Interview with B & B Lawn Equipment and Cycle on Business Growth and Adapting to New Technology in Your Dealership
Tim and Marty began the business in a small location and focused on stability and growth for the first five years. On their fifth year of operation, they built their current store an added a warehouse addition in 2000. Their business began to flourish so much that they purchased an additional warehouse in 2007.
We recently caught up with Tim to learn some of the keys to their success and how they transitioned from the Ideal DOS system to Ideal for Windows.
Ideal: What do you consider to be the strengths of your business compared to most other retailers?
Tim: “By growing the square footage and having proper displays and inventory, we have seen our sales increase steadily each year. However, talk is cheap and good service always out performs price and product. I truly believe we have an advantage over the competition by providing a truly unique relationship with each customer and get it right the first time. We also have great employees. They are the reason for B&B’s success. We allow our guys a lot of freedom in decision making and it really resonates with the customers.”
Ideal: You initially implemented Ideal’s DOS based system and later made the decision to upgrade to Windows. How did that transition go and how has it improved your business?
Tim:We entered the computer age in 1999 with Ideal’s DOS based system, which I loved! We made the move to Window in 2012 and yikes, was I nervous. We paid for all new computers and the full four day conversion by the Jedi Master, Dave ‘obi wan’ Baumgarten. It was worth every penny.
We made the move for several reasons. One, when you call Ideal tech support and anyone under 30 starts questioning why you are still running DOS and has to dust off stone tablets to find code, I am pretty sure it is time to retire the horse and buggy and breakout the Ford Mustang. Two, we needed something faster and capable of sending email through the POS system. Three, text alerting. That alone should sell the system. And four, we talked with more than 10 dealers that made the conversion and ALL said they loved the new Windows.
A funny story about DOS. We hired a 17yr old to work at our store in 2011. He went to look up a customer name on DOS, so I told him to push F9. First of all he was using the mouse and the correct field wasn’t even highlighted. Secondly he was pushing F and then 9. I said you have to tab over and push the function keys. His response, “what are those keys? I mean what do they do?” I thought holy moly I’m getting old! It’s time to update!”
Ideal: What features do you like best about Ideal?
Tim:I would say the email capabilities, the drill-down reporting options and text alerts.”
Ideal: In what ways has your business improved since implementing Ideal?
Tim:We have started an advertising campaign featuring Ideal as a “data track.” This offers customers a more convenient way to keep track of product numbers, warranty and product history all at no additional cost. It’s really something we do anyway for both us and the customer, so why not advertise it.”
Ideal: In what ways has your dealership saved time or money since implementing Ideal?
Tim: “We save time by merely having the customer info and numbers. We also just added ChargeItPro for our merchant services, which is fast and easy. Also, it is nice capturing the signature of each customer on charge invoices and work orders electronically.”
What future goals do you have for your business and how will Ideal help?
Tim: “We want to do group texting off my current customer list from the POS system to advertise weekly specials or events quickly. The same can be said with emails. We also are looking forward to more integration for mobile devices through Ideal.”