to manage any more ERP implementations. As the company grows, Dynamics 365 will grow with it. Now it has an ERP platform that supports ongoing expansion without requiring an IT team to spend time on frequent upgrades.

“Switching to Dynamics 365 means no more expensive, time-consuming ERP implementations,” says Spackman. “Adopting Dynamics 365 is the last time we will ever need to touch an ERP system.”

"Without Dynamics 365, we wouldn’t be able to grow at the speed that we have to. And we wouldn’t be able to support our salespeople, who need to be out in front of our customers, or deliver products efficiently."

Carl Spackman
Vice President of Finance
Copper State Bolt and Nut Co.

The mobile-based future of ERP

Simplicity and scalability were huge drivers for Copper State’s move to Dynamics 365—but they weren’t the only ones. The company also recognized that this was a powerful opportunity to embrace the mobile-based future of ERP.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations Video“If we don’t embrace the cloud and the mobile-based future of ERP, it would become a huge limiting factor to our growth and maybe even our existence,” says Spackman. “Without Dynamics 365, we wouldn’t be able to grow at the speed that we have to. And we wouldn’t be able to support our salespeople, who need to be out in front of our customers, or deliver products efficiently.”

The Copper State team uses the Dynamics 365 mobile and cloud-based capabilities to work in new, more flexible ways. Copper State’s team members are constantly on the move—visiting customers, delivering products, finding solutions—so being tied to a desk to get certain tasks done is an unnecessary time constraint.

Using Office 365 with Dynamics 365 is going to bring much higher levels of efficiency in communication, reduced time to focus, and increased throughput. What’s more, the company’s people and operational endpoints are now better connected than ever. Instead of having to build around the limitations of inadequate systems, Copper State is defining its future the way it always has—with a focus on being the best for its customers, vendors, and employees.