If you're a successful distributor, odds are you want to grow. And one of the best ways to do that is to expand to include geographic areas where business growth is already happening. But what if the boom is so big that the area’s infrastructure isn't quite ready for it?
That's what Allied Valve faced when it wanted to expand into western North Dakota and eastern Montana to take advantage of the shale oil boom.
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"There's not enough infrastructure," says Jodie Schwirtz, Allied Valve's CIO. "There aren't enough buildings. There aren't enough roads. … And there aren't enough people to approve the work that needs to be done."
Schwirtz spoke in the recent MDM Webcast, Cloud IT for Distributors: Integrating Mobile, e-Commerce, Inventory, sponsored by NetSuite. (Access it on-demand here.)
Allied Valve had one person in the area who was using leased space in another company's warehouse before the boom took off. "That just wasn't enough," she says. But how can you expand quickly when building permits take six months for approval?
Enter the cloud. Cloud computing – from NetSuite in Allied Valve's case – allowed the company to quickly add people and build business without having to wait for a brick-and-mortar location. Employees are currently living in hotels and fulfilling business needs from their trucks on laptops and iPads. They're placing orders, checking inventory and accessing technical specs for repairs without a physical building, Schwirtz says.
That's allowed them to stay ahead of other companies who are still waiting for building permit approval. The cloud lets them take the office with them wherever they need to be to serve their customers … and grow.
Click on the video below to hear more about Allied Valve's expansion into the Bakken shale oilfield with cloud: