A Change for the Better Keeps Mann Lake Ltd. on the Path to Success

When Jack and Betty Thomas started Mann Lake in 1983 because they couldn't find the quality equipment they needed for their own beekeeping business they didn't have any idea that their dream would one day become a leading provider of beekeeping supplies in the world. Nearly thirty years later, the accounting department was under pressure from a failing solution that wasn't keeping up with the company's growth.

"Before we implemented Adagio by Softrak, we had been using an older version of Sage Accpac," Shana Wigdahl, Staff Accountant says. "Our frustrations occurred on a regular basis with system errors, requiring time consuming database integrity checks. As our volume increased, so did the errors."

And the frustration didn't stop at the accounting department's door. As Mann Lake's growth continued they found themselves at capacity with too many users and not enough licences to accommodate the shipping, production and warehouse teams. While the leadership had a vision for the company, it was becoming apparent that the existing accounting system wasn't going to be able to keep up.

Mann Lake is an ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) company and is 100% employee owned, providing commercial and hobby beekeepers with a range of over 3500 products to help customers manage overall hive health. They've earned a solid reputation for quality and service that exceeds expectations both in North America and internationally.

Shana says "The use of Adagio reports and grid views provides us useful information in all departments that ultimately saves time and therefore money."

As Mann Lake's business was booming the need to automate systems became a top priority. The company invested in revamping their website in order to be more user friendly, resulting in a significant increase in online orders. In order to accommodate the increased traffic from the updated website, the accounting team implemented a new order management system. "Instead of printing off each order and manually keying them in, the website developers and Stief Group were able to automate the process and flow from our website directly to Adagio."

But saving time isn't the only benefit that Mann Lake sees on a daily basis. Since switching to Adagio the company is moving toward becoming a paperless office. By utilizing Print Boss, a third party add-on product, the task of printing hundreds of customer invoices per day has been replaced with an efficient email system that puts the invoice directly into the customers' inbox. "In addition, we now print all our invoice copies and statements to PDF. That saves the cost of nearly 100,000 pre-printed forms annually, the labor to print them and the space to store them. Not only does it help us to decrease our expenses but the noise from the dot matrix printer we used was highly distracting."

There have been plenty of other unexpected benefits from implementing Adagio. When Mann Lake made the decision to move to Adagio they focused on improving systems and automation. Just under a year later, the benefits across multiple areas of the business continue. "We just keep thinking of new ways to use Adagio". According to Shana, "I love using Adagio."

Now that the business is 'buzzing' the future looks even better in large part due to support from Softrak and the Stief Group who helped Mann Lake implement Adagio. "Softrak and the Stief Group have provided excellent support, customer service and good value. They have held our hands from the beginning and continue to respond to our requests professionally and timely. Our implementation and the resulting improvements from Adagio have exceeded our expectations, but we could not have done it without the Stief Group." Shana says, "We know with Stief Group that our questions get answered. The recommendations they've made and showing us the powerful features in Adagio have improved our business processes in ways that we may never have thought of on our own."

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"The use of Adagio reports and grid views provides us useful information in all departments that ultimately saves time and therefore money."


Mann Lake Founders Jack and Betty Thomas Photo by John Linn

Mann Lake Ltd. uses the following Adagio modules: