ECi Solutions: Integrate into a Multiple Business Management System22 Mar, 2010 By: Editorial Staff imageSource
ECi Solutions: Integrate into a Multiple Business Management System
ECi understands that to remain competitive, many office equipment dealers are
branching out into multiple lines of business, evolving into what is known as a
“hybrid dealer.” This presents new challenges. Managing several different ERP
software to perform the various tasks important to a business is no longer a
viable option. A back-end business system that integrates business process
workflow, inventory, equipment and customer service, invoicing, accounting and
analytics, and can expand onto the Internet, all using one software system, is
crucial in today’s competitive environment.
Market Drivers Impacting Office Equipment Dealers
More equipment dealers are becoming hybrid dealers, expanding their
offerings to include office supplies, professional services, IT and other
business products. This convergence isn’t new, but it is accelerating, driven by
margin pressure, consolidation, competition from OEM direct sales and the growth
of MFPs and connectivity.
As dealers look for opportunities outside their core equipment and service
offerings, they need flexible, scalable software to support this growth.
The Challenges Facing Independent Office Equipment Dealers
Independent office dealers face several challenges. Process inefficiencies
naturally develop from purchase order to the final invoice, payroll and
commissions to customer service, inventory tracking—all require a constant flow
of information. Tracking multiple items, from very small to very large, from
parts to people to data, is crucial in the office equipment industry. A simple
data entry error, lost or damaged stock, or too much inventory can cause huge
problems. Good customer service is vital, but it also takes time and requires
labor costs. And finally, with the rising costs of labor, fuel, parts and
supplies, it is more important than ever to ensure you are maintaining a certain
level of profit. Analytics are important to make sure time and money are being
spent in the right areas.
The Solution: A Complete End-to-End Business System
To manage the multi-faceted nature of the office equipment business, dealers
need to be able to manage their entire business from end-to-end using one
integrated software system. Having all data in one, easily accessible place
speeds up processes for every aspect of business and reduces man hours, labor
costs and paper workflow.
Stringing together multiple ERP software is not efficient. Not only does it
require knowledge of divergent software, the software must be compatible and
must adapt to ever-changing needs of the industry at the same pace. New
features and improvements should be regularly implemented.
An integrated system is flexible enough to customize for unique business
needs and to grow with a company.
The ECi OMD/La Crosse Advantage
ECi offers two completely integrated, end-to-end solutions for you to choose
from—OMD and La Crosse. Both have been developed by business owners like you to
meet the same needs you have. ECi has over 25 years experience in the office
equipment industry and knows what features a business needs to ensure a smooth
- Easy to use: OMD and La Crosse are both easy to learn and use. Through
context-sensitive online help that is available throughout every window,
users are able to continue to learn new areas of the system as needed.
- Included tools for added business success: ECi includes several products
that increase the usefulness of your software & further improve your
processes. These include bar code scanning and e-commerce solutions. Online
customer service allows your clients to manage their account online and
obtain needed information instantly, without costing you man hours. A Web
storefront lets your customers order supplies.
- Flexible, customizable and scalable: Both OMD and La Crosse can be
customized to fit your unique business needs. The systems are scalable and
can grow as your business grows, and new features and improvements are added
regularly. ECi fully invests in every product it sells to keep them
competitive in the marketplace.
- After-market for further expansion: ECi partners with companies that
offer additional products and services that help expand revenue generation
and expedite business processes. These solutions consist of automated meter
reading, including the ability to remotely manage equipment; networked data
collection; consumables monitoring; machine location; service and supply
chain management; remote dispatch automation; mobile workforce; GPS tracking
and routing; Web storefront for customer supply sales; and software for
establishing an online portal for customers to view their account, log
service calls, order products and enter meter readings.
- Training: ECi provides one year of unlimited training when a new system
is implemented. A variety of training options are available to all customers
at all times, including onsite training, individual phone sessions, learning
centers for live training and webinars.
- Customer service: ECi is renowned for its customer service. All support
staff is thoroughly versed in the software and respond quickly with help
when you need it.
Take the first step to fully integrate your business. Call 866-374-3221 or
What to Look For in a Solution Provider
Industry experience: Choose a provider with many years of industry
experience, a variety of customers and extensive market knowledge. The longer a
company has been around, the more changes they have responded to.
Training: This is one of the most important factors to take into
consideration. Training should be available from those who know the software
best to help you get the most benefit from your investment. Training should not
end after implementation, but should be available to help you continually
improve your knowledge and to learn new features.
A variety of training options (onsite, online, user conferences, etc.) that
suit your needs should be available.
Customer service: Every business owner knows the importance of customer
service. And when you’re the customer, you deserve good service, too. Any
information technology is going to require a readily available and knowledgeable
Partnerships: A company that holds partnerships with other companies that can
provide further services to customers is a necessity. As you require
after-market services to further refine your processes, having products
available that readily integrate with your business system is more successful
than having to research and integrate those services on your own.