- Location: Cambridge, Ontario, Canada
- Industry: Automotive
- Number of Stores: 1
- Employees: 14
"Our customers notice the difference since we upgraded to Eagle. They find quicker response time and better inventory levels, while we're cutting costs and streamlining processes."
Bruce McNeil, President | McNeil Auto Supply
Thanks to Eagle, the Answer is "Yes"
For jobbers in the automotive aftermarket, staying competitive means maintaining control of every aspect of the business and -perhaps most importantly-keeping customers loyal. Today, smart automotive parts jobbers and wholesalers are keeping their computer technology up-to-date to help them manage inventory, transactions, invoicing, purchasing, and virtually every business process. The upshot is when a customer asks for a part, the fast and easy answer is "Yes, we have that."
"People are always amazed at how few times we say no for the product they're looking for," says Bruce McNeil, president of McNeil Auto Supply in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada. "That's because Epicor Eagle for the Aftermarket delivers analytics that help us identify purchasing trends for our customers."
In the past, Bruce and his staff relied on hunches to make forecasts for purchasing and inventory management. With Eagle, they can track purchasing and transaction histories over the years. "It helps us make better-informed decisions," he says.
McNeil Auto Supply has been a family owned and operated business in Cambridge for more than 50 years. Its biggest competitor in the region is another independent jobber. Major chains like CARQUEST® and NAPA® also operate in the area. Bruce says being proactive about technology is his best tool for staying competitive against established independents and big chains.
"We strive to stay on the leading edge instead of waiting to upgrade our information systems until we absolutely have to," he says. "Our customers notice the difference since we upgraded to Eagle. They find quicker response times, better inventory levels, and the price they want. And we see the improvements internally too. We're cutting costs and streamlining processes while we grow our business."
Upgrading Makes a Good Thing Even Better
McNeil Auto has been an Epicor shop since the late 1980s. Before moving to the Epicor Eagle system, McNeil was using Epicor Eclipse. "Eclipse was very good," Bruce says. "Eclipse served us well for years. But Eagle is even better. It just continues to amaze us how easy it is to use and how much it does compared to our old system."
When the parts manufacturers that McNeil Auto purchases from began to discontinue printing paper copies of price sheets, Bruce took it as his cue that it was time to upgrade his company's computer system. The new Eagle system not only brings McNeil Auto in line with man manufacturers' new pricing procedures, it also saves time and reduces labor costs by automating pricing updates and many other tasks.
"Previously, we were spending hours each time we made pricing updates," Bruce acknowledged. Personnel had to format data and manually input pricing information into the system. Sometimes a company would reissue a new price sheet before Bruce's staff got the previous one into the system. Consequently, counter personnel did not always have access to up-to-date information. Now manufacturers can upload new pricing data directly into Eagle over the Internet via McNeil Auto's buying group or mail a CD that can instantly update the system. "It's so easy now," Bruce continues. "When we get a price change, we have it done in minutes or even seconds instead of hours or days."
"We're no longer expending time and labor inputting pricing data, and staff is no longer running to me throughout the day asking me if we have something in stock and what it costs," Bruce says. "Because they have all the information they need at their fingertips, it's freeing up my time to work on more valuable tasks, such as going out into the field to obtain more accounts."
Moving to Eagle was Easy
Bruce says when it came time to upgrade from Eclipse, staying with Epicor was the obvious choice. "We've been very pleased with the performance and service from Epicor," he says. "If we've ever had an issue, Epicor always resolved it right away. I know jobbers who use other systems. When those systems go down, they can be down for days." "The Eagle deployment took place over a two-week time frame and the staff learned the new system within just a couple of days," Bruce says. "They used some of The Eagle on-board training videos before we went live. And the built-in Help button can instantly answer just about any question they have."
At the close of each business day, Eagle delivers an end-of-day report to Bruce and his brother, Alan McNeil-vice president of the company. The report gives them an overview of the business. "Eagle tracks everything that transpires within our business and presents the information to us in an easy-to-use format," Bruce says. "For example, if somebody in the company makes a price change, we can see exactly who did it and when. We couldn't see that level of detail before."
Bruce reflects on the upgrade: "Eagle is very flexible and easy to fine-tune to the way we want to do business," he summarizes. We're now able to set up individual discounts per account, invoice by e-mail, and so much more. I can see that the more aspects of our business we get onto it, the more streamlined we will be. Eagle is a big step forward."
Epicor Software Corporation is a global leader delivering business software solutions to the manufacturing, distribution, retail, and service industries. With more than 40 years of experience, Epicor has more than 20,000 customers in over 150 countries. Epicor solutions enable companies to drive increased efficiency and improve profitability. With a history of innovation, industry expertise, and passion for excellence, Epicor inspires customers to build lasting competitive advantage. Epicor provides the single point of accountability that local, regional, and global businesses demand. For more information, visit www.epicor.com.