Route 2018

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

Technician Time Tracking

This system allows your service technicians to record time events throughout the work day to account for time spent on service work, travel, meals, etc. The Time Tracking feature also provides:

  • The ability to specify that multiple techs are working on the same service order so that time is recorded for all the related techs from a single portal.
  • The option to automatically generate service order line items to account for technician labor cost on each service order (see related feature description).
  • The ability for management to review current and past time tracking data for each tech.

Tech Time Tracking

New Remote Technician Portal for SouthWare

New Remote Technician portal is designed for a mobile service technician who will access and update SouthWare Service Orders over an internet connection. The layout and functionality of this portal are optimized for tablet and touch screen use.

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.

Optimize and Wring Dollars Out of Your Business

By maintaining inventory, you incur costs. These costs include not only the cost of products but also the cost of warehousing, employee handling, insurance and overhead. Now is the time to optimize your inventory to reduce capital tied up in slow moving products, salvage dead stock, and maximize the use of your warehouse facility.

More than ever, the right technology is an essential tool to help businesses tightly manage their cash, drive efficiencies and reduce costs. The right technology can help you to:

  • Identify over stock and salvage dead stock in your warehouse to help you optimize and maintain the correct product mix
  • Recommend more efficient purchasing to keep quantities low but still provide the right levels of service
  • Help to control rising costs from vendors and suggest more efficient purchasing methods

With the right technology you will be able to wring the dollars you have tied up in inventory assets into cash and reduce your overall warehousing costs.

Lost & Found – Quicker Collections, Quicker Profit

In this Lost & Found, we will look at the problems you encounter with your AR Collections and how it affects your cash flow and your profit. Even in good times, many customers are slow to pay. With the current economic situation, you may see collection times lengthening even more as your customers begin to conserve their cash.

Many companies’ collection process consists of reviewing customers with past due balances on an aging report at month end. Time is needlessly spent looking at all the current AR trying to find what is past due. Calls are then made to collect these balances. Invoices that became past due early in the month, may already be up to 30 days old.

What would the benefit be if you could reduce the days of outstanding past due balances? With tools such as an automatic alert, you could be notified every morning of the past due invoices as of that day. This could greatly reduce the time it takes to collect the cash that is due to you.

There are many other ways to improve your cash collections, but how does that affect your bottom line? Fill in the blanks below and see how much your company can increase your profit by improving your cash collections.

Variable

Example

Your Business

Current Annual Sales

$2,000,000

$

365 Days Per Year

÷ 365

Average Daily Sales

$ 5,479

$

Current Days Outstanding

x 60

Total Current Cash Outstanding

$ 328,740

Average Daily Sales

$ 5,479

$

Anticipated New Days Outstanding

x 10

Anticipated Cash Outstanding

$ 54,790

Total Current Cash Outstanding

$ 328,740

$

Total Anticipated Cash Outstanding

54,790

Total Improved Cash Collections*

$ 273,950*

Annual Return (Current Prime Rate)

x .07

Improved Annual Profit

$ 19,177

$

*This is additional cash that will be liberated from your AR.


Lost & Found – Dollars Lost in Inventory

In this Lost & Found, we will look at optimizing your inventory turns to reduce the amount of inventory on hand. An item whose inventory is sold (turns over) once a year has higher holding cost than one that turns over twice, or three times, or more. Increasing inventory turns is beneficial in three main ways:

  • Reduce your holding costs so you spend less money on rent, utilities, insurance, theft and other costs of maintaining a product. This reduction in overhead costs will improve net income.
  • Free cash trapped in excessive inventory by optimizing your on hand inventory.
  • Items that turn over more quickly increase responsiveness to changes in customer requirements while allowing for the replacement of obsolete items.

There are many other ways to optimize your inventory besides increasing your turns. Fill in the blanks below to see how much your company can increase your profit by improving your inventory turns.

Variable

Example

Your Business

Annual Cost of Goods Sold

$1,500,000

$

Average Current Inventory Value

÷1,000,000

Current Inventory Turns

1.5

Annual Cost of Good Sold

$1,500,000

Anticipated Improved Turns

÷ 6

Anticipated New Inv. Value

$ 375,000

Average Current Inventory Value

$1,000,000

Anticipated New Inv. Value

375,000

Total Inventory Reduction*

$ 25,000*

*

Carrying Cost (10% industry average)

x .10

Improved Annual Profit

$ 62,500

_

* This is additional cash that will be liberated from your excess inventory!

Inventory Optimization

How much excess inventory are you carrying today?  How confident are you that you are purchasing the right quantities for your business on today’s purchase orders?

Most businesses do not have a clear idea on how much excess inventory they are carrying.  Most do not know what the right levels of each item should be to meet their desired order fill rate.  Exerve can help.

Excess inventory is a depreciating asset.  Every dollar of inventory you can eliminate falls directly to the bottom line.

Our Free Inventory Optimization Review evaluates your current inventory, historical sales and inventory turns and forecasts future demand – seeking to identify obsolete inventory and optimal inventory levels for your operation. After our review, we will develop a short list of achievable objectives, some technology strategies, and of course, an improved cash flow estimate through inventory optimization. Let us help you find ways to maximize both your profit and your business potential.

If you are interested in extra cash falling to your bottom line, call Exerve today at 770-447-1566.  Optimize your inventory right now!