New software for hard times
The wholesale and retail market segments are desperately in need of solutions that improve the efficiencies of both in order to remain competitive in a time of decreasing margins and cutthroat competitive challenges,” says a spokesman for Signal Extraprise Corp.
Thus many software companies have announced new products to help tire dealers, wholesalers and retreaders improve processing times for improved productivity and profits. Here are some examples.
ASA Tire Systems (www.asatire.com)
New in ASA Tire Systems’s TireMaster software is a Service Estimator and Appointment Scheduler.
The Service Estimator allows estimates for previously declined services to be stored with vehicle records and retrieved at any time. Items on the estimate can be selected and moved to a work order or a future scheduled appointment, leaving behind recommended services not yet approved.
The new Appointment Scheduler improves shop performance by giving dealers the option to plan workloads days and weeks in advance. Limits can be set on certain tasks (such as alignments) to prevent over-scheduling. Appointments are converted to open work orders at the click of a button.
Also new is an interface for ASA’s TreadX software that helps users comply with existing federal tire registration regulations. Dealers can now store DOT numbers by wheel position electronically.
To further streamline the process and ensure compliance, TreadX interfaces with Computerized Information & Management Services Inc. (CIMS) electronic tire registration, which has been sanctioned by the government as an acceptable method of compliance.
JMK Computerized Tire Dealer Information Systems Inc. (www.jmktdis.com)
Jim Krakower, director of system development for JMK Computerized Tire Dealer Information Systems Inc., says the company has added new features to its software system. These include:
• A Goodyear National Account and Purchase/Resale integrated point-of-sale module that includes enhancements to processing charge-backs to previously processed credits, integration to Google maps, and integration of names alias to allow for simple access at the point-of-sale to data for over 20,000 approved Goodyear dealers and national accounts.
• Point-of-sale process enhancements including these new hardware options:
1. A “disk-less” work station for extended reliability and system security.
2. Fall-back Internet access for remote store locations. This offers you the ability to set up communications for multiple work stations and printers at remote locations using a Sprint, Verizon, AT&T, etc., laptop Web access data card and a specially configured wireless router.
3. Significantly reduced entries by use of a special pre-programmed keyboard with option keys.
The online integration of Google map data allows you to display directions and visuals for both “to” and “from” your store location. It also automates the calculation for the miles and time entry on a work order for a service call. Plus it also automates your ability to text message and e-mail your customer directly from within a work order while at the sales counter. It also has reverse phone number lookup to minimize data entry for the name and address; on-line integration for catalog application and parts ordering for NAPA and WorldPAC; and other features.
JMK also offers a system operation option to use JMK’s corporate location as an “on-line, off-site” backup for your in-house server, eliminating the need for your staff to backup a server or store backup media off-site.
MaddenCo Inc. (www.maddenco.com)
MaddenCo is now providing national account delivery receipt processing for China Manufacturer Alliance’s (CMA) Double Coin National Account Fleet Program.
By using the MaddenCo Tire Dealer System, CMA is able to electronically process Double Coin delivery receipts that are sent to it by its dealers. If a dealer is using the Tire Dealer System, CMA can send an automated credit back to the dealer the next day.
Additional software advancements, among others, include:
• Tracking credits for associate dealers: A MaddenCo user can input national account delivery receipts for its associate dealers and track the credits to send back to them.
• Bar code scanning for retreading: “The most recent enhancement to bar code scanning has been the ability to take a ‘live’ retread physical inventory for only selected customers. This eases physical inventory for retreaders that bank tires for their customers,” the company reports.
• “Parking- lot” point-of-sale: With the Tire Dealer System, a MaddenCo user can start a work order by scanning a customer’s vehicle identification number (VIN) while the vehicle is in the parking lot. Technicians can also punch in and out of a ticket by using these scanners, thus allowing the dealer to track direct labor cost down to the work order level.
• Signature capture at point-of-delivery (routes) and at point-of-sale.
Signal Extraprise Corp. (www.signalsoft.com)
Signal Extraprise Corp.’s eXceed-Wholesale is a wholesale-specific application that includes:
• Point-of-sale system for complete, speedy sales order process control.
• TireDataCentral — a master inventory server that ensures automatic up-to-the-minute accurate and complete tire data from most manufacturer product lines with a single search.
• Routing system, which even includes a built-in mapping function — for entering and editing routes, assigning users and ordering stops.
• A costing/pricing tool delivering in-depth, comprehensive rules-based pricing applicable for small wholesalers and large, multi-location distributors.
The company’s Xceed-Retail business management system provides a direct link to wholesalers.
Features include service packages for quick customer write-ups, a Quick Quote function and others.
Tire Company Solutions (www.tcstirepower.com)
Barry Reese, director of sales and marketing for Tire Company Solutions (TCS), reports the company is offering its Windows-based business management solution, Tire Power 7, that has a Microsoft SQL database to provide integrated point-of-sale, inventory management and accounting all-in-one.
With the Tire Power inventory management system, you can quickly search, enter, check and track your inventory.
A complete accounting package, including a full and customizable general ledger, helps you easily manage payables and receivables in real-time, says Reese. The company also is offering, among other products:
• TCS ePower, an online ordering solution to sell your inventory to wholesale customers via the Web.
• TCS eFolder backup, a data recovery system that uses layered technology to keep your data completely secure at two mirrored off-site data centers.
• RPM Web Design. “Your business never closes on the Internet, so customers have access 24/7/365,” says Reese.
United Software & Design Inc. (www.tire-dealer-software.com)
Tirewiz software from United Software & Design deals correctly with state’s tax laws about disposal fees and FET taxes, the company reports.
Its latest Version 32 also is compatible with the Canadian GST tax, the company reports.
Additionally, many Tirewiz reports will now print to any kind of printer.
The Tirewiz system was developed and specialized for the tire industry and features point-of-sale integrated automatically with inventory, accounting, customer and vendor records, management, mail list and more. It offers flexible, quick multi-clue searching of data and efficient data storage, and is compatible with Windows XP, Vista and DOS operating systems. ■