Profiles - Mt. Hood Chemical

Mt. Hood SolutionsMt Hood Solutions. In 1902, Messrs. Honl and Van Hoeter started making soap in Northwest Portland. They called their business Mt. Hood Soap & Soda Company. In 1905, Philip Feldman, Sr., purchased Honl's interest in the company while Van Hoeter continued for some years as the soap maker. Born in Bavaria, Germany in 1864, Feldman immigrated to Oregon when he was ten years old. After purchasing the struggling soap factory, he changed its name to Mt. Hood Soap Company.

In the early 1900's, bar soap was the company's main product as washboards were used to do laundry. A case of 100 bars of soap sold to a grocery store for $2.75. If the grocer bought 10 cases, he got one case free.

For 40 years the company prospered. Then, Proctor and Gamble introduced a heavy duty synthetic detergent, TIDE. It worked better in hard water because it didn't form hard water scum. At the same time, television made national advertising a reality and TIDE overwhelmed the market. Mt. Hood sales plummeted and so did profits. In 1949, the company lost money for the first time.

Mt. Hood Soap Company stepped up to the new competition. First, it introduced C-20, a controlled suds soap powder which was specifically formulated for the new Bendix and Westinghouse automatic washers. Then the company launched several industrial and institutional products made with synthetic detergents instead of soap. They hired a chemist and expanded their line of industrial products.

In 1970, the company moved to a new location in northwest Portland where it now occupies 50,000 square feet. Today, Mt. Hood Chemical Corporation manufactures more than 250 products and serves 8,000 customers including hospitals, laundry facilities, hotels, restaurants, retirement living facilities, and other businesses. In addition, the company has a growing water treatment division.

In addition to the nearly 50 salespeople located throughout Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Colorado, Utah, and Northern California, customers also constantly call in their orders. Order entry and maintenance are crucial for processing an average of 150 to 200 orders a day.

The Solution

In 1997, Mt Hood chose AddonSoftware Accounting, Distribution, and Manufacturing software after reviewing several other software vendors. "AddonSoftware was close to our previous system; we even recognized some features and reports," said the company CFO. "We were very dependent on our previous system and how it worked. Since they were similar, that alleviated some frustration."

"We've been happy with the amount of service given by AddonSoftware.We have built a relationship, we trust them, and everyone is benefiting. We're a good, stable company with good, stable software," the CFO continues.

General Ledger and Accounts Payable were fully implemented in just 15 days after the system was purchased. Sales Order, Accounts Receivable, and Sales Analysis went live a few months later after running parallel for two months with the old system. Lastly, they added Inventory, Bill of Materials, and Purchasing. 

"The entire process has gone incredibly well," said the CFO.  Besides overseeing the system implementation, AddonSoftware wrote programs for the company's unique commission and pricing structure. 

"AddonSoftware is a solid character-based system. There's no fiddling with the mouse and then moving back to the keyboard. It's quick data entry," the CFO said. This is especially important for employees on the busy order desk.
In 2008, AddonSoftware wrote an i-Phone based system for entering sales orders directly from the customers’ locations, which has been very well received. 

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