Ken Smith Auto Parts is a locally owned and operated automotive parts supplier with over 50 years of experience serving family owned repair shops, vehicle fleets, national service chains and dealerships as well as selling tools, shop equipment and supplies.
There has been a great deal of growth over the last 50 years for Ken Smith Auto Parts. The company now has operations across 12 locations in the US, employing 16 outside salespeople.
Ken Smith Auto Parts sets, themselves apart from the competition by offering OE or OE quality lines, multiple daily deliveries, and a variety of technical training from industry leading manufacturers.
"sales-i has become an integral part of our everyday business operations, it gives me a management tool for overseeing productivity that our company has never previously had."
Mike Chappell, Sales Manager for Ken Smith Auto Parts, explained that with the expansion of the business the biggest challenge, similar to what so many other companies struggle with, was an inability to track sales and productivity. “Quite simply, before sales-i it was something we were just not able to do.” says Mike.
Tim Gray, Fleets Account Manager at Ken Smith Auto Parts backs this up, “Realizing sales variances and other data in an accurate, timely manner so we could act or react in the most effective manner was our biggest challenge pre-sales-i.”
The team at Ken Smith Auto Parts decided to take action and give sales-i a try. After a successful online demo, the company linked up their DST back office ERP data with sales-i, and by November 2012 they were live with the sales-i system and the company hasn’t looked back since.
Tim explains, “sales-i met all the extremely important challenges we had by allowing my company to have all the information that was needed at our finger tips, instantly.”
Even though it’s been over 5 years since Ken Smith Auto Parts first used sales-i, the company’s love for the software is still strong. Mike explains, “I use sales-i daily to track anything I need to see regarding part sales, location sales or personnel! I really like the fact that every piece of information available on the invoice is at your fingertips and can be dissected any way you need it.”
When asked which features of sales-i the team at Ken Smith Auto Parts are benefiting from the most, Mike replied: “There are too many benefits to list but probably the ability to track a sales person’s performance and sales trends has been the most beneficial to us.” This functionality has given the sales team at Ken Smith Auto Parts the ability to prioritize their activity, anticipate market conditions and work on weaknesses in their sales process.
Tim is particularly keen on fast access data sales-i gives him and his team, ‘’sales-i provides our employees the vital data we need instantly. This allows us to proceed confidently with a plan or proposal because, “the numbers don’t lie”, and we now have the numbers.’’
Tim continues, “Before sales-i, I would spend hours or even days trying to gather customer sales data, compile it into a spreadsheet or power point, find gains or losses, locate issues or problem areas and come up with a concise business plan to present. This process now takes, literally, seconds. I think I’d sooner give up my phone than my sales-i.”
The company’s aim moving forward is simple: “To learn to build and maintain automated reporting using sales-i and also learn to fully utilize any other feature of sales-i that can help us grow our business.”
They are looking to achieve this by using the enquiries section of sales-i to create saveable reports which can track trends in customer spend, cost, products bought and much more.
Mike likes the fact that these in-depth reports can then be saved globally (so every sales-i user can access the report from their home dashboard) and updated whenever needed at the click of a button. This gives the sales team in depth information and saves time on data analysis which they can instead spend on selling.