Buck Sullivan: Keeping Customers on the Road with TRAVERSE
When service professionals in and around Jackson Mississippi need their trucks modified to fit their jobs, they turn to Buck Sullivan.
Established in 1960, Buck Sullivan sells, modifies, and installs truck beds, bodies, and equipment for any imaginable need, and they help their customers with every aspect of customizing their vehicles to meet all of their exacting requirements. “We’ll pretty much work on anything with an engine,” says Buck Sullivan’s controller, Rhonda Dudley of the company’s scope. In addition to service truck work, Buck Sullivan recently acquired H & H Chief Sales in Carthage, Mississippi, an hour northeast of Jackson. With H & H’s focus on farm and tractor equipment, Buck Sullivan is the regional go-to service company for purchasing and modifying machines that get work done.
Since 2001, Buck Sullivan has counted on TRAVERSE business software from Open Systems, Inc. to keep their accounting and inventory straight. Having recently updated to the latest version of the software, Dudley shared a few minutes with us to discuss how Buck Sullivan manages their complex operations.
TRAVERSE keeps two companies accounted as one
The two companies with different specialties and located an hour apart solve the challenges of managing their finances with TRAVERSE. “H & H connects to TRAVERSE through remote terminal services,” says Dudley from their home base in Jackson. “The billing, paperwork, and purchase orders are all processed here at Buck Sullivan.”
A courier takes care of transferring paperwork, and Rhonda handles all of the information in TRAVERSE. The remote payment entering capabilities and the ability for sales floor personnel to get instant information at both locations allows the technicians to worry about getting their customers on the road as quickly as possible.
Keeping track of what they’ve got and what they’ll need
Between Buck Sullivan’s rotating stock of cranes, beds, truck bodies and hitches, and the spreaders and conveyors made and sold by H & H Chief Sales, the two companies need to track, handle, create, and order great quantities of inventory. “We have a lot of inventory,” says Dudley with a laugh. TRAVERSE helps them track what they’ve got, and what they’re going to need—especially given the unique nature of the equipment they sell.
“The lead time for some manufacturers is a month-and-a-half,” explains Dudley. “Everything we sell—beds, bodies, cranes—needs to be handy.” To help them keep track of and anticipate demand, Buck Sullivan relies upon powerful reporting functions of the latest version of TRAVERSE, as well as the advanced inquiry power of interactive views. “With the inquiry screens, a lot of time you don’t even need a report,” says Dudley. “You can just go straight to an inquiry screen and get what you need.”
With TRAVERSE’s latest features, the customer comes first
On the busy shop floors of Buck Sullivan and H & H, customers cannot wait around for computer resources to be freed up when they’re ready to hit the road. Fortunately, the latest version of TRAVERSE can run more than one instance of an application at one time. “Some of our sales order transactions can be pages long,” says Dudley. Their old system presented a problem if a customer needed to interrupt the order process with an order of their own, but not with the new version of TRAVERSE. Now, they just open up another tab and send the customer on their way.
The latest version of TRAVERSE, designed with a .NET and SQL server framework, has features to keep controllers happy, as well. “I like the fact that it’s built on SQL as opposed to Access, too,” says Dudley. “The reports are much easier to export to Office, and the formatting is a lot better. Emailing and faxing of statements works much better… It’s worth every penny we spent to upgrade.”
Great customer service deserves great customer service
Buck Sullivan and H & H have devoted customers due to their commitment to excellent service. Unlike most equipment service shops, they even provide phone support. “Customers can call in, and if the problem is something they can fix, we tell them how to fix it over the phone,” says Dudley.
For their TRAVERSE installation, Dudley relies upon software maintenance and support directly from Open Systems. “The technical support is absolutely wonderful,” she says. “I can’t speak highly enough about them.” Open Systems makes sure that Buck Sullivan and H & H gets back to doing what they do best, just as they do for their own customers.