Discover How Noble Saw Learned to Control Inventory and Cut Costs by Nearly $100,000
Noble Saws’ customer base is typical to other dealers, which consists of about 40% commercial and 60% homeowner traffic. They sell and repair a lot of commercial turf and homeowner turf equipment – string trimmers, power blowers and chainsaws. They don’t get into any tractor lines beyond homeowner mowing equipment.
How long have you been using Ideal?
Tim: “We purchased the system in 1996 and began using it along side the computer system we were replacing. We had a very bad experience with a former system and we had a hard time trusting computers. After about two months, we were using Ideal as a stand alone system.”
How much research did you do before purchasing Ideal?
Tim: “We spent a lot of time and researched most of the systems on the market at that time. c-Systems was a very professional company and had a lot to offer, but it seemed to be a complicated system to operate on a day to day basis.
I recommend that dealers do all their own research and never take the advice of just the sales staff. We asked for references and followed up on them. We even went to several of the businesses and watched Ideal in use.”
How extensive is your store’s inventory?
Tim: “We have just over $300,000 in inventory.”
How has Ideal affected your point of sale and inventory control?
Tim: “Huge! This is one of the main reasons why we purchased the system. We found that our inventory was way out of control. By adjusting the inventory to the levels that were needed and usable at that time, it reduced our inventory by approximately $100,000. When we looked at just that part of the system, it more than paid for itself in the first year. Ideal also makes it easy to adjust the inventory for seasons or faster moving items.”
Tell us more about the bridge between Ideal and your purchasing.
Tim: “Before we had Ideal, we would use tablets and write down which vendor the order would go to and then enter the part numbers on that list. Many times we would be double ordering and not be sure as to the status of the part ordered. We did the best we could before we had Ideal, but that wasn’t good enough. The system paid for itself just by having inventory control.
We also were able to pinpoint the manufacturers that were not making us enough profit. We eliminated those lines and that made it easier to expand the profitable lines. We are doing a better job for our customers, with the correct parts in inventory.”
Tell us more about the bridge between Ideal and your accounting.
Tim: “My wife, Joni, does our accounting. Since we purchased Ideal, it has reduced the time that is involved in all aspects of accounting. The computer system we had before Ideal was supposed to be ‘a professionally built system for the industry’. But, we had problems with the balancing of accounts and tax calculations that led to being penalized by the government. The software wasn’t written correctly and the company was dissolved shortly after from a series of problems.
My wife and I had a hard time trusting computers after that experience. Ideal has been a proven system in our business for over seven years now and continues to be not only a time saver, but has allowed for us to have a life again. By the way, Ideal’s tax calculations have never been off.”
Are your employees more productive using Ideal?
Tim: “Yes. We’ve installed a computer terminal at each of the technician’s workstations. That allows the technicians to check the inventory and pricing without leaving their workstations. We have also been able to make sure that when a price is quoted, it is consistent and up to date. We are able to bump the list prices so we can make a profit that will keep our doors open. The customers love a consistent and fair price, but most of all they want a store to be there when they need you.”
What reports do you use from Ideal that helps you to be a better business person?
Tim: “In the work order information, I can view the number of jobs pending and jobs on hold. I can tell a customer, at any time, how long it will be until they get their equipment back.
I also use the financial summary report daily. I compare the current and previous fiscal month and year so I can set goals for our business. I am always re-evaluating and resetting goals. I like to keep a constant watch on the profit margins.
I also use the salesperson summary report. I can find out how things are going on an individual basis and praise or help as needed. I feel a lot more confident about our business with the reports given so easily by Ideal.”
How has Ideal helped you achieve your goals?
Tim: “Our business has continued to grow. My grandfather taught me a long time ago that you had better be making money or you are not going to be in business for long. We are not greedy people, but we know that if we are not a profitable business, my family and those who work so hard for our business would not have a job.
We have had four other shops that have come and gone in our town. Competition is not something anyone likes but it does strengthen your business. We held to our pricing and continued to give good service. I don’t know how other dealers expect to stay in business if they are not profitable.”