Software keeps dealers’ houses in order
There is a lot to consider when choosing the right software or ERP for your company. Ease of use, essential features, speed of work, etc. In the end, it all comes down to one thing: keeping your company’s backend organized for optimum efficiency.
Knowing where to find every detail and aspect about sales, orders, installations and more not only allows flooring companies to operate more efficiently, but can also make a business more profitable. FCNews gathered experts from the software and technology space to delve into the importance of backend organization and demonstrate how their software programs can simplify tasks.
“Typically, what many dealers focus on — especially if they’re new to the business — is selling,” said Patrick Ferries, vice president of marketing at Broadlume. “Ultimately they don’t have much profit and what the backend organization does is make sure they make the right margins and can keep some of it, keep their costs under control, etc.”
What makes Broadlume unique in that regard, according to the company, is its full-text stack, which includes marketing and lead generation websites, marketing automations, and lead management. Using this stack of text while connecting the front and back of the house can be very beneficial to one’s business while keeping all essential information and processes in one place. With Broadlume’s ERP platform, sales, operations, and accounting all work on the same platform, rather than being split into three separate departments.
As Ferries put it, “By putting those three departments together, you can realize more profit and have a lot more control over the business instead of finding out at the end of the month, ‘Oh, we didn’t make any money, why haven’t we made any money?’”
Comp-U-Floors’ cloud-based ERP system is designed to streamline all task processes and bring them into one easy-to-use solution that retailers can access anytime, anywhere. The ERP software integrates purchase order processing, inventory management, sales order processing and more.
“Having a system like ours will have a very positive impact on [a dealer’s] business,” said Edgar Aya, owner and president of Comp-U-Floor.
There is also a mobile installer app that allows installers to access new work orders, receive payments in the field, upload photos from job boards, and integrate Google Calendar and Maps to make it easier to find the workplace.
“Using pen and paper means a lot of things are lost,” said Alex Aya, vice president of Comp-U-Floor. “With an online system, everything is available. If you have to check a job that went bad three months later, you have to go back and look for paperwork. By using [software] everything is there.”
Organizing the backend is one of the most important things a dealer can do for their business as it reduces errors, reduces omissions and increases profits. At the same time, organizing a behind-the-scenes business helps dealers stay ahead of their competition. The reason for this is: if a company does not use advanced software, it risks putting itself at a competitive disadvantage.
A good example of this is Floor Manager, Pacific Solution’s residential management software. The product has an integrated product catalog, is suitable for B2B and integrates all aspects of the duty cycle, among other critical functions.
“Our software is designed to bring all the tasks of a retailer’s business into a single solution,” said Bob K. Noe, president of Pacific Solutions. “Our goal is to design an elegant piece of software that embraces all the different components and brings them into a single solution.”
“If you don’t have an engine in a car, it doesn’t matter what everything else looks like – it won’t run. If you have a nice website, but no ERP system, it won’t go so well.”
Those analogies, provided by Chad Ogden, president of QFloors, are the driving force behind the company’s product development process. That’s why QFloors was designed specifically for the flooring industry, meaning there are efficiencies that people get from QFloors that they wouldn’t necessarily get with generic programs like QuickBooks. “We always preach to make sure you have the engine in place first and then you can do business in a good way,” he stated.
Chris Ogden, communications specialist at QFloors, agreed, adding that a company’s business needs to run smoothly for the customer to have a good experience. Without a highly functional system to keep a business organized and efficient, this can be a daunting task.
QFloors customers such as Kathy Hyland, co-owner of Bay View Flooring and Design, Traverse, Michigan, have been in the business for over 30 years. After the switch to QFloors, she managed to boost her profit margins above the national average. “I think QFloors is the whole package for me,” she said. “It’s easy to use and easy to learn when we get new hires. For me personally, as an entrepreneur, it has brought me the simplicity of organizing financial reports.”
Businesses run smoother, employees are happier, and customer satisfaction increases when a business runs efficiently. And a lot of that depends on the effectiveness of their backend technology tools. For example, by implementing RFMS software systems, business owners can track and manage essential functions at their fingertips. For example, RFMS offers retailers one vertical solution with integration of apps such as CRM, RFMSMobile and Measure Mobile to name a few. Using these tools, retailers have access to integrated credit card processing and a full-stack ERP. Apart from using integrated apps and an ERP system, retailers can also quote and order, purchase the necessary material electronically, schedule installations, checks on process installers and suppliers, generate job costs and financial data, all in one place.
“I can sum this up in two words: profit and efficiency,” said Rahul Karadi, director of sales, western division, RFMS. “In challenging times, keeping an eye on the health of your business is critical. Customers need to know where to add revenue and perhaps cut costs.”
More importantly, having information at your fingertips for easy analysis, quick assessment, and the ability to track expected profitability before the sale is completed. “We can’t control supply chain issues, but we can lead the way and increase profits and satisfaction if your business is run efficiently,” explains Karadi.