Bridging The Gap1 Oct, 2001 By: Vendor Insight: CalType Solution, Inc. imageSource
Bridging The Gap
is the mother of invention” has never been more aptly applied than to the
birth of CalType Solution, Inc., one of the recognized leaders in the software
systems world. Its aim to provide software solutions to the office equipment
industry is not only their goal, but also the genesis of their existence.
in Columbia, Missouri in 1963, CalType was originally an office machine
dealership that grew from a small business to one of the nations leading
dealerships. In the early 1980s, the company realized that they needed a
software package to handle many of their office functions. However, upon
researching the available packages, they found none that suited the specific
needs of office machine dealers.
made the decision to take the initiative and develop their own software. They
bought the licensing rights to use RealWorld accounting software to serve as a
base. They added to that base specialized programs to track and record
serialized inventory, contract maintenance, and service dispatching along with
other vital office operations. After using their own company as the study lab
for the new software, they found the product worked so well that other office
equipment suppliers might have a use for it.
in 1985, CalType began marketing the product under CalType Solution. As Joe
Garcia, President of CalType puts it “We used the word ‘Solution’ in
singular, since there is only one solution.” In 1991, the office equipment
division split in a merger with IKON, and CalType kept the software division.
Ten years later, they have over 250 customers in the United States and Canada.
company has made it part of their overall business philosophy to put substance
over style. CalType Solution is a bottom line software with every program and
feature of the system engineered to enhance a dealership’s ability to increase
its net profit. “We may not have the snazziest looking software, but it is
very stable and based on the real life needs of our dealerships. Our software
successfully merges a comprehensive management program into an easy to use
software system,” explains Joe Garcia.
key strength of the software begins with the design of its structure. First, it
is created from the very sound RealWorld accounting program. This insures that
at its core CalType Solution serves the accounting needs of its users, which is
essentially the task of any business management system. Second, CalType Solution
is written in Acucobol, a proven language for handling complex business
applications, and is easy to transport to other platforms.
CalType Solution is available for DOS, Novell, Windows, Windows NT, and SCO UNIX
platforms. Add to this strong
foundation over 700 different specially created programs and you have a software
package that is solid and multifaceted.
Solution allows for the incorporation of all business activities into a central
system that promotes efficiency, accuracy, and profitability. The test of any
business operating system is how effective it will be in increasing
productivity. All system activities are tailored made for the office equipment
industry and designed to satisfy the unique needs of the industry. By providing
access to hundreds of integrated programs and reports, employees and management
have the tools necessary to tackle issues ranging from lost revenue to inventory
tracking with an ease and comprehensiveness that will increase the net revenue
of any dealership.
Saving And Inventory Management
the most significant cost saving measure CalType Solution provides is addressing
lost revenue concerns. Many dealers complain that a huge source of their lost
revenue stems from mishandled maintenance billings. CalType solves this nagging
problem by keeping accurate track of service schedules and billing amounts. The
dealership staff is saved from spending the extra time and effort to hunt down
these records, while insuring that service and the bills for that service are
sent out in a timely manner. By simply eliminating lost or unbilled service
calls, dealerships can see a significant impact on their bottom line.
software also helps maintain dealer inventory. By creating Inventory Evaluation
and Non-Activity reports, CalType Solution allows the dealership to get a grasp
on their inventory structure. These reports help managers easily recognize the
products they need and the products they need to unload. Also, by using these
reports over a period of time, management can get an accurate picture of trends
and cycles. Whether it is serialized or non-serialized, CalType improves
inventory management by integrating inventory with the sales, purchasing, and
And Remote Convenience
dispatching is another vital area CalType can improve. The software allows for
the tracking of technicians, their response times, customer down time, and
product re-calls as well as several other technical support statistics. This
gives the dealership a complete picture of the efficiency of their customer
service department. Furthermore, these tracking screens have multiple uses
allowing managers to follow the progress of service. Reports can be modified to
include any variables that management may want to see, including average time of
service and cost of repairs.
that not all business takes place within the four walls of the office, CalType
Solution software can go mobile. The system can be used from remote locations
using AcuServer - a tool that runs the software through the Internet, modem, or
direct line. This eliminates time lost from the office and the cost of long
distance calls while still operating at optimum speed.
source of company pride for CalType is the close and personal relationship it
develops with its customers. CalType users know most, if not all, of the support
staff. There is no intermediary or annoying touchtone maze to navigate when
calling for service. CalType’s service department handles things in a prompt,
efficient manner that limits the downtime for the customers as much as possible.
CalType also provides training sessions for its customer, whether it is to train
new employees, or to keep them apprised of the latest software enhancements.
CalType trainers will either visit the office dealership location or customers
can come to their corporate headquarters for training sessions conducted every
to their mission statement, CalType is “in partnership with our
customers, and is committed to providing the highest level of satisfaction
through our quality products and services.” They believe, while they may be
the experts in the writing, the customer is the expert in the needing.
Reinforcing this “customer knows best” philosophy, CalType reaches out to
their users to seek input on design changes that will improve the software. Not
only do they send out surveys and evaluations, but also CalType hosts
“think tank” sessions throughout the year in which they invite all
their customers to attend and give their feedback directly to CalType designers.
The offspring of this customer input is Advantage, a new Windows version
of CalType Solution software. Scheduled for an August 2001 roll out, it promises
to bridge their tradition of quality with the latest technology.
an increasingly competitive marketplace, CalType Solution gives office equipment
dealerships the tools necessary to be an efficient, thriving business through a
software management package designed by office equipment dealers¾for
office equipment dealers.