07 Aug Avanti Industries—FeneVision
“What aspect of FeneVision don’t we rely on?”
When you first meet Dustin Petty, it’s hard to imagine this boyishly good-looking young man is the wildly successful president of Avanti Industries. Petty’s affable spirit and easygoing manner belies his sharp business acumen and customer-centered vision for the future of this family-owned company.
The Phoenix, Arizona-based Avanti Industries actually began in 1985 as a window distributorship with a loyal customer base. Dustin, along with parents Jerry and Beverly and other members of the Petty family, refer to this as Avanti v. 1. The family sold that company in 1996, dabbled in the custom motorcycle manufacturing business, developed resorts in Mexico, and returned to fenestration in 2014 to open Avanti v.2—today’s Avanti Industries, LLC.
From windows to motorcycles …
Dustin’s education in the early 2000s at Arizona State University’s Del E. Webb School of Construction prepared him for a career in the construction industry. However, he graduated from ASU at the worst possible time for a guy wanting to enter the residential construction game. Though he knew little about the motorcycle manufacturing industry, he was intrigued enough to join his father and give the business a go.
… and back to windows
And while the custom motorcycle business sounds like a dream come true for a twenty-something guy just out of college, this experience—what he likes to call his “street MBA”—taught Petty more about how to survive in a dismal economy. Eventually, the Pettys sold the motorcycle business. Dustin secured his contractor’s license, returned to his family’s roots, and began installing retro-fit windows.
Soon, the family decided they wanted to jump back into the window business, but this time, they wanted to manufacture and install the windows themselves with the end goal of providing absolute and complete customer service—delivering exactly what the customer wants and delivering it quickly. This way, they would always have solutions for their customers—no working through a middle man, but builder-direct. “A lot of our success has centered around two things: Being able to respond quickly and the structure of our business as a privately-owned family company. We’re a phone call away, whether it’s the president of one of our big builder customers on the other end or their field superintendent. They just pick up the phone, call us, and we make it happen.”
The answer was always ‘FeneVision, FeneVision, FeneVision’
Their new customer-focused approach to the window business meant that, for the Pettys, they had to start from scratch. Tactically speaking, they needed a software solution that shared this same approach. FeneVision became part of Avanti’s business strategy right out of the gate. “After we decided to manufacture windows, we reached out to all the folks we knew in the industry and asked, ‘How do you take it from sales order, run it through the factory, relieve everything properly—this whole ERP thing?’ and when we asked around, the answer was always FeneVision, FeneVision, FeneVision.”
Before Avanti even had a manufacturing facility in place, FeneTech was at their side. “Once we contacted them, Matt Batcha was actually brave enough to come see us. We literally met in a cramped commercial office space in a 500 square-foot warehouse I was renting. Though I’m sure he thought we were all crazy, Matt came in and set up his projector and gave us a demo of what FeneVision could do.”
A solution that would move with us
Petty and his father Jerry were direct about their vision. “We were very demanding up front and wanted to know exactly what the software was capable of. Things were going to move fast and we needed a solution that would move with us. That led to a serious conversation about how we would be able to handle certain scenarios.” FeneTech, a company accustomed to working with startups, rose to the challenge and, in fact, doubled-down on their efforts to provide a robust solution for the burgeoning company.
“FeneVision was our single biggest capital outlay, and when you’re on such a shoestring budget, you really have to be confident that this is the solution that will last forever.” As it turns out, the advice of their friends in the industry and their own instincts were right on point. With the software implemented and Avanti up and running, the growth of the company has exceeded expectations.
“We’re up to 180 employees, we produce 900 windows a day, and we’ve just expanded our facility by 112,000 square feet.”
When asked what aspect of FeneVision the company relies on the most, Petty flipped the question. “What aspect of FeneVision don’t we rely on? Part of making the choice to outlay the capital for this system is realizing that this is the backbone, not just one answer. It drives how we manufacture, how we’re going to maintain inventory, and how we’re going to ship items. When it comes down to it, FeneVision is the road map for how we’ve set up our operation.”
FeneTech’s willingness to work with us to achieve our goals
When asked about the company’s long-term goals vis-à-vis FeneVision, Petty didn’t hesitate. “When you’re a company of our size that has grown exponentially, it’s almost impossible to be efficient with what you do. Our biggest frustration is, how do we get incrementally better? Fortunately for us, in terms of continuous improvement, much of the data we need is already in place because of FeneVision. There’s always a baseline that we can go back to and say, ‘Okay, what can FeneVision do? Let’s build our process around it today. And let’s work with FeneTech if we need to modify how that functionality performs.’ Overall, the biggest compliment I can give to FeneTech is to attest to their willingness to work with us to achieve our goals.”
FeneVision will continue to grow as we grow
That willingness included FeneTech’s design of an entire module based on Avanti’s need for a project entry system that shifts the order entry dynamic from a 30-minute process fraught with human error, to an accurate entry solution that executes in seconds. “With the growth we’ve had, the Project Module—built around the way we do business—is proof that FeneVision will continue to grow as we grow.”
For a guy who thought he wanted to build houses for a living, Dustin Petty, along with the rest of the Petty family, have instead built a profitable, well-run, and ever-expanding window manufacturing facility that now serves 13 of the nation’s top 20 home builders. And FeneVision has been there from the very beginning, providing Avanti with the foundation to shape an even brighter future.