Every business owner wants to see growth, but if that growth just makes it harder to manage their operation effectively, it’s at best: a mixed blessing.
That was the case for Crossroads GPS, Inc. of York, Nebraska. The 10-year old company focuses on GPS positioning, machine control and automation. Owner Wesley Williamsen launched it just as those technologies were starting to really take hold. The company has successfully ridden the wave of interest in precision ag products and services over the past decade.
Crossroads GPS, Inc. serves a majority of the state of Nebraska with the exception of the panhandle. They only have seven employees, several of whom are field sales and service representatives who traverse the Cornhusker State.
Success brought its own set of issues for Williamsen. As he explains, “Our growth was good, but it created a lot of challenges. We were getting to the size where we needed to manage better. We were doing a lot of things manually, in multiple systems, and we needed to bring everything together and make it more integrated and streamlined.”
The company at the time, was using QuickBooks® online, but it wasn’t keeping up with the way Crossroads GPS, Inc. did business. Like many precision ag operations, Crossroads GPS, Inc. doesn’t bill customers for products until all the setup and support work is done, and that didn’t align well with the way his software handles inventory.
Products that were already in customers’ hands—although not yet billed—continued to show up in inventory. This led to confusion about whether a product was available or not for delivery to a subsequent customer. This became a problem particularly in the busy seasons, because as things got hectic, Williamsen admits, “…we didn’t do the best job of tracking what went out the door.”
There were two big motivators for Williamsen to find a better way of managing the business: Inventory Control and Accounting.
“Inventory control was paramount. We had to get our hands wrapped around that and keep better track of what we had and where it was at, to prevent loss. The other reason was accounting. I wanted my accountant more involved but didn’t want to have to keep sending him reports.”
Finding a Solution
Williamsen heard about PrecisionHQ from Iron Solutions at a Trimble dealer meeting, and immediately liked what he saw. Before committing to it, he checked out other alternatives and also consulted with fellow dealers.
“I talked to a lot of other people in the industry and asked them what they were using and what challenges they had. From what they told me, it seemed like PrecisionHQ could overcome a lot of those challenges. That convinced us to pull the trigger on it.”
Crossroads GPS, Inc. became a PrecisionHQ customer in late 2014.
PrecisionHQ is a comprehensive, cloud-based business management system designed for precision ag dealers. It is specifically designed to support the mix of transactional and subscription aspects of the modern precision operation.
As a single integrated system for managing hardware, software, and services sales and profitability, PrecisionHQ consolidates dealer financials, customer management processes, ERP functions, and e-commerce into a single system. Powered by NetSuite®, the scalable PrecisionHQ improves efficiency and reduces costs. Its single sales, finance, and service management database contains all the information needed to deliver products, services, and subscriptions allowing the increase in customer renewals.
PrecisionHQ eliminated the risks and errors of spreadsheet-based processes and unsophisticated financial systems for Crossroads GPS, Inc. PrecisionHQ gives dealers the visibility they need through real-time analytics and dashboard reporting in order to improve their forecasting and planning.
Mastering the Processes
“Getting started was painless,” Williamsen recalls, with the only challenge being the “learning curve”—comprehending how to take advantage of all the features of PrecisionHQ.
“There is so much to it, and I don’t think we are even scratching the surface of what we can do with it,” he said. But he says he and his people continue to take it one step at a time, mastering processes and then moving seamlessly to the next level.
“The real-time information availability of PrecisionHQ, with all data in the cloud and accessible from anywhere, has been a major benefit,” Williamsen says.
“To have that information anytime and anywhere is absolutely valuable. We are using that both in sales and support. On the support side, we can document and log information and then any one of my team can log on and see what is going on, looking at the documentation in real-time, and being able to trace it.”
He adds, “That puts us out there in a better light in front of the customer. It lets the customer know we have it together.”
Crossroads GPS, Inc. saw a rapid return on investment form their subscription of PrecisionHQ, thanks to the improvements in inventory control. As Williamsen says, “The inventory piece pretty much paid for itself in year one. Now we are continuing to see even more value as we get more information. This is all very valuable going forward in up-selling and upgrading customers.”
Adding Payroll Automation
Crossroads GPS, Inc. has just moved to add payroll automation capabilities to its PrecisionHQ system and is looking forward to its benefits. For the company, Williamsen says, “We see it eliminating one step in the process, which is important as we add more field sales people. These guys are on the road and filing expense reports, and now we can make that a seamless process. It will automatically roll through and save us a big step.”
Overall, the data availability PrecisionHQ offers to Crossroads GPS, Inc. is making the company exceedingly more informed and efficient.
“Our office manager can pull reports instantly, and we can drill down into any one specific area very easily,” Williamsen concludes. “It helps us better understand our numbers, open orders, service statuses, and where we are at overall.
“Looking back, I wish I could have moved to PrecisionHQ six or seven years earlier. We would have been a lot further ahead.”