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Success Story: General Communications

e-automate® service business software greatly improves accuracy and competitiveness of two-way radio

Testimony for ECi by General Communications in Madison, Wisconsin

General Communications

Madison, Wisconsin

As a veteran of the two-way radio business with close to 20 years of industry experience, Marty Bleck knows what it takes to run a successful two-way dealership. Back in 2014, he also knew that General Communications, the company where he has served as national sales director and system administrator since 2009, needed to upgrade some of its key business resources.

Bleck started looking for a system that would give the GenComm team the technology tools they needed to compete and it didn’t take him long to find the answer: e-automate® service business software from ECi Software Solutions.

“E-automate offered just about all the key features we were looking for so it wasn’t a very difficult decision,” Bleck recalls.

Fast forward some two and a half years and the numbers alone leave little doubt about the wisdom of that decision:

  • Key financial reports that before took literally several days to prepare now take just 10 or 15 minutes with e-automate and the accuracy level is light years ahead of what it used to be
  • Administrative costs at GenComm are down 35% from what they were before the move to e-automate
  • Inventory turns are up more than 20%
  • Billable tech hours are up over 10%
  • Best of all, both revenue and bottom line profits are up 10%

And, Bleck makes clear, the best is still very much to come.

Field service techs, sales, and customer service are more productive now that they use e-automate

Our techs are so much more productive today than they were before we moved to e-automate,” he reports. “We’re not only able to push tickets out to them much faster but they no longer have to come into our shop to let us know the status of a work order or to find out if a particular part they need is available. Communication between our service writers and our field techs is so much faster and more accurate and that’s saved our techs at least 15% on windshield time and freed them up to be much more productive.”

GenComm has also seen some major improvements from e-automate on the sales and customer service side, says Bleck.

“With our old system, our sales team never really trusted any of the information they would get on product availability and that was always a problem,” Bleck recalls. “With e-automate, our salespeople have instant visibility into what’s available and a high level of confidence in what they’re seeing.”

And, he adds, rush orders that once took as long as a full day to process now get taken care of literally within just 15 minutes with e-automate.

E-info Enhanced Web Portal improves customer service

Bleck also gives kudos to the e-info™ Enhanced Web Portal for the way it has provided GenComm customers with a whole new level of service. “We typically add at least two or three customers a month to e-info,” he reports. “They view the online platform as a paperless, ‘green’ solution and really like the access it gives them into account activity.”

Bleck has a similar story to tell on inventory management. Before switching to e-automate, taking physical inventory at GenComm was a disruptive, labor-intensive process. Now, he says, it’s become far easier and the company has also been able to add rolling reports on items that before were particularly difficult to keep a handle on.

“Inventory management overall is a lot less time-consuming and our inventory valuation reports have become far more accurate since switching to e-automate,” he says happily.

“Just about every department at GenComm has benefited from e-automate one way or another,” says Bleck. “Our accounting department is generating invoices faster, our sales team now has instant visibility into order status and product availability, we’re managing our field techs far more productively and everyone can not only get the data they need from the system so much faster, but they also have far more trust in what they are seeing.”

E-automate business management software's extensive conversion experience provided a smooth transition

Moving to new business software can often be a challenge, but, Bleck reports, e-automate’s technical support team made the process run remarkably smoothly for GenComm. “We launched on time and we were able to invoice on day one,” he recalls. “E-automate’s technical support has been excellent ever since,” he adds. “I’ve dealt with plenty of other software manufacturers and technical support is usually the downside of the relationship. With e-automate, we’ve never had any support issues—they’ve always been very responsive and consistently able to provide a solution.”

Ultimately, contends Bleck, switching business software is far less about technology and far more about a hard dollar return on investment. That’s another area, he makes clear, where e-automate shines.

“Moving to e-automate has definitely given us the kind of ROI we were looking for,” he says. “We’ve seen significant improvements across the board and I have no reservations about recommending e-automate to other two-way companies like ours.”

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