Tool and Machinery Sales (TMS) is a family-owned business that has been operating for 22 years. As the name suggests, the company sells and distributes tools and machinery to the engineering and construction sector through its retail store, online store and mobile van sales. It has a large number of product lines which include different metals, tools and inserts. TMS is a small business with two sales representatives in Queensland who service the whole of Australia. Its customers include mine maintenance personnel and steel construction companies which take the sales reps all around Australia, and often to the more remote parts of the country where much of their business is located.
TMS’ sales representatives initially conducted orders and sales manually with the use of paper invoices whilst out on the road. These orders and sales would then take administration staff between 15-20 hours a week to manually enter into their accounting system. This resulted in excessive amounts of paperwork and many hours spent doing data entry.
TMS had no stock management system in place and with about 4,000 active lines, and this figure constantly growing, the need for stock management was evident. With so many product lines, it is clear to see why manual stock takes were not being conducted.
In addition, stock was getting out to customers quite slowly. Invoices came into the office, and due to the manual ordering processes, TMS would only get the stock out to customers the following week.
Besides the manual data entry, paperwork and lack of stock control, the main problem was finding an invoicing solution that would work in the country’s remote areas. If TMS was to move to automation software, the need for a connection out in the field, without the use of the Internet, was crucial.
Initially, Andrew Henwood of TMS looked at other ways of overcoming these problems with just the use of their accounting system, QuickBooks. “We decided it was time to move into the 21st century and find a resolution to the problems we were experiencing.” Capitalising on his background in IT, Andrew conducted extensive research into finding the right solution. After several demonstrations and contact with more than 20 companies, Andrew came across Mobileezy. With many attractive features including remote syncing without the need for an Internet connection, Andrew could see Mobileezy was a leader in mobile automation software solutions.
Initially, as typically seen with implementing a new business process, there was resistance from management. Questions such as: the successfulness of switching to automation software; how some of the staff would take it on board; and the risks and cost involved were raised by management. As with any small business, money is an overriding factor in a decision being made and management wanted to get the most out of implementing automation software. “There is always a risk involved in investing the money, and due to us being a small business it was a big step for us to buy new software.” However, after having a Mobileezy demonstration, Andrew felt confident in the decision to implement Mobileezy and he could see the benefits of doing so. “The demonstration helped me understand the software, and I could see that Mobileezy would be money well spent, in reach of a small business and that it was a complete package for us. I had complete faith in the Anigo team as they knew exactly what we needed.”
With Mobileezy Enterprise, TMS can invoice out in the field and automatically send their data into their accounting system, Reckon Accounts, removing the need for manual data entry and reducing human error. The Stock Module ensures that with an initial stock take conducted, their stock on hand would be clearly and correctly updated so that they are always aware of their stock levels, and maintaining accuracy with such a large amount of product lines. In addition, the Run List Module enables the company to track customer visits for the field sales staff, speed up sales transactions and ensuring they meet their customer needs.
In 2012, TMS moved into new premises and at this same time implemented Mobileezy Enterprise, including the Routing and Stock Tracking modules, with two Mobileezy desktops and three handheld devices. TMS had a large file size of 200mg with one of the biggest amount of lines we had ever seen. TMS has about 4,000 lines of stock, which include different numbers of tools, inserts and metals. These lines are constantly being updated and changed as technology and industry needs evolve. “The staff at Anigo at took the file and reworked the link. It was all very simple and worked fine. Deployment of Mobileezy was also very easy, fairly quick and painless and everything got done.” With the completion of training and with the help of Andrew’s IT background, staff were taught how to use Mobileezy and we were up and running in no time. “The service is always prompt and the support staff are always helpful. For example, when Reckon Accounts changed from QuickBooks, Anigo was able to change things within a day and fix any related problems. Also, at the time we were looking at Mobileezy, we had to hold off purchasing the software due to us constructing a new building. We wanted to move into the new building and implement the software at the same time. The team was patient and understanding, and endeavoured to meet our requests.”
As TMS services isolated parts of Australia, remote syncing is crucial to the business. “What was most attractive about Mobileezy was the fact that we could invoice anywhere, no matter where we were in Australia, and we didn’t have to be connected to the Internet. This was the deciding factor for us.”
Before Mobileezy, TMS never used to do stocktakes as they always believed they had a ‘rough idea’ of their stock quantities. This was until they did their first stocktake using Mobileezy, which proved them wrong when $8,000 worth of unaccounted stock was found.
Why Tool and Machinery Sales loves Mobileezy:
- Remote syncing: “Easy invoicing anywhere, wherever we are.”
- Territory routing: “We now have routing for our sales reps on the road which allows us to schedule and keep track of visits to better serve our customers.”
- Stock management: “The stock control is beautiful, it keeps our stock management perfect.”
- Integration with Reckon: “No more manual data entry and it’s all kept updated.”
- ROI: “We have saved $30,000- $40,000 a year by implementing Mobileezy.”
- Reduced data entry: “We have saved 15-20 hours of administration work per week.”
- Automatic sales and order process: “No more paper invoicing needed, everything is done for us and we can take payments straight away.”
- Improved cash flow process: “We can invoice clients as and when they receive the goods. We get payments quicker and we can get stock out faster.”
- Improved workflow processes: “We halved the time of our workflow and enhanced our invoicing, stock and payments processes.”