If this software were produced by an independent company, it would be great to have price comparisons built in to the sales or order screen, including the franchises and the warehouses. Yes, I know that I am probably dreaming here, but why not!
Finally, the inventory functions should show some features and benefits of an item that is brought up in a sales screen, like a catalog entry right on the screen, even including the picture. At the same time, it should bring up a list of any accessories, or possible related items, to help the dealer to sell.
Some of the biggest improvements would come on the accounting side of the software. Most of the franchises use a generic expense and accounting module, but many dealers do not fully utilize it. Many dealers use an accounting package (like Quickbooks), but it requires them (or their accountants) to enter the information into these programs manually. This makes duplicate work, or more expense, and tool dealers do not need either!
My dream software would use Quickbooks as its expense and accounting module. Most accountants and bookkeepers use and understand this program. You could print a standard financial statement in just seconds. Your accountant or bookkeeper could access the accounting module to make needed entries, or to monitor critical metrics. Also, you could take a class, or a read a book about Quickbooks, so that you could understand it better. Try doing any of these things with any of the route management software packages out there now.
So, that was always part of my Christmas list for route management software. I know that I would have always paid big dollars for this type of system, and I am sure that there are others out there who agree with me. But we can dream. In the meantime, there are plenty of ways to use what you have for software “tools” to effectively run your business. I will be back to explore more of those next time.
Woodward is an IT consultant and former mobile distributor based in Maine.