- Location: St. Mary’s, Ohio
- Industry: Automotive
- Number of Stores: 3
- Employees: 19
- Website: www.speckmanauto.com
“Epicor Eagle does everything we need, including multi-store inventory management. That functionality, combined with our long history with Epicor, gave us the confidence to implement Eagle.”
Craig Speckman, Owner | Speckman Automotive
Wanted—an easy to use system
Speckman Automotive is a very successful family-run auto parts distributor. Serving western Ohio for more than 50 years, the business was built by serving customers with prompt delivery of quality products, a knowledgeable staff, and competitive prices. Today, Speckman executives uphold that tradition and blend old-fashioned customer service with modern technology to deliver impressive results.
Speckman had been using Epicor J-CON® since the early 1990’s and it had served the business’ needs well. By the early 2000’s, migrating to a Windows-based system was the logical choice for ease-of-use and open architecture. After selecting ICARZ, most of 2005 was spent trying to implement the PartWatch solution with limited success.
After learning about Epicor Eagle, the Speckman team realized that it would better meet their needs—out of the box. “Eagle does everything we need, including multi-store inventory management. That functionality, combined with our long history with Epicor, gave us the confidence to give up on ICARZ and implement Eagle,” remarks Craig Speckman, owner Speckman Automotive.
Conversion—easier than expected
Speckman worried about the data conversion and in the end, was pleasantly surprised. Epicor converted data off-premises before go-live, bringing even more of the J-CON data to Eagle than they expected. After about six weeks of planning and data conversion, Speckman went live with all three locations over a weekend.
Employees embraced Eagle with its familiar Microsoft® Windows® interface, and they were quickly trained. Within a day or two, counter personnel were proficient at Eagle point of sale (POS), basic invoicing functions, and could easily accomplish necessary actions.
“Conversions are never easy, but this went about as well as it could. Epicor has been a very involved business partner and concerned with our success,” says Craig. “We began to see immediate improvements to our business.”
“Sales have increased each year since we implemented the Eagle system. It has helped us become more efficient,” adds Jeff Speckman, general manager, Speckman Automotive.
Beyond the basics, Epicor Cover-to-Cover™ with pictures, diagrams, specifications, and other part information has proven to be a powerful tool. Seeing diagrams of parts, such as exhaust systems, has helped Speckman deliver the right part, the first time.
“The Cover-to-Cover photo look-up option is really helpful when our customers don’t know the details about a part,” explains Jeff. “We can show them the photo of the part and determine whether it’s the correct one.”
Eagle offline POS—an unexpected benefit
Speckman’s outside sales now travel to customer locations with a laptop loaded with pricing, inventory, and customer information. While meeting with a customer, they enter the order so the customer knows exactly what is ordered, how much it costs and when it will be delivered. At the end of the day, the salesperson simply uploads orders when he returns to the office. The orders are automatically in the queue to be picked, delivered, and invoiced.
“I’m amazed at how easy it is for me to conduct business at customer locations,” notes Chris Speckman, paint products sales manager, Speckman Automotive. “Before I had to hand write orders and then have them entered at the end of the day. Now it’s all done quickly and easily. With this order automation, customers receive their orders more quickly, and the time we save can be used to perform other tasks.”
Speckman relies on offline POS during Internet outages, too. “Offline POS is very handy as a backup,” says Jeff. “When the Internet goes down, our stores open offline POS and keep running business-as-usual.”
Automatic pricing uploads—increases accuracy
Before Eagle with PowerPricer, Speckman had to manually enter some of their price changes. This was both time consuming and it provided opportunities for error. “We have constant price changes especially with our paint line,” says Craig. “We had to allocate staff time to perform data entry. Now, we simply upload prices from spreadsheets supplied by vendors. It’s faster and more accurate. A win all the way around.”
Back office—less time spent on manual tasks
In conjunction with Document Management modules, Eagle simplifies back office processes. Documents are filed electronically, resulting in less printing and filing. Customer signatures are stored with receipts, invoices, and statements making lookup and statement generation easier. “We queue our receivables reports and statements to run overnight which is a big time savings. With more than 900 active accounts, we used to spend a day of office time preparing statements,” explains Jeff. “Now it only takes a half day to complete. It’s a huge time savings, and we save on paper and postage.”
Speckman leverages the Eagle system to better manage inventory. “The Eagle system can be set up by vendor and by store, and it helps us track inventory at our three locations,” says Jeff. “It is a truly flexible system.”
Speckman management uses Epicor Business Advisor to keep a pulse on the business. “We print sales reports and run comparisons between our automotive and paint departments to see how they are performing together,” notes Jeff. “We’ve only scratched the surface of what we’ll ultimately do with Eagle. As we continue to find ways to automate processes, we’ll continue to improve our operations and increase customer service. Eagle was definitely the right choice for us,” asserts Craig.