Becker First Responder: Equipping Heroes with the Help of Odoo’s ERP Software

Location/Region: Windsor, CO

Industry: First Responder Equipment, Distribution

Apps implemented: CRM, Sales, Dashboards, Accounting, Website, Purchase, Inventory

Number of users: 3

Company size: 3

Hosting type (On-premise or Odoo online):

First responders undertake one of the most dangerous jobs a person can have, facing life-or-death situations on a daily basis. The gravity of their careers demands equipment and gear that meets their needs for protection, reliability, and high performance. Becker First Responder, based in Colorado, understands this need first-hand because the company was founded by a first responder himself. 

Devin Becker, founder and CEO of Becker First Responder, worked as a firefighter for seven years while simultaneously working at his parents’ industrial safety supply and equipment company, Becker Safety. As he became familiar with high-quality first responder equipment, Devin recognized a gap between manufactured equipment and firefighting needs. Devin leaned into his passion for first responder equipment, quit his firefighter job, and eventually rebranded the first responder division of the family business into its own standalone company in 2021– Becker First Responder.

Becker First Responder is now dedicated to selling footwear, gloves, firehoses, outerwear, tools, and equipment for first responders– mostly firefighters, but also EMS and police personnel. 

Becker First Responder’s INNOTEX® - Particulate-Blocking Hood

The early days of Becker First Responder

After establishing Becker First Responder as its own brand, Devin initially didn’t see the need for a large ERP system like the one his parents’ company, Becker Safety, had required for their operations. From a cost and functionality perspective, Devin believed that something on a smaller scale would better suit his new business model.

He settled on a cheaper ERP option called Versapay and used it for about 6 months before realizing it wasn’t working for his business. He then switched to an individual app-based system instead, which resulted in a lack of communication between different software when it came to their information. The company used Quickbooks for accounting, Dear Systems for inventory and sales order management, ProspectSoft for CRM, and Shopify for their website. Devin explained the issues with this system:

“If you made a mistake in one, you were fixing it in five different systems. So it really wasn’t [user] friendly. Being a smaller company, we’d bring on a new sales rep or something, and be like, ‘This is our CRM, this is where you enter leads. This is where you submit orders. This is where invoices are. And it’s like seventeen different systems that you’re teaching them how to work, which is overwhelming.”

They chugged along this way for 2 years before Devin recognized the inefficiency of this app ecosystem. He remembered seeing a billboard for a company called Odoo in Denver several years earlier that had said something along the lines of “simplified ERP.” While its pricing model wasn’t a fit at that earlier time, his business had reached a point where it needed a more integrated solution. Thus began Becker First Responder’s journey with Odoo.

Equipping Becker First Responder with Odoo

The transition to Odoo, Devin says, was “seamless.” The company was familiar with migrating from one business software to another, so making the switch didn’t prove to be too difficult. When reflecting on the benefits of switching to Odoo, Devin explained how the Accounting application in particular has made a tremendous impact on his in-house accountant:

“We have Elesa who does all the accounting side of things. And she’s a staunch Quickbooks user and so if it wasn't Quickbooks, ‘it wasn't going to work’ kind of thing. But she got super frustrated with the amount of time it took in the old system of essentially reconciling things.” 

Double-entry accounting was so cumbersome that Devin was considering bringing on another part-time person to help with the administrative side of things. However, the introduction of Odoo into the picture changed his plan. Although it took Elesa time to learn Odoo, once she got a handle on the process and how it works, she admitted that with Odoo Accounting, she now had much more time on her hands. This saved the company both time and money in terms of hiring a new team member.

The CRM and Sales applications have also helped make Becker First Responder’s daily workflow more efficient, with client information, related sales orders, and the status of invoices all in one location. Gone are the days when they had to cross-reference records across multiple different platforms. Devin says that with Odoo, “I don't have seventeen different systems to look in for sales, I can just go to a customer record and see what they bought.” 

In general, the fact that all of Odoo’s applications talk to one another gives Devin a 360° view of his business. The ability to view information in the Dashboards application has particularly proved useful for him, as well as the overall integrated nature of Odoo. “Having everything in one system is huge,” he explained.

Gearing up for safety: a bright future with Odoo

Becker First Responder has been using Odoo for roughly six months and is already looking ahead to future possibilities with the ERP system. Devin hopes to expand the Odoo applications he uses for his business, such as utilizing the email marketing capabilities of the system. 

With Odoo’s various lead nurturing tools, Devin and his company are now equipped to serve the first responder PPE industry with the same dedication he served his community as a firefighter. 

“With our competitors, the customer service side of things is lacking. With us being first responders or having the first responder experience, we have that attitude of ‘we’re willing to help.’ Obviously our customers– we understand where they’re coming from. So that's something that we pride ourselves on.”
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