When choosing the right software or ERP for your business, there’s a lot to keep in mind. Ease of use, essential functions, speed of operation, etc. At the end of the day, it all eventually boils down to one thing: keeping the backend of your business organized for optimal efficiency.
Knowing where to find every detail and aspect about sales, orders, installations and more not only gives flooring businesses the ability to run more efficiently, but it can also make a business more profitable. FCNews rounded up experts from the software and technology space to dive into the importance of backend organization and demonstrate how their software programs can simplify tasks.
“Typically, what a lot of dealers focus on—especially when they’re new in business—is selling,” said Patrick Ferries, vice president of marketing, Broadlume. “At the end of the day, they’re not left with a lot of profit and what backend organization does is help make sure they’re making the right margins and getting to keep some of it, control their costs, etc.”
What makes Broadlume unique in that respect, according to the company, is its full text stack, which includes websites for marketing and lead generation, marketing automations as well as lead management. Utilizing this text stack while connecting the front and back of the house can be extremely beneficial to one’s business while keeping all vital information and processes in one place. With Broadlume’s ERP platform, sales, operations and accounting all work in the same platform as opposed to having those separated into three different departments.
As Ferries put it: “By having those three departments work together, you can realize more profit and have a lot more control on the business rather than just figuring out at the end of the month, ‘Oh we didn’t make money, why didn’t we make money?’”
Comp-U-Floors’ cloud-based ERP system was designed to streamline all job processes and bring them into one, easy-to-use solution that retailers can access anytime, anywhere. The ERP software integrates purchase order processing, inventory control, sales order processing and more.
“Having a system like ours is going to have a very positive impact on [a dealer’s] business,” said Edgar Aya, owner and president of Comp-U-Floor.
Also available is an installer mobile app that allows installers to access new work orders, take payments in the field, upload photos from job sites and integrate Google Calendar and Maps in order to find the work site more easily.
“By using pen and paper, lots of things get lost,” said Alex Aya, vice president, Comp-U- Floor. “With an online system everything is there. If you need to audit a job that went badly three months down the line, you’d need to go back and find paperwork. By using [software] everything is there.”
Organizing the backend is one of the most important things a dealer can do for their business because it reduces errors, reduces omission and increases profit. At the same time, keeping a business organized behind the scenes helps dealers keep a leg up on their competition. Reason being—if a business isn’t utilizing state-of-the-art software, then it runs the risk of placing itself at a competitive disadvantage.
Case in point is Floor Manager, Pacific Solution’s residential management software. The product features an integrated product catalog, is B2B enabled and integrates all aspects of the job cycle—among other critical functions.
“Our software is designed to bring all of the tasks of a retailer’s business into a single solution,” said Bob K. Noe, president, Pacific Solutions. “Our goal is to design an elegant piece of software that gets its arms around all the various components and puts them into one single solution.”
“If you don’t have an engine in a car, it doesn’t matter what everything else looks like—it’s not going to run. If you have a pretty website but you don’t have an ERP system, then it’s not going to go very well.”
Those analogies, supplied by Chad Ogden, president of QFloors, represent the driving force behind the company’s product development process. To that end, QFloors is specifically designed for the floor covering industry, meaning there are efficiencies people gain through QFloors that they wouldn’t necessarily gain through generic programs like QuickBooks. “We’re always preaching to make sure you have the engine in place first and then you can do business in a good way,” he stated.
Chris Ogden, communications specialist at QFloors, agreed, adding that a business’ operations need to be run smoothly in order for the customer to have a good experience. Without a highly functional system to keep a business organized and efficient, this can be a daunting task.
QFloors customers like Kathy Hyland, co-owner of Bay View Flooring and Design, Traverse, Mich., has been in the business for over 30 years. After switching over to QFloors, she was able to boost her profit margins above the national average. “I find that QFloors is the whole package for me,” she said. “It’s simple to use and easy to learn when we get new employees. For me personally, as a business owner, it has brought me the simplicity of organizing financial reports.”
Businesses run smoother, employees are happier and client satisfaction goes way up when a company runs efficiently. And much of that depends on the efficacy of their backend technology tools. By implementing software systems from RFMS, for example, business owners are able to track and manage essential functions at their fingertips. For instance RFMS provides retailers with one vertical solution with integration throughout from apps like CRM, RFMSMobile and Measure Mobile to name a few. Using these tools, retailers have access to integrated credit card processing and a full-stack ERP. Aside from utilizing integrated apps and an ERP system, retailers can also build a quote and order, electronically purchase the material needed, schedule installations, process installer and supplier checks, job costs and generate financials all in one place.
“I can sum this up in two words: profit and efficiency,” said Rahul Karadi, director of sales, western division, RFMS. “In challenging times, having a pulse on the health of your business is critical. Clients need to know where they can add revenue and perhaps cut costs.”
More importantly, having information at your fingertips for easy analysis, quick review along with the ability to track projected profitability before the sale is finalized is key. “We can’t control supply chain issues, but we can be ahead of the curve and increase profits and satisfaction when your company is run efficiently,” Karadi explained.