Seventh Generation Inc. is a company with a conscience. It markets environmentally friendly non-toxic household cleaners, laundry and dish products; 100% recycled, non-chlorine bleached bathroom & facial tissues, paper towels & napkins; plus recycled plastic trash bags and full-spectrum light bulbs.
The company’s stated mission is “To provide high-quality, non-toxic and environmentally responsible products that are safer for your home, your neighborhood, and the Earth’s environment. We are dedicated to providing products that work as well as or better than leading brands, fit effortlessly into your everyday life, and put a smile on your face whenever you use them.”
“Seventh Generation” is the nation’s leading brand of environmentally safe household products. With distribution in thousands of natural product and grocery stores nationwide, the company has become the authority when it comes to products that protect people’s health and the planet. Seventh Generation has won over 15 major awards that recognize the company’s efforts to preserve the environment. The company name derives from the great law of the Iroquois Indian Federation that “In our every deliberation, we should consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations.”
The company points with pride to the impact of its products. For example: “if every household in the U.S. replaced just one roll of 180-sheet, 2-ply virgin fiber paper towels with Seventh Generation’s 100% recycled ones, we could save: 864,000 trees, 3.4 million cubic feet of landfill space (equal to 3,900 full garbage trucks) and 354 million gallons of water (a year’s supply for 10,100 families of four).”
Gene Cloutier, Controller of Seventh Generation, uses EXEControl from Ebeling Associates as a complete software control package, including accounts receivable, inventory, general ledger, all order entry, inventory in multiple locations, and shipping and invoicing.
“EXEControl is essential to us,” Cloutier says, “we’re using it to better manage our company, both top down and bottom up.”
“We need to look at our business in a number of different ways,” he says. “For example, we have four different bath tissues, paper towels, and paper napkins. They all go into the paper category. But we also need to look at that category by individual customer and by marketing channels, such as natural foods stores, grocery stores, and so forth.”
Cloutier adds, “We’re looking at both sales and profitability, by individual item, group, customer and distribution channel.”
“EXEControl is a key to helping us do that,” Cloutier says. “With this software system, we can look at how much we are spending for marketing on various items. We can examine our total sales, total sales by channel, and see what the margin is for each channel. We can factor in consumer marketing, trade spending, freight and warehousing, as well as general administrative costs. The reports and information we need are available in a few keystrokes.”
He says, “The key to the value of EXEControl to Seventh Generation is that Ebeling is customizing it to meet our needs exactly. Our EXEControl representative understands the Ebeling product very well and makes positive recommendations toward helping us reach our goals. The system will do everything that we want it to do, and our contact works with us to get where we want to be.”
“By having a customer representative who is ‘our’ representative, we get a lot of benefit: when he comes to our location, we learn things about the system that we didn’t know. He shows us how to take advantage of the system based on his understanding of how we work and how we want to work smarter. If there is part of the system that needs to be reconfigured to do what we want, our representative makes it happen. As a result, we take greater advantage of EXEControl so we can manage our business better.”
Cloutier says, “It’s very apparent that Ebeling Associates has a corporate focus on making sure that existing customers get full value out of their system.”