Advantage Sport & Fitness, Inc. (ASF) is a distributor and retailer of professional fitness equipment based in Ithaca, NY, with a second retail location in Greenville, SC, and 35 distribution centers scattered across 16 states. ASF also offers installation, facility planning and design, and maintenance services for all of their equipment. The majority of their products are designed for fitness centers in commercial and academic campuses, hospitals, and any other space that features recreational fitness areas.
Advantage was founded in 1987 by John Murray, the current President and Co-owner. “It was a one-man show for a number of years,” says John Pfuntner, Vice President, Director of Business Operations and the second of three Co-owners of the company. John joined Murray in 1993, saying, “then it became a two-man show.” As of 2019, Advantage Sport & Fitness employees 97 people across all of their locations.
Leveraging Modern Technology
In a world where projects can run from a few thousand dollars to over a million dollars, ASF’s sales and operations teams must keep track of all of the associated moving parts for the whole length of the contract. Obviously, the longer sales lifecycles require an automated solution to streamline their monitoring processes. “We’re doing a lot of tracking over a long period,” says John Pfuntner. “All of that has to be done through computers.”
John began searching for a new system for Advantage Sport & Fitness that would allow his team to gain deeper insight into their activities, especially inventory management. He also added a few more requirements to the list on the functionality side, including featuring a web-based browser and SQL-based programming. While hosting their software remotely was not the biggest concern, John desired a seamless environment that would alleviate their manual IT concerns and automate the upgrade process. “I didn’t want to run around installing applications on everyone’s computer,” says John.
John and ASF began looking at several web-based software systems simultaneously, including NetSuite. John got in contact with a West Coast-based NetSuite partner to demo the solution for Advantage Sport & Fitness, but what they saw did not seem like it would be a right fit. “Licensing was ridiculously expensive – $100k a year for maintenance,” says John. “We couldn’t afford that.” Dissatisfied with the demonstration, John eventually moved on from NetSuite. “At that point in time, the product they were offering wasn’t good for our business.”
While browsing NetSuite and other systems with web-based browsers, John had come across Acumatica, and once it seemed like the other products might not fulfill their objectives he reached out directly to their team. Acumatica referred John to SWK Technologies as the best partner for ASF to work with.
Interested in Acumatica for Distribution?