Interstate Part 2—Elite EXTRA delivers enhanced customer service.
In the twelve years that Jim Williams and Reid Jaeger have worked together at Midwest-based IState Truck Center, providing exceptional service while maximizing efficiencies and ROI has always been a top priority. When Procede Software’s partnership with Elite EXTRA™ was first introduced in 2012, IState saw an opportunity to realize those goals, and at the same time gain an edge over the competition by becoming the first dealership to implement the new system.
Elite EXTRA™ (EXtreme Tracking and Routing Application) is a real-time delivery management platform designed to streamline and automate a dealership's dispatch and distribution system, resulting in lower fuel costs and people-hours while increasing revenue dollars per delivery. Once a customer order is entered from any point in the system, it is automatically put into the schedule route queue so that the driver can determine if all promised shipments are on board, simply by looking at the manifest.
“We wanted to give our people the ability to track and monitor driver efficiency with the same level of visibility and accountability as outside courier services,” says Williams, dealership President. "Any time a driver leaves our lot, the route, destination, and expected delivery time have already been automatically uploaded to the manifest so that drivers know exactly what needs to get done and where they stand at all times.”
According to Parts Manager Jaeger, the integration process went relatively smoothly. “Once we had our smart phones in place, we worked closely with Procede to integrate Elite EXTRA™ into Excede DMS. After the wrinkles were ironed out, it was just a matter of fine tuning.” IState, the dealership arm of Interstate Companies, Inc., became a beta tester for Elite EXTRA™ through the Procede Insider’s Program.
“Our efficiency level is better than ever,” adds Williams. “Thanks to Elite EXTRA™, we know exactly how long it should take to make a certain number of deliveries on a given route, so there’s more accountability and visibility. It all adds up to greater customer service and, as a result, greater employee satisfaction because of their ability to deliver on that promise.” Elite EXTRA has been implemented in the IState Truck Center locations in Inver Grove Heights, MN, Sioux Falls, SD and Sioux City, IA. Based on their results, IState Truck will likely implement the Elite EXTRA software in their Billings and Missoula, MT locations next.
Interstate Companies Part 1—Time Clock beta test is a win-win.
Founded in 1957, Interstate Companies was one of the world’s first Detroit Diesel engine distributors. Since then, their business has expanded to include four operating divisions with locations in Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Wyoming. For their Interstate PowerSystems division, which offers parts and repair services in locations throughout the Midwest, managing the clock is key to managing profits.
That’s why, in 2013, Interstate PowerSystems became one of the first Procede customers to participate in our Insider Program as a beta tester for the new Excede Time Clock–a web-based product that combines the functionality of the Attendance Clock and Shop Clock into a single application. According to Melissa Hofler at the Interstate PowerSystems branch in Lincoln, Nebraska, Excede Time Clock is helping to realize tangible efficiencies in terms of reduced administrative errors and lower costs.
“Our technicians need to know how much time they’ve put in on a specific job and how much time they have left,” Hofler points out. “Now, instead of having to punch in on two different time clocks, thanks to Procede’s new web-based Time Clock, it’s all combined on one screen, so it’s very efficient and there’s minimal margin for error.”
Since the product has been thoroughly tested and the results have proven successful, Hofler reports that plans are underway to roll out Excede Time Clock to other Interstate PowerSystems branches. “Not only did we get to assist Procede Software in developing a product that improves time tracking and management, but now all Interstate PowerSystems branches will get to reap the benefits.”
If you are interested in implementing the new Excede Time Clock in your dealership like Interstate PowerSystems, contact Procede Support Services.
Clarke Power Services benefits from the Excede & Decisiv integration.
Clarke Power Services, a certified heavy-duty truck service and repair provider that operates 27 full-service facilities in 11 states, became one of the first dealerships to benefit from the integration between Excede DMS and the Decisiv SRM. “The integration between the Excede DMS and Decisiv platforms has been a tremendous leap forward for us,” reports Clarke operations manager Peter Savage. “Once the installation and training were complete, we started benefiting immediately from the elimination of redundant data entry and improved consistencies between the two solutions. Our service staff now reports that they are saving at least ten to fifteen minutes in the time it takes to open a service order and set it up properly.”
According to Savage, the ability to communicate in real time through a seamless “one-click” update environment has already helped one Clarke customer to cut their weekly man-hours by 90 minutes. Customers now receive regular email updates and can check for themselves on the status of a particular service order in real time.
The integration between Excede and Decisiv was made possible through the Procede Certified Partners Program launched in Q2 of 2013. Through the program, Procede Software works with third-party software developers whose products and services significantly impact the dealership business environment. To learn more, visit our Certified Partner page.
O’Halloran International makes a smooth transition to Excede v9.18.
To make sure any new product is ready for general release, including Excede DMS v9.18, Procede relies on Beta Program participants to test functionality and provide feedback. Per Procede’s Director of Product Management, Eric Liddell, “Beta testers play an important role in the development and release of each new version, and we’re grateful to have the opportunity to work so closely with our customers as a part of this process.”
O’Halloran International was one of five dealerships to participate in the Excede v9.18 beta, and for CFO, Todd Meyer, the benefits are clear. “There are a lot of advantages to participating in Procede’s Beta Program, like getting to have input on the new features, hearing what other beta testers have to say, and learning while testing. Plus, knowing the product details before installing the upgraded software gave us confidence due to the ability to make sure all our reports and integrations were working properly.”
O’Halloran was also the first dealership to go live on Excede DMS v9.18, and per Business Analyst and Database Administrator Jason Henry, it was an easy transition from beginning to end. “The upgrade went very well,” said Henry. “Since we are always on the most current version before we upgrade, it’s a simple process for us.”
Now that they’ve been working in v9.18 for a while, the O’Halloran team is putting the new features and functionality to good use. “The new features in v9.18 that we’re using the most are expanded tech remarks, snotes on managed parts, and the ability to add freight on transfers. We also appreciate that labor costs have been removed from the repair order line,” said Henry.
If you are interested in participating in Procede’s Beta Program or would like to upgrade to Excede v9.18, contact Support Services. (Login required.)
Baltimore Freightliner: masters of parts management.
Each year, Procede’s Professional Services Manager, Eric Fortin, and his team, help many customers with their annual physical parts inventory, reconciling physical counts with numbers on record to check for discrepancies. And there are always discrepancies. “Parts get misplaced, miscounted, even stolen,” says Eric. “Without a good process for daily inventory management, a dealership may discover they have thousands of parts unaccounted for.”
And then there’s Baltimore Freightliner, a shop so efficient in their parts management that for five years in a row they’ve been accurate to within a fraction of a percent. How do they do it? For Baltimore Freightliner’s Parts Manager, Bruce Doyle, it boils down to three things: good systems, good data and good people.
Good Systems When Bruce first started at Baltimore Freightliner 32 years ago, they sold about $30,000 per month in parts. Now this number tops $2 million, and Bruce credits automated systems like Excede DMS for the efficiencies and productivity increases. The days of tracking inventory on index cards are long gone. Today, they rely on Excede’s robust, dependable accounting and parts inventory management departments to streamline processes. “We trust the system,” say Bruce. “When we get a phone call about a part, we check on it from a work station and are confident in the information we see. We don’t have to run around the warehouse to confirm whether it’s really there or not because we know that 99.9% of the time, it’s accurate.”
Good Data While Procede’s software provides easily accessible, real-time information, we can’t take credit for the accuracy of the data that gets entered into the system. At Baltimore Freightliner, Bruce’s team keeps their system clean. “One thing we do really well is the management of obsolete parts. We make sure we get those out of the system so that we’re only managing parts we have to. This lets us master the management of our dirty core liabilities.”
Good People Ultimately, Bruce says, their success is a reflection of the people in the company, from the owners on down. They put a high value on finding skilled people with the right personality and work ethic to fit their team. And it seems to be working—Bruce has 37 people on staff, some who have been there close to 30 years.
Another piece of the puzzle is Baltimore Freightliner’s commitment to providing the tools and technology that help employees do their jobs well. And when you’re looking at data that’s accurate to within a fraction of one percent, you have to believe they're doing something—a lot of things—right.
Flag City Truck & Equipment maximizes power & minimizes headaches.
As Operations Coordinator for Flag City Truck & Equipment, a Mack dealership and service center with 40 system users located in Findlay, OH, Greg Jack wears many hats, including “IT Guy.” Greg and his team felt trapped by the limitations and inefficiencies of their old DMS solution, so when he found out that Mack Trucks had added Procede to their very short list of preferred DMS providers, he did some research, including a site visit to another Procede customer. “I was able to see how Excede was used in the real world and talk to people who were using it on a daily basis,” says Greg. “They had nothing but good things to say. In fact, I made a point of asking the service guys what they didn’t like about the system and they couldn’t think of anything.”
Intuitive Navigation, Seamless Integration Flag City Truck went live with Excede on January 30, 2012. Greg acknowledges that any major software conversion is going to have its challenges, but he credits the solution’s powerful Windows-based functionality and intuitive navigation for making the transition and training period relatively smooth. “Our old system was really cumbersome and we had to jump through so many hoops to get the data we needed. With Procede, our information flows seamlessly from one area to the next, and whether we’re drilling down or looking for a wide view, the search function makes it so easy to get whatever data we need.” Greg says the gains in productivity and efficiency have been tremendous, and while the company’s owners don’t use Excede on a day-to-day basis, they are quite happy with the cost savings and ROI.
Procede Customer Support: Fast and Fantastic For other Mack dealerships considering Excede DMS, Greg has this to say: “Procede’s solution is easy-to-learn, easy-to-use and a great value.” He has especially high praise for Procede’s customer service. New Procede customers get 90 days of phone support after they go live, before transitioning to the online Support Services system. As a company with no dedicated IT department, Greg says the daily phone support those first several weeks of implementation was so helpful, that he was nervous about the transition to the online system. “Honestly, I was leery, but my concerns turned out to be completely unwarranted because the support continues to be fantastic. The response time is quick and all my issues are resolved almost immediately. And, as someone who is not a ‘techie,’ I always appreciate that Procede’s support team is patient when they’re walking me through troubleshooting.”
Freightliner of Arizona welcomes Procede staff to their new home.
Congratulations to Freightliner of Arizona on the opening of their new, state-of-the-art facility in Tolleson. The 27-acre campus features a 161,000 square foot facility that includes a 24,000 square foot Parts Department, a 45,000 square foot body shop, and 56 service bays.
Freightliner of Arizona has done their best to minimize their carbon footprint. The facility was designed with energy efficiency in mind. It features smart skylights that use a solar-powered GPS system to track the sun and direct light into the shop. Solarban 100 glass keeps the Arizona heat and sun out, lights with sensors come on only when rooms are occupied, and the electrical system runs on solar power.
Special thanks to Shanna Kearns, Nick Trinder and Mike Payne for hosting the Procede Software staff on a tour of the facility and making us feel so welcome in your new home. Not only did we enjoy seeing the facility, we also enjoyed meeting and talking with the people who use Excede DMS every day.
Lonestar counts on Dextor to streamline accounting processes.
Our goal with Excede DMS is to help you run your dealership more efficiently and effectively across all departments, from Accounting to Vehicles, so we were excited when Gail Shea, Regional Controller at Lonestar Truck Group, shared how she’s used the software to gain operational efficiencies. "A couple of years ago, we brought all our dealerships under one corporate structure in Excede. I was the last one to believe that we could use the software to manage the accounting more efficiently, but I am a believer now,” says Shea.
One time-saving tool Gail makes good use of is Dextor, an accounting widget that makes it easy to create large journal entries with minimal keystrokes. “I control seven dealerships, and I could not manage those efficiently without the Dextor tool in Excede. Dextor makes it easy for me to create large journal entries, and I use it for payroll accruals and for monthly charges that require detailed entry for management review. With Dextor, I can record payroll accruals for all seven dealerships in less than 15 minutes. Truly, I don’t believe that we could do this without Procede Software.”
For additional information on how to use Dextor, see the Excede DMS Help Files.
"With Procede, our information flows seamlessly from one area to the next, and whether we’re drilling down or looking for a wide view, the search function makes it so easy to get whatever data we need."
Flag City Truck & Equipment
"Excede DMS opens up a whole new world of data availability. It provides the flexibility to better manage both inventory and employee performance, and empowers managers to make good business decisions."
Director, Parts Operation
"Because Excede DMS is Windows-based, new employees get up to speed much faster. Since they’re already familiar with the Windows environment, we’ve been able to cut our training time significantly."
Director, Parts Operation
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