KEY BENEFITS OF SALESPAD
- Faster quoting and order fulfillment
- Accurate order and inventory history
- Access to crucial inventory data
- Better reporting capabilities
American Storage and Logistics
GRAND RAPIDS, MI | www.aslmhc.com
Based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, American Storage and Logistics specializes in new and used material handling equipment. They offer turnkey design, installation, and teardown services for pallet rack, mezzanines, shelving, and in-plant offices.
By combining delivery, installation, inventory, and design all under one roof, American Storage offers more affordable storage solutions and takes the burden of project management off an operator’s shoulders.
James Wiese, President of American Storage, says that their main goal is to make warehousing easy, which, as anyone who works in a warehouse will tell you, is no simple feat. In addition, customer relationships are highly valued at American Storage; it’s vitally important to the company that they are able to follow through on what their customers need from them.
When Wiese joined the company, they were operating from a homegrown ERP system that was more of an elaborate set of Google Sheets than an actual ERP solution. Quote generation often took up to 20 minutes, and there were a slew of issues relating to pricing, as each sales rep was responsible for describing and pricing out the different inventory items on each order. Tracking customer or vendor purchasing history was next to impossible, visibility into their pipeline was cloudy at best, and there were several large accounting hurdles as well.
In short, American Storage was overdue for a complete systems overhaul. That’s where we came in.
SalesPad. When American Storage made the switch to SalesPad, they also migrated from an on-premises accounting solution to a cloud-based one.
“It’s completely different, now, in every possible good way,” said Wiese. “Our employees can log in from wherever they are, whether that’s at home, at the office, or at the local coffee shop — the mobility aspect is great.”
Switching from the server-based accounting solution made a big difference for American Storage inventory management practices as well. Their original accounting software limited the number of inventory items they could work with. With their cloud solution, there is no cap on inventory items. This flexibility means that inventory finances are more accurate and easier to control, giving Wiese and his employees access to project-specific gross profit, monthly and weekly gross profit, and more.
Now that they’re using SalesPad to manage their inventory, American Storage makes better decisions as a company, and they have crucial insight into how those decisions affect their bottom line.
Faster Quoting and order fulfillment with workflow visibility
Creating a quote for warehouse storage solutions can be pretty involved, due to the number of variables, and a quote from American Storage can range anywhere from $200-$25,000, depending on the project. Because their quotes can be so complex, they need all the help they can get in order to generate them in a timely manner. Zack Krywyj, Business Development Manager at American Storage, recalls the days before making the switch to SalesPad.
“On our old system, it would take me 25-30 minutes just to quote a job,” he said. “Now, with SalesPad, I can do it in 5-10 minutes. I can easily search for line items and get that quote out the door fast. I can also easily check on the status of a job if I have a customer who wants an estimated ship date or something along those lines. With the old home-brewed system, it took a couple of emails and a half hour or so to check up on the status of a job, so SalesPad has made my life much easier.”
Wiese also appreciates the increased quoting and order fulfillment efficiency.
“Cutting out all that time frees us up a lot,” he said. “So our sales reps can be out finding more customers, rather than developing quotes.”
Beyond making sales transactions easier, SalesPad also helps Krywyj and his team stay on top of order fulfillment by utilizing workflows.
“As soon as I receive an order, I’m able to view it in SalesPad,” said Krywyj, “and an email is sent to our Director of Operations, who can begin pulling the order. With the old system, when we got a purchase order, we had to create an order in the system and email the order to three people, who then had to print it out and take it down to the warehouse. Now, it’s instant.”
Instead of doing everything manually, Krywyj is able to forward orders through workflow as soon as they arrive, speeding up the fulfillment process. And because workflows in SalesPad offer easy visibility into the status of every transaction, higher-ups like Wiese can check in on the company’s pipeline.
“I know in the next six weeks what’s going to hit, because I can see it in the system,” said Wiese. “That’s great.”
Better access to historical data and more accurate reporting
Before switching to SalesPad, American Storage tracked inventory on a Google Sheet, which meant that they had no backwards visibility into their data.
“You couldn’t see how much you’d sold of what, or when,” said Wiese. “We needed to be able to see historical data in order to inform our purchasing decisions.”
Wiese went on to explain that, for a company like theirs, inventory demand can fluctuate pretty dramatically. Pallet rack sales for June, for example, might run up to as many as 100,000 units, while in January they might not sell any. Failing to account for this historical data can lead to big problems for the company come restock time, as they have an 8-12 week lead time with their vendors. If they don’t purchase the right materials, they run the risk of stocking up on inventory they can’t sell, or failing to stock up on what their customers really want.
“We actually know what we sold now,” said Wiese, “so we can go back and calculate what we need to purchase to keep a month’s worth of inventory on hand.”
Additionally, American Storage keeps their customers happier with better record keeping. Previously, each employee typed out their own descriptions of products and set their own pricing on orders.
“So, if a customer called us and said ‘I need more rack, sell me more of what you just sold me,’ we couldn’t. We didn’t know what we’d sold them,” said Wiese. “Versus now, when we can go back and see exactly what we sold them. There’s no second guessing, no questions, no site visit. Just a simple reorder.”
Now that they can trust their historical data, American Storage creates better reports to guide their decisions. Krywyj makes heavy use of sales data reporting capabilities.
“With our old system, we weren’t able to report on any of those numbers in a succinct way. Now, with SalesPad, it’s really easy for me to just run a sales report for the weekly reporting that
Beyond all the practical improvements, Wiese values the savings that SalesPad brings.
“The advantage of SalesPad is that each and every project automatically has a gross margin attached to it. We have true monthly financials now — when you don’t truly believe your financial reporting, it’s scary. Automating all these basic functions [through workflow] lets you get at the space between your employees’ ears so that they can focus on questions other than ‘Did you do that right?’
“Before SalesPad, we spent a lot of money and man hours managing our inventory, and it wasn’t accurate. With the subscription to SalesPad, though, we’re going to save money, and we’re going to make money. It’s going to pay for itself very quickly.”