Icas PaceSetter is the Right System For Growth
The Need for Expansion
Industrial Engine & Supply (IES) changed from a small business selling engines to a full-scale warehouse distributor of automotive parts. "In 1985, we opened our first retail store”, Stanley J. Stapinksi, owner of IES said. To stay competitive with the larger franchise chains, IES became a member of Auto Pride. This gave IES the competitive advantage to expand the business to what it is today.
Over the past several years the automotive business has changed. The mom and pop auto parts stores (98% of IES’ business) were being bought out or closing. Stanley knew if he didn’t do something, his business could be in jeopardy.
His goal was to open his own chain of stores. There was one important factor in this plan. He would need a computer system that was dependable, left room for expansion, and would be able to network the stores together. The company had already outgrown its current computer system. The system could not accept any more part numbers and customer support was not adequate.
The IES Wish List
Stanley and his team had a list of requirements that had to be met by a new system:
- Perform the functions of the old system, such as inventory reporting, invoicing, purchasing, accounting, but much faster
- Advanced multi-store and warehouse functionality
- Add more retail stores at a low price
- Extensive marketing and management reporting
- Online access by customers and staff
- Allow database mining
- Operate over the Internet
- Be reasonably priced
Additionally, Stanley wanted the vendor of his new system to be able to offer the same basic software to his customers at a reasonable price. He wanted the capability to load inventory and pricing information on to a customer's systems. IES customers had to be able to use these systems to send orders easily to IES.
The Solution: Icas PaceSetter
After examining a number of systems, IES selected the PaceSetter system from Icas computer systems inc. The system not only matched the critical needs on the IES wish list, but also provided them with many new features and functionality. They were especially impressed with the high level of Icas’ customer service.
Stanley made his decision based on his experience in working with the Icas staff. “I met not only with the salesman,” Stanley said, “but also with the owner, Rudy Ventker. When we asked for certain features in the system they gave us frank answers: ‘Yes, it can be done’ or ‘No, it can’t.’ For some of the ‘No, it can’t’ features, Icas modified the system to meet those needs.”
The transition from the old to the new system went smoothly, or as Stanley put it, “seamlessly,” with no downtime. Six weeks before the live date, Icas loaded the system with sample IES data and showed employees how to use it. Stanley met with his employees to explain why the company was changing systems and set training schedules for everyone to follow. The staff “bought into” the system.
“IES’ pre-implementation planning and commitment went a long way toward making the transition very smooth,” said Icas Sales Manager Ed Langford. “The IES people were ready, so they were able to use the system effectively from day one. Because of the pre-implementation work, employees felt comfortable with the system and liked the way it helped them in their jobs.”
The conversion date was set for Labor Day weekend. Icas and IES staff worked over the weekend to convert data. Some problems surrounding customer-pricing formulas arose, but the IES staff worked side-by-side with Icas staff to resolve these issues.
Highlighting the Benefits
When asked to name a few of the major benefits from using the Icas PaceSetter system, Stanley said: “First, the system works. From past experience with other systems we know that’s not always the case. Second, the system is dependable. We don’t experience downtime. The system is versatile, enabling us to perform many functions. In fact, we are continually surprised when we try something new and we find that the system can do it. We like the fact that our customers can purchase the system at a very affordable price. And price is a big factor. It’s great to get what you pay for in a product.”
Not only is the price of the system reasonable, so is the cost of service. “Icas doesn’t nickel and dime us for every little request we make, as some companies do,” Mark Ondos added. “They really want us to be happy with the system and to use it well.”
“Typically, when you call a system vendor with a question or problem, they say ‘someone will get back to you,’” Mark said. “When we call Icas, someone is always there to help us out right then and there. Rudy himself has sometimes jumped in to take us over a hurdle. That kind of personalized, considerate customer service is rare today and is invaluable to us.”
As a result of installing PaceSetter, IES is on its way to fulfilling Stanley’s goal. Over the past two years IES has opened 4 additional retail stores. Thanks to the Icas staff they have made these transitions possible. Stanley stated, “With the excellent computer support and the endless capabilities of the PaceSetter system, I am positive this is only the beginning of how great my company will become.”