Category: success story
New Company, Increased Challenges
Since 1986, Quikserv Corp. based in Houston, Texas, has specialized in stainless steel and aluminum fabrication for drive–thru windows, transaction drawers, air curtains, deal trays/shelves and bullet-resistant products. During the 1990s, rapid sales growth, increasing customer call volume and an overflowing customer database combined to overwhelm the company’s existing spreadsheet-based system. Local computer consulting firm, Advanced Applications, Inc., resolved these issues by performing numerous enhancements to Quikserv’s highly flexible Sage 300cloud (formerly known as Sage Accpac) accounting system. Now armed with instant access to the latest sales, shipping and customer data, the company realized dramatically improved sales and product tracking, reporting, customer service performance and profitability.
With Advanced Applications, what used to take ten minutes now takes ten seconds.
Rapid Growth Forces Quikserv to Reevaluate Outdated Business Systems
When Quikserv was a small start–up company, it relied heavily upon a manual spreadsheet system to process orders and customer service requests. By the early 1990s, the company took on large corporate accounts, causing its database of contractors/middlemen who installed the products to swell into the thousands. The spreadsheet system proved incapable of managing all the data, creating a strain on Quikserv’s customer service reps. A seemingly simple repeat order proved to be a very time-consuming process. With business growing so quickly, it was clear that a more automated and customized system was needed to keep pace with growth.
Advanced Applications Uses Sage 300cloud’s (formerly known as Sage Accpac) Highly Flexible Architecture to Perform Numerous Time– and Money-Saving customizations
Quikserv’s controller, Jason Epps, called Scott McMillian, founder and president of Advanced Applications, to help implement a new business solution. Advanced Applications first upgraded Quikserv’s Accpac Plus accounting software to the Sage 300cloud system and performed numerous customizations, starting with enhancements to the software’s lookup function.
“After Advanced Applications created a special lookup function, Rapid Retrieve, using Sage 300cloud customization tools, what used to take ten minutes now takes only seconds,” Epps claims. “Having instant access to customer data has significantly elevated our customer service performance and saved our staff countless hours over the long haul.”
Quikserv sells its products to contractors who act as middlemen between the company and the end-user who ultimately pays for the products. Sage 300cloud’s Optional Fields add-on module enabled Advanced Applications to customize the system so that Quikserv could track sales to the middleman (contractor) and to the end-user.
With this super query tool, management can now look directly into the Sage 300cloud database and gather all the information it needs to perform comprehensive, multidimensional sales analysis, including historical comparisons. This immediate access to sales data has greatly enhanced forecasting and purchasing across the entire enterprise.
An outdated, inefficient shipping process was corrected when Advanced Applications set up and configured Sage 300cloud Optional Fields product in a manner that allowed Quikserv to capture key shipping information.
“With Sage 300cloud superior flexibility and comprehensive tools, plus Advanced Applications’ expertise and understanding of our business objectives, there is no limit to what they can do to optimize this system,” says Epps.
“Plus, if I can’t resolve an issue quickly on my own, one phone call leads to a quick resolution. Not once in the last nine years has there been a problem that they couldn’t solve. Together, Advanced Applications and Sage 300cloud give us a true competitive edge.”
New Company, Increased Challenges
A nationally recognized distributor of ion chromatography instrumentation and provider of analytical services, Metrohm-Peak, Inc. was created in April 2000 as a partnership between Peak Analytical, Inc. in Houston, Texas and Swiss-based Metrohm, Ltd.
Metrohm—Peak turned to Advanced Applications, Inc. for help in implementing an integrated CRM solution.
Several formidable challenges arose from this merger between two leaders in a fast-growing market. The newly formed Metrohm-Peak was unprepared to manage requirements for multicurrency support and serialized inventory, and faced item-costing and invoicing issues resulting from the merger.
With aggressive plans to increase sales 20 percent by 2002 and significantly boost their market share by 2003, Metrohm-Peak’s most challenging obstacle to growth was the lack of a well-integrated and company-wide information source for their Sales, Marketing and Customer Service divisions.
To achieve their aggressive growth plans, Metrohm-Peak selected Sage CRM and Sage 300cloud running on Microsoft SQL Server to provide a centralized customer relationship management and accounting system that could meet their various requirements. They turned to Houston-based Advanced Applications, Inc. for help in implementing this integrated CRM solution.
Selected for Seamless Integration
Metrohm—Peak selected their Sage CRM based solution in part because of the high level of compatibility between Sage CRM, Sage 300cloud (formerly known as Sage Accpac) and Microsoft products. The seamless integration between Sage Software and Microsoft solutions has enabled the company to centralize their disconnected information, address inventory issues and automate manual processes.
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Prior to the installation, “each department from sales and marketing to receivables and customer service kept its own information,” says Jeff Brewer. “With separate databases of information throughout the organization, individuals were forced to perform tasks without working from a consistent view of our customers.” As a result, customer service and sales were under-achieving, and analysis, reporting and forecasting were insufficient for the company’s needs.
Thanks to their new Sage CRM solution, Metrohm-Peak employees can now access company information from anywhere with a Web browser, facilitating real-time transactions such as order entry, AR invoicing, item lookup, commissions and quoting. By improving their information flow, the sales cycle at Metrohm-Peak is now significantly shorter, access to timely and reliable sales forecasts is easier than ever, and sales productivity has begun to increase.
With Sage CRM and Microsoft SQL Server, employees now have access to more accurate and complete sales and service histories, allowing them to create more effective relationships with customers and ensuring that service issues are resolved rapidly. “By automating and streamlining our business, we are able to provide a higher level of service while reducing our cost of doing business,” says Kim Brewer, CFO of Metrohm-Peak.