Full integration of all business areas motivated Vande Hey's move to Asset.
What motivated you to look for a new software solution?
Our struggle with our existing software was the fact that the various software packages did not talk to each other. This caused multiple entries to bring the information into each program, thus incorporating more cost and more opportunity for errors. We had known for a few years that things had to change. Eventually we reached the point where we really needed to get a handle on fewer entries, accurate inventory and integrated estimating with job cost applications.
What was your process for selecting new software candidates?
We reviewed what was out there, interviewed a few software providers and received demonstrations on a variety of products. Our search did reveal that quite a few options are now on the market. Through meetings, webcast presentations and site visits, we narrowed the search to systems that seemed most compatible with our type of business.
A landscape management company in our area invited us to visit their headquarters to view their use of Asset and how it integrated into their business model. They presented to us a live demonstration of Asset and a question-and-answer session with some of their key personnel. This was extremely helpful.
After this visit, we asked Include to give us a few demonstrations of Asset’s capabilities. We soon saw the benefits the software could bring to our company.
How did you decide on Asset?
The biggest factor in the selection of Asset was the full integration of all the modules. Being able to enter data just once and populate it throughout the system would vastly improve the speed, efficiency and cost-effectiveness of our operations.
It also eliminates the headache of integrating inventory control among the retail, management, wholesale and contracting facets of our company. We need an easier way for inventory to be shared, accounted for and costed to the appropriate GL accounts and job cost areas.
The third major deciding factor was that Asset was specifically designed and built for our industry, and the trainers and support personnel fully understand it as well.
What was the implementation process like?
The schedule of events was a big help. This kept us organized, focused and on task to reach the committed dates. It also broke up what could have seemed a very large and daunting project into manageable segments, which was great for team morale and motivation.
The teleconference meetings, which allowed us to talk with someone and make changes as we went along, were another huge advantage. We also found the interaction of the webcast demonstrations very helpful.
Our internal success can be attributed in large part to Maxine Vande Hey, who started working full time in the company at the same time that we were implementing Asset. She took on this task wholeheartedly and was an amazing factor of our implementation of the software. She is our primary point of contact with Include and is a fantastic resource for our team.
Although Asset is installed and running, we are still implementing some things. We learned very quickly that we would have to move forward with certain areas in order for everything else to function correctly. For instance, the catalog manager affects the assemblies, vendor pricing and bar coding functions.
As with most things, Asset will constantly evolve in response to changes in business and our industry, so we expect to be updating it on a regular basis.
How has Asset made a difference for your company?
The overall results are great. The more our understanding of the software grows, the more we see what we can do with it. As the company that demonstrated it to us said, “We have had it now for five years and each year it gets better.” We think it will take us more time and experience to really appreciate it.
Our biggest realization is that Asset is a system, not a product. As we build on its strengths, fix our weaknesses and fully integrate it into every aspect of our business, Asset’s full value to us will be revealed.