Grassland Equipment is one outdoor equipment company that has seen how results-oriented automation can streamline processes and impact the bottom line. Grasslands is a 39-year-old company with a healthy, but complicated business:
- As a Toro distributor responsible for all of upstate New York, seven counties in Pennsylvania, and the state of Vermont, the company sells lawnmowers, snowblowers and related equipment to about 300 dealers.
- A commercial division sells large mowing and turf equipment to golf courses, state agencies, and landscapers.
- An irrigation division handles irrigation division systems for golf courses, large facilities, and landscape contractors.
- Yet another division offers siteworks systems such as walk-behind loaders.
To support these divisions, Grassland maintains an extensive parts department as well as service shops in three different locations. The company also has direct sales to walk-in customers, deliveries through its own trucks and UPS, and sales people on the road.
Kirk Pogge, President of Grassland, says, “Keeping track of all this could be an accounting nightmare. Fortunately, we have some help.”
To manage inventory at multiple locations, customer order processing and invoices, budgeting, general ledger, time reporting for hourly staff, monthly profit and loss, and track expenses and profitability throughout the year, Grassland relies on EXEControl from Ebeling Associates. Using remote computers linked to a central server at company headquarters, Pogge can keep his finger on the pulse of the business in real time.
“One of the biggest advantages,” Pogge says, “is that the system is very flexible. So if we need a special report configured a certain way or if we need to feed information to an application like Excel, it’s either already available in EXEControl or it can be introduced without great expense.”
He adds, “Situations change all the time. To meet our own needs or those of a vendor (like when a vendor changes parts codes), we frequently need information presented in new ways. A highly flexible system is key to adapting to that change without going broke. That’s one of the reasons we have been using EXEControl for 16 years.”
Pogge cites as an example how Ebeling Associates help Grassland with Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) with Toro. “We order parts all day long from Toro. In the past, we had to process paper invoices from Toro and compare them to our purchase orders. It took a lot of manhours to make that happen.”
“Now, thanks to the EDI, we order parts electronically from Toro, receive invoices from them electronically, and the system automatically matches and compares the invoices to our purchases records. The only time we have to look at it is when the system flags us there is an exception. In addition, when we sell to a dealer, invoices are electronically transmitted to a floorplan company.”
Pogge concludes, “Twelve years ago, we had four people in accounting, doing billing, paying vendors, and so forth. Today, we have one person in accounting, and we’re doing twice the volume that we were back then.”
“EXEControl has helped us to streamline our operations in a very meaningful way.”