Central Turf and Irrigation Supply: White Cup BI Supports 3x Location Expansion

Data-driven insights help fuel steady growth from 20 to 60 locations.

Central Distribution Truch

Founded in 1990 by Bernardo Luciano, an Italian immigrant who arrived in the United States as a teen with $10 in his pocket and a strong work ethic. For years Luciano worked in a wide variety of contracting jobs and saw the need to improve how distributors operated, so Central Turf & Irrigation came to be. Built on a commitment to customer service and partnership with their customers, Central TIS has 60 locations in 20 states within the US and Canada  with more than 20,000 customers.


Digital transformation drives growth

In the early years, Central’s financial data came from multiple sources and was only visible to a small group. When questions arose about the accuracy of data, digging into the numbers to get to the truth took valuable time and resources. The company had grown to the point of needing a sophisticated system that provided easier visibility, accuracy and an ability to dive deep into numbers.

Holly Horner, Central’s Director of IT, had previously worked for a reseller of Infor SXe ERP. When Central bought SXe Direct, Holly was responsible for training all branch employees. Several months after completing the extensive training program, Holly received a call from Central asking her to join the team to lead the fledgling IT team. It was a genius move considering they’d taken a big leap moving from an antiquated system to a full ERP with other ambitious technology improvements to keep pace with the company’s growth goals.

Must-see BI, the beginning of the White Cup partnership

Early in her tenure, Holly was the company’s only report writer. In an organization that held data close to the vest, that meant all requests for sales reports when through her. Even with the new ERP in place, it was time-consuming and required a high level of customization for each report. That’s when White Cup BI came into the picture.

Central TIS discovered White Cup BI (formerly MITS BI) while attending a buy-group tradeshow by Anthony Luciano, the tech-savvy Vice President of Sales. After seeing a brief demo, he brought Holly into the conversation. “Anthony called me from the show and said, ‘You need to look at this website and call me back in an hour.’ I checked it out and had a hard time believing it does all it can. The following week we had a full-blown demo. We had to have it. I’d been using SXe for so long and couldn’t get the answers I needed easily. This solved so many problems.”

Collaboration that helps industry peers

Holly worked closely with the White Cup product team to create custom cubes to solve their most pressing challenges. “We helped create the purchasing cube that’s now standard. The GL cube is based on our thought process too. It cleared up our issues with conflicting data, especially in financial statements. We were done looking at one spreadsheet and re-entering numbers on another spreadsheet. Now when someone has questions about a specific number, we’re just a couple clicks away from the answer. And we know it’s accurate.”

Sharing data safely breeds inclusivity

One of the benefits of implementing White Cup BI is that the leadership team felt more comfortable sharing financial data with more people in the company, thanks to role-based dashboards. Now, each team could see the information relevant to their specific department while still making it possible for the leadership team to keep some data confidential. The result was an improved sense of individual ownership and trust with the team because they were able to understand how they are performing against the company goals

For new hires, White Cup BI is a key part of the onboarding process. In addition to reviewing the relevant reports and dashboards, the Central team takes that training a step further at their quarterly meetings. Holly described the importance of peer-based teaching, “During our account manager meetings, we always have a session where our internal staff teach others what BI reports and dashboards they use and what’s successful for them. Teaching each other has been a huge win for us. The sales team looks at the data differently than I do on the corporate level. So, we’ve reframed things based on their input to make the data even more useful.”

Across the company, everyone has come to rely on White Cup BI data, “The team needs the data. And they’ve come to appreciate it every day.”


Using BI data to become trusted partners with customers

Central was founded on a commitment to go above and beyond for their customers. The data that’s available in White Cup BI makes it easy for sales reps to look out for their customer’s best interests, creating a partnership, not just an order-taking role. “Our reps can visit a customer and have meaningful conversations about past purchases and advise them on upcoming deals we’re planning so they can buy smarter. Having BI data readily available to share shows customers that we’re really looking out for their business and that we care.”

The next phase of digital transformation

White Cup BI is the daily go-to source for analytics across the company, but they are always looking for ways to refine the data. “Every year we look at our BI cubes and tweak them just a little to make them better as far as getting them to show exactly what we want to see. These little tweaks keep making things better and better.” said Holly.

As the company continues to grow, Bernardo Luciano is starting to gradually transition the day-to-day responsibilities to the next generation, his son Anthony Luciano and daughter Camilla Sorvillo. White Cup plans to continue supporting their success with new enhancements to White Cup BI. “We’ve been with White Cup BI for a long time—that includes growing from 20 to 60 branches. Just like with our customers, we like partnerships. That’s how we see our relationship with White Cup. It’s a good partnership.”

Bonus content: RevUp Panel discussion

To hear how Holly and the Central team use White Cup BI to create a successful strategy of people and data, watch the RevUp panel discussion.