RJ Star, Inc. of Hanover, Minnesota produces a complete line of professional polishes, cleaners, and detailing supplies used by automotive paint businesses, body shops, and specialty stores. Distributed under the Wizards Products label, its products are prized by car enthusiasts for their ability to bring show-quality shine and luster to cars and motorcycles.
Business was booming. Sales were up, a new product line was launched, and new salespeople were hired—seemingly an ideal situation for any business. For RJ Star, however, the rapid increase in business threatened its success.
Order information was entered in four separate systems. The order was first keyed into the company’s Sage 300 ERP (formerly Sage ERP Accpac) accounting software, then into the credit card verification terminal, then into the UPS or FedEx shipping manifest system, and finally into a spreadsheet for commission tracking. Freight charges were looked up on a chart by package weight and then keyed into the order. Each credit card transaction had to be recorded again as a deposit in the receivables module. In addition, stacks of orders arrived in the mail from the company’s field salespeople, and calculating commissions took a full week each month to complete.
With all the manual processes, it took several months for order entry staff to learn the job well enough to be productive. Susan Antonsen, business manager as RJ Star explains, “We couldn’t meet the growing demand with our current staff level. With so many time-consuming manual processes we were having trouble keeping up.”
RJ Star had two choices: hire and train additional staff to keep up with the workload, or invest in technology that would streamline the workflow, reduce manual processing, and allow growth without adding to staffing levels. They chose to invest in technology.
“We were lucky to find Mindover Software,” Antonsen says of the highly regarded Sage 300 ERP partner. “They just plain know the answers. You could say they took my whining and turned it into solutions!”
The team at Mindover Software evaluated the procedures and manual processes in place at RJ Star and then developed a comprehensive plan to streamline workflow and automate processes to maximize efficiency. They then worked with RJ Star to implement the new solutions.
Credit Card Processing
Mindover Software introduced a credit card verification solution that authorizes customer credit card payments from within Sage 300 ERP at the push of a button. Daily receipt batches based on credit card type are produced automatically saving RJ Star from manually entering each deposit.
“This change alone saved us the work of one full-time employee,” says Antonsen. “Our order volume has doubled, but we haven’t needed to hire any new personnel.”
Accurate Order Entry
RJ Star employs six outside salespeople who call on customers, take orders, and deliver products. Invoices were handwritten by the salespeople and a copy left with the customer. The salespeople would then mail a stack of invoices to the corporate offices for processing. The system left too much room for error. In addition to the potential for data entry error, too often the salesperson would write the wrong customer number, or incorrectly calculate the price, tax, or invoice total. RJ Star often wrote off the losses rather than spend more money to correct the problem and risk harm to customer relationships.
Mindover Software implemented a complete mobile salesperson solution to streamline and improve the accuracy of the order entry process. Now its salespeople carry a small Pocket PC device to enter orders and print them on a small printer—right at the customer’s location. Salespeople have updated customer, pricing, and part number information available to them where and when they need it.
Orders are sent to the main office as an email. At the main office, a simple utility is run to validate and import the orders directly into Sage 300 ERP. This streamlined process saves RJ Star from manually keying over 100 invoices each week. “It saves us several days’ time every month, plus there are no more mistakes that require time or money to correct,” explains Antonsen.
Streamlined Commission Tracking
Commission tracking was another labor-intensive process at RJ Star. Processing it previously occupied over 20 hours for each biweekly pay period. Mindover Software implemented a streamlined commission tracking solution that reduces that time to just two hours per pay period. “It’s on the mark every time,” says Antonsen.
Mindover Software solutions helped RJ Star save thousands of labor hours each year, eliminated the need to hire and train additional staff, and minimized costly human errors. The solutions have delivered a rapid return on investment that continues to grow.