CFM Distributors Case Study

CFM Distributors, a wholesale distributor of HVAC equipment and parts, knew they would need inventory management to accompany their new cloud ERP, NetSuite. “We had to do something different as far as our warehouse management,” said Kevin Smead, ERP & Inventory Logistics Manager at CFM Distributors. When it came to their inventory, they needed to transition away from their paper-based processes. “We knew that there were barcode scanners and we needed those, but as far as really knowing what we needed to do, we were really relying on our implementation partner,” said Smead.

CFM quickly learned that the third-party WMS they selected was housing their data in a separate database, as opposed to directly in NetSuite. As their implementation moved along, the team at CFM became increasingly worried that their WMS selection would not be implemented in time. By January of 2021, CFM was growing frustrated that their WMS was not able to receive the purchase orders they put into NetSuite. “This became a growing concern with our management personnel on our team. The conversation started getting tenser and tenser. We wondered, ‘is this going to work for us?’” recalled Smead.


At the end of January, CFM’s WMS concerns continued to escalate until Smead saw an email in his inbox. “I noticed it was from a company called RF-SMART. Because of the issues we had, I called the number on the email and explained my situation,” said Smead.

Calling the number connected Smead with a team member that invited him to see a demo of RF-SMART. “I got to see NetSuite side-by-side with a scanning device and what it looked like in real-time. The fact that RF-SMART is built in NetSuite, where our previous solution was built outside as a separate entity, was huge because that meant that there was only one truth. Everything was still using NetSuite's data,” said Smead.

Onsite Resources

Ultimately, CFM signed with RF-SMART in February 2021. At that point, their go-live was still set for March 1st. “We asked, ‘how fast can you implement this?’” said Smead. The RF-SMART team got to work to make the March go-live a reality.

After the RF-SMART bundle was installed, Smead wondered how soon he would be able to receive a purchase order. The RF-SMART team let him know the system was ready to begin testing. “I went down to the warehouse, and I received a PO with RF-SMART – without even having any training. It was at that moment that I knew it would work because within hours of the bundle installation I had received my first PO,” remarked Smead.

CFM decided to have a business analyst from RF-SMART come on site to help them with their implementation. “We did not have barcode scanning prior to this, so it was all brand new,” said Smead. “Our business analyst was onsite for two weeks, which was incredible because he was there for our physical inventory count. He was in the trenches with us.”

Training and Reporting Tools

With the help of RF-SMART, the CFM team made their March 2021 go-live. They are utilizing the Inventory Reporting Tool to resolve any inventory issues that arise in their seven-story warehouse. “The reporting tools inside of RF-SMART are stellar. You can go in and find exactly where the problem is. You can see every time inventory was touched and who touched it,” said Smead.

CFM’s biggest advice for implementing RF-SMART? Utilizing our team of inventory experts equipped with best practices that can enhance how you manage inventory. “It really worked for our business. We had been doing things the same way for so long that we needed somebody to evaluate why we should still be doing it the old way,” said Smead.

CFM recommends RF-SMART for NetSuite users looking for an intuitive, scalable solution. About the ease of RF-SMART, Smead noted: “The software did exactly what we told it to do.” CFM has seen a world of difference going from their pen and paper processes to mobile barcode scanning. “RF-SMART automates our warehouse processes. That way we do not inadvertently forget to do something.”

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"During the demo, we saw NetSuite side-by-side with RF-SMART on the device, in real-time. The fact that RF-SMART is built in NetSuite, where our previous solution was built outside as a separate entity, was huge because that meant that there was only one truth. Everything was still using NetSuite's data."

Read how RF-SMART was able to meet a tight implementation time-frame so CFM Distributors could utilize real-time inventory information.

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