Route 2018


Route 2018 – Where are you headed?

There’s nothing quite like a road trip. I’m not talking about piling in your car at the last minute and hoping for a happy accident. I mean the road trips you plan: reviewing maps, looking for routes you’ve never taken, looking forward to experiencing local flavors.

People who don’t plan miss out on so much untapped potential.

Success in a road trip requires a good plan. A good plan examines the readiness of the vehicle:
Has the oil been changed? Is the air pressure in your tires good? Is the windshield clean?

Or how about this: Does your ignition work? Does that spark exist to ignite the engine?
Does your engine roar to life or does it clank and sputter as it listlessly idles?

At Exerve our mission is to equip you with the tools and solutions you need to ignite the engine of your business and keep it purring mile after mile. As we each set out on route 2018, we want to offer four things to help IGNITE your business for the road ahead:

Take Advantage of Cloud Technology

Speed. Your competitors are focused on it. You’re obsessed with it. Your customers rely on it.
Are you as fast as you can be? Speed is good, but only as good as your ability to be nimble.
Can you cut and change direction when the terrain changes?
Do you lag behind because you are reactionary or are you proactive?
Are you able to anticipate your customer’s ever-changing needs?

Cloud technology isn’t an easy answer, but it is a useful tool to help establish and meet your goals. If you take advantage of it you’ll be able to adapt to technology that is cost efficient, has expanded storage, offers nimble backup and recovery potential, and allows you to respond to customer needs in real time.

Consider the transitive properties of SouthWare’s cloud technology and how it’s abilities can affect your business: universal remote access to deliver excellence to your clients, enhanced infrastructure security and reliability, and scalability to meet the needs of your business as you continue to grow.

Switch to Handheld Functionality for Inventory

You can only work faster if you’re working smarter. Fast work cuts corners. Smart work reduces them. By switching to handheld functionality as a solution to your inventory process, you take advantage of the old adage that “time is money.”

When we understand that time is a limited resource, we serve ourselves well and our clients better by adapting our business to new available processes rather than stubbornly sticking to processes designed back when Ford’s assembly line was a breathtaking innovation.

And if there’s difficulty in understanding time as a resource, you can at least understand that square footage is a limited resource. Handheld inventory functionality gives you more power to make wise decisions about dedicating space to products your customers depend on versus which ones they in the warehouse. Inventory information that’s mobile and at your fingertips on the floor speeds up your inventory lifecycle, provides you with up-to-date status on all pending items, and reduces error. SouthWare’s functionality can save you the aggravation.

Extend Your Business with E-Commerce

The future is online mobility. I do all my Christmas shopping on line. I deposit my checks with my phone. Last week I tried out a new app that delivered my groceries to me. I may never go to the grocery store again unless I want to kill time browsing the aisles. I relish the choices technology has made available.

As of 2017 e-commerce recognized $1.97T in revenue (yes, trillion with a capital T) and is forecasted to double that amount within the next three years. And that’s just domestic. As our customers get busier they’re going to demand e-commerce solutions to meet their needs and expectations.

Think of it this way: my teenage daughter’s favorite store is Amazon. When I ask if she wants to go to the mall, she rolls her eyes and asks, “Why bother?” We have an entire generation raised on the convenience and immediacy of e-commerce. If faced with your brick & mortar compared to competitor’s e-commerce solution, they may ask, “why bother?” Don’t deserve their shrug; deserve their loyalty.

Simplify Through Automation

There are repeatable tasks that you do each week, month, and year. Repeating these tasks can lead to mistakes. Because these tasks are repeatable and you depend on their accurate completion, seek automated solutions where possible. You can simplify your cloud management through process automation. Error-prone repeatable tasks can become a thing of the past when you seek the efficiency and reliability of automated solutions.

Connect and Improve Internal Communications

You’re only as strong as your weakest link. If you are focusing on external communication but not addressing internal communication, you are not serving your customers well. Simplify your goals and announce them in plain language. Offer a vertical approach to achieve buy-in. Ask questions of your staff; you never know when they’ve observed a growth opportunity that you might miss.

As the story goes, George W. Jenkins was working for a small grocery chain when it was purchased by Piggly Wiggly. With ideas of how to run the stores efficiently, George drove from Florida to Atlanta to meet with the new owner. When George arrived the owner was too busy to meet with him because he was playing golf. George returned to Florida, quit his job, and opened up his own grocery store. That grocery store turned into Publix. Today they have 1,167 stores and are expanding. In 2016 they reportedly earned $34B in revenue. When was the last time you heard of Piggly Wiggly?

In 2018 an open-door policy is no longer relegated to the hinges. It’s an all-access policy. SouthWare offers real time solutions to build critical mass within your organization to effect positive change and deliver results that can be realized in 2018 and not just a promise to be realized in an ambiguous future.

The road ahead can get bumpy but as you move forward, you’re always getting closer to your destination. Exerve wants to help you get there. We are the experts in SouthWare which provides solutions in each of these areas. Contact us today to find a solution that fits your needs to see multiple facets of your business and to better navigate the needs of your clients. We want to help you achieve great heights in 2018 and look forward to partnering with you through out this year.

Not knowing is no longer an excuse.

Tech Mapping and GPS

You have the option to track the GPS locations of mobile service techs.You must have activated the “Store GPS Tracking Data” option in the Tech Tracking configuration in order to use this feature.

You may access the tracking info for a tech via the GPS Tracking Tab of the Technician Manager portal.  The GPS Tracking Tab shows a map of all GPS positions recorded for a technician during a day.

When you access the tab the map will show positions for the current date.  The route is sequenced by the time stamp for each GPS position record.  You may view history for other dates by changing the date field and pressing the Update button.  You may also enter select a Starting Time to include only positions from that time forward. You may click on any icon point on the route to see the time and address for that point.

Tech Mapping & GPS

Improving Promise Management — Back to Basics

If your company has been an involuntary participant in the “Great Recession”, then you’ve probably experienced changes in your Accounts Receivable position over the past few years. Assuming your business sells to other businesses (B2B), it’s likely that you’ve lost some marginal customers and noticed your best clients paying even more slowly than in the past.

Your credit policies can affect your company sales as well as bad debt.  If your credit policies are too loose, then your sales will likely increase — but typically be accompanied by a corresponding increase in bad debt.  If your credit policies are too tight, then your bad debt may be reduced, but your overall sales may be lower as a result of your restrictive credit limits.

Going back to basics begins by assessing where you are and determining where you want to be with regard to your overall credit policies and collection efforts.  You must determine how proactive you can afford to become.  For many businesses, this is a crucial time to become much more proactive in credit and collections processes.

Click here for more from SouthWare blog.

Secure Payment Processing – New Interface to Element Express

Simplify and Secure the Process of Electronic Payment Acceptance.

SouthWare offers customers a fully integrated, PCI/DSS compliant, and cost-effective payment processing solution via is partnership with Element Payment Services, the industry leader in PCI DSS compliant payment processing solutions.

Through a simple upgrade, capture every sale with easy-to-use, reliable payment processing solutions that simplify card payment acceptance and dramatically reduce the risk associated with handling cardholder data. The state-of-the-art Element Express Processing Platform supports credit, debit and check solutions and includes features such as TransForm tokenization, point-to-point encryption and comprehensive Web-based reporting, allowing customers to easily comply with PCI DSS requirements for your payment processing software.

Key Benefits:

• Process Payments Using the Fully Integrated Payment Module in SouthWare, Eliminating the Need for Standalone POS Terminals Or Costly and Unsecure Third Party Software
• Option to Keep Your Current Processor While Leveraging the Advantages of Element’s Processing Platform
• Security and Compliance with Industry Standards such as PCI DSS
• Access to 24×7 Customer Support at No Additional Cost
• Get the Most Valuable Payment Processing with Highly Competitive Processing Rates and Fees.

Empower Your Customers with Self Service

Providing good customer service is a key element of a successful business. But how much time are your employees spending to provide that service, and what is the cost? Often customers call to check on the status of an order, find out what they purchased last month, ask for a copy of a lost invoice, check on a service call request, or ask for a tracking number for their shipment.

Consider providing your customer with access to this information from your web site. With today’s technology, many customers want immediate results. They don’t want to be put on hold or leave voice messages for a call back. Providing an easy to use site where a customer can access a copy of their invoice, get a tracking number, review a list of products they purchased in the past or check the status of a sales or service order on their schedule can provide higher levels of service, and reduce the cost of in-house customer service employees.

Get a Bigger Bang for Your Payroll Buck – Improve Employee Efficiencies

Often, employees spend unnecessary time completing their daily tasks. Moving from one module or menu to another to locate the program they need to run next is time consuming. Searching for the correct item code or customer code is time consuming. Running lengthy reports and reviewing them to find a specific piece of information is time consuming.

Having the right technology to improve employee efficiencies is critical to reducing your costs. Structuring personal menus or roles-based portals that simplifies the user experience can have a direct impact on your costs. Users see everything they need to do their tasks, and they are not bothered with information they do not need to see. This allows an employee to work from one convenient screen to perform all of their job related tasks.

This will streamline each employee’s work efforts and help make them more productive. Establishing these methodologies will also reduce the amount of training time when you add new employees.

Penetrate New Markets & Find New Customers

During a slow economic time, perceptive companies look for ways to enter new markets and expand their business. Here are some ways to grow today, and ensure that you emerge positioned for the inevitable boom that will come.

  • Introduce or expand your e-business services. This is a great time to enhance your web site and your professional image.
  • Look for ways to attract new customers with your web site. Think of this as adding another sales person without the overhead of hiring an additional employee.
  • You may want to offer existing customers an option to enter their own orders on-line. The benefit to your customer is that they can place orders 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The benefit to you is a reduction in the amount of time your sales staff spends each day answering phone calls and entering orders. The cost savings to you can be substantial.
  • Look for additional products or services to offer your existing customers. If your products have warranties, this might be a great time to offer preventive maintenance contracts or other types of services that can add to your revenues.

As you can see, this is a great time to consider business opportunities and additional services to improve efficiencies and grow your business.

Improve Customer Retention & Keep Them Satisfied

As business becomes more competitive, your customers are also looking to reduce their costs. Your competitors are seeking to gain business from your customers. Too many times a company will not know they are losing customers until months later when sales trends show a decline.

Serious businesses use predictive analytics to identify the most profitable customers and customers most likely to cancel maintenance agreements. You can be proactive during this time to retain your existing customers. Here are a few examples of how you can retain your existing customers.

  • Set up a daily Alert that is sent to your sales staff notifying them of all their customers who have not purchased within a specified number of days. Sales people can quickly follow up with these customers to ensure their satisfaction with your performance and pricing.
  • Use a technology that provides built-in CRM. This will help your sales staff provide higher levels of service to your customers to maintain their loyalty. Having the right information about each customer, their buying trends, and a 360° view of their current and past activity can enable your sales staff to achieve the highest level of service to keep your customers happy.