e-automate and Red Falcon Combination Elevates Productivity and Efficiency, Provides Competitive Ecommerce Site
Buy just about any piece of business software these days and chances are you’ll find a broad array of features and functionality designed to impress. But ask Sue Brennan at KenMark Office Systems what she likes most about the combination of ECi’s e-automate® and Red Falcon® software that she uses to run the business and the answer you’ll get has little to do with any hi-tech bells and whistles.
“E-automate and Red Falcon give me total confidence in our numbers and a whole lot more peace of mind than we ever had before we made the switch,” she says.
KenMark needed ERP software to consolidate the functional areas of its business
KenMark Office Systems in Mashpee, Massachusetts, has been using e-automate since 2009, but Brennan still remembers how things were in the pre-e-automate days. Those memories are not happy ones. “Before e-automate, we used three different programs—one for general accounting, one to run the service department, and one to keep track of our office supplies business,” she recalls.
Making a bad situation even worse, each one ran separately, and data from the service department and office supplies programs had to be manually re-entered into the accounting program.
The result was not pretty. “Our books were never accurate and it took forever to get a true picture of our financials,” Brennan remembers. “We would waste a tremendous amount of time trying to track down missing invoices and dealing with questions from our accountant on transactions that literally happened 18 months earlier!”
e-automate cleaned up
financials with timely, accurate, detailed reports
Fortunately for Brennan and the rest of the KenMark team, they found a better way. The owner, Ken Pedicini went on a dealer trip where he heard about e-automate, Brennan explains. “He called me from the road and said, ‘This is the future!’” Pedicini was right. Six months later, KenMark went live on e-automate and life at the dealership started to get a whole lot better.
“I really can’t say enough about e-automate and all the good things it’s done for our business. e-automate has enabled us to be timely with our financials up to the minute, it provides an audit trail that makes it possible to track any general ledger transaction down to the smallest detail, and the ease of use of the program is unbelievable!”
Seamless integration between e-automate and Red Falcon brought greater efficiencies
Things got even better after KenMark brought in the Red Falcon program from ECi to run its supplies business. They could integrate both programs so that they could talk directly to each other. “Moving to a combination of e-automate and Red Falcon to run things brought a significant increase in our efficiency and accuracy,” says Brennan. “We no longer had to worry about missing items or questions on whether service work or a supplies order was billed properly. Nothing gets lost anymore!”
Enhanced productivity led to smarter investments in human resources
Combining e-automate and Red Falcon made it possible to focus more resources on the areas that were truly important to the dealership. KenMark could eliminate one full-time and one part-time (about 20 hours a week) position on the administrative side and take the savings generated on back-office operations and reinvest them where they would do the most good—in sales.
“The combination of e-automate and Red Falcon allowed us to add three additional full-time sales reps and convert our service manager to a full-time sales role,” Brennan reports. In addition, she estimates e-automate and Red Falcon have freed up as much as 10 hours a week for her personally since she is no longer doing double data entry or chasing missing paperwork.
Customer service and e-commerce were brought up to the industry’s highest standards
The e-automate-Red Falcon combo has also provided a big boost to the dealership’s customer service capabilities, according to admin and social media coordinator Colleen Lacina. Like most dealer personnel, Lacina wears multiple hats and, she says, the customer service hat is a lot more comfortable these days.
“Having Red Falcon talking to e-automate has made our jobs in the customer service area so much easier,” Lacina says. “We’re far better equipped now to solve customers’ problems. We can take care of them right away, whereas before, it could take as long as a day or more to track down the information we needed.”
And, she adds, “Red Falcon’s web storefront gives the dealership an online presence that’s just as good as anything the dealership’s larger competitors might offer.”
Bring all this together and it’s no great surprise that Sue Brennan, Collen Lacina, and the entire KenMark team are big e-automate and Red Falcon fans. “Putting it simply, we would not have had the kind of growth that we’re seeing today without e-automate and Red Falcon,” Brennan says.
And even though e-automate has been driving the bus at KenMark for close to 10 years now, Brennan and her team are still finding new ways it can help them run more efficiently and profitably. On the agenda this year: Deploying the program’s Inventory Logistics Console to have e-agent™ functionality automatically set the dealership’s minimums and maximums on parts purchasing.
“Even now I still find things in e-automate I didn’t know it could do,” says Brennan. “Nothing about the program and the combination of e-automate and Red Falcon has been anything but 100% positive for us. I don’t even like to think about what things at our dealership would be like without it.”