Switching to Pinnacle
We know that changing suppliers for any software or system can be a daunting task. When that system is at the heart of your business then the risks are much higher. At Hollander International we are keen to ensure any transition of this scale goes as smoothly as possible.
We met up with one of our latest customers Dronsfields to get a deep dive into what switching providers was like with us. See what they had to say about our service and what was involved in moving their business to Pinnacle Professional.
Q1 – What made you choose Pinnacle Pro for your yard management system?
Changing a yard management system is a big decision, it sits right at the heart of our operation and the feeling was that the decision could make or break us. I can’t pretend the decision was simple, it was for us a high stakes decision. The options for us where to stick with what we knew, upgrade with the same provider or take a leap to another provider.
I was lucky enough to be invited to a few ATFs to look at how they used their YMS, some with pinnacle and some without. To be honest all the systems looked to be achieving similar day to day experiences, I think everyone was very honest showing me both upside and down side of each system
When looking at the different YMS I had an eye on the next 5 to 10 years and wanted a system that could help us grow and also grow with us. In my opinion Pinnacle fits this requirement.
What sold me? one point that stuck in my mind when visiting the ATFs was a comment from a pinnacle user, he told me that if you have a particular problem or require the YMS to do something it currently doesn’t, Hollander will absolutely act on the feedback. Another ATF owner said that if they hadn’t moved to Pinnacle they don’t believe they would have been able to grow to the extent they have. To me that’s a serious statement to make by a business owner.
There was no single reason we chose Hollander. From the first presentation it was clear they were well prepared and knew what they were doing, we liked the direction the company appeared to be going and believed they had the better YMS for our needs, although at first it looks technical and a little overwhelming, well that’s because it is, very technical. I don’t see it as simply an YMS it is so much more, it’s a genuine business tool allowing the monitoring of every part of the business. Everyone I spoke to about pinnacle mentioned the reporting capabilities, I was told I can run a report
We went with pinnacle based on the whole package
Q2 – What was the process like in terms of getting the full YMS integrated into how you work?
I not so narrow-minded as to think I always know best, I don’t care who has a good idea if it makes sense I’ll use it.
The last time we changed YMS we tried to bend the system to our way of working, quite honestly I think it was a mistake.
Once we had made the decision to use Pinnacle we decided we would find out how it was designed to operate and we would then change our procedures to match pinnacle. I think that may not be the case with a lot of ATF and I sensed some surprise from pinnacle, we approached the change completely open minded.
Paul Cunningham and Ben Craig came to visit me on site, I ran through how we do things and why, they then explained what pinnacle can do and how. This was well in advance of the transition giving me plenty of time to prepare and brief everyone on any changes that would affect them. The transition of our working methods went really well. We have gained big time savings for our yard staff using the Work Order manager.
Q3 – How did Hollander support your transition?
As you can imagine with a change as substantial as this there was nerves abound. I did however have one advantage, I had sent 5 key members of staff (including myself) up to Hollander’s office in Edinburgh for two days of training. This proved invaluable during the transition as these people were able to help their colleagues. The team that came to site to make the transition where professional courteous and put everyone at ease. They made sure all our computers where set up at the beginning of the week and then went through well organised specific to role training in small groups. Every member of the team had received training before live day. The conversion was carried out overnight and when we arrived on site the next day we were fully operational on pinnacle. The Hollander team stayed the rest of the week working with our team ensuring everyone felt comfortable.
An email I sent just after the transition to Hollander sums up how I felt. (Below)
“The support over the last few months has been excellent, from the website concerns through to patience during our indecision. Everyone on our team who made the trip to your office for the advanced training found it highly worthwhile which undoubtedly gave them extra confidence last week. And so a big thank you for arranging that.
As you may expect I had some sleepless nights on the build up to last week, beginning the week with fairly high stress levels. That however did not last long as it became apparent very quick that both Ben and Kerr where very competent.
Although I know Ben and Kerr have a team behind them, I would like to thank them for their efforts, they showed real professionalism throughout the whole week. Their persistence and patience with the weaker members of staff was commendable, at no point did anyone feel they couldn’t ask a question (sometimes the same question time after time).
Once we went live both Ben and Kerr managed to be exactly where they needed to be at the right time. Ben was proactive with the sales team when he heard an order coming over the phone he stepped up behind the salesmen to observe the orders and prompt if needed (it was definitely needed), while Kerr seemed to be everywhere else and was constantly keeping me updated and dealing with any queries arising.
I have to say that so far the support we have received is unparalleled to any I have personally experienced.
Although we have a few problems to work through due to data conversion, namely the stock locations. I have no doubt this will be resolved expeditiously.
In my experience, it seems that people on the whole don’t like change and negativity is something to be expected. Last week however, I didn’t receive any negative comments from anyone in our company. I attribute this to your planning and of course Ben and Kerr.”
Put quite simply pinnacle has increased our sales and more importantly our bottom line.
Q4 – What key areas of Pinnacle have delivered a real benefit to your business?
Pinnacle has really helped streamlining many areas of administrative unprofitable work, in fact the system was so efficient that within the first month of running on pinnacle I was able to make staff reductions in a cost centre. The lads in the stores spend less time in the office letting the sales team know of any problems or liaising with dispatch, this is all taken care of with the Work Order manager, As a manager I am able to see on one screen every order in real time as it is generated, picked and packed, booked on a courier and dispatched.
The way we inventory vehicles in pinnacle has helped in two ways, firstly is has stopped the part being sold twice, this stops us letting customers down and stops the embarrassing call to the customer to explain we do not have what we thought we did. The second benefit is with our visibility of parts that are still on vehicles. This benefit can’t be understated, it has without doubt led to extra sales. The visibility of the parts and the way we are inventorying is also allowing the sales team to be more accurate and our returns have dropped for all salesmen, clearly no coincidence.
A benefit that we did not even appreciate we would receive is the inter-trading with other pinnacle users. This has helped two fold, increased sales to other pinnacle users and by selling other pinnacle users stock we are able to satisfy customers requirements we otherwise may not have managed.
Put quite simply pinnacle has increased our sales and more importantly our bottom line.
Q5 – How would you describe the service from Pinnacle from pre-install to completion?
I struggle to find fault in any of the service from pinnacle from pre install until today. The service has been Professional throughout with a dedicated team.
Any actions needed have been swiftly and decisively taken. I think just about all our requests where met before and during completion
Going right back to the first question I said “it was a high stakes decision” six months down the line do I think It was the right decision? The learning curve was big, bigger than I expected, but categorically yes it was the right decision, we still don’t use all the benefits of pinnacle yet and we are still learning. The directors and I however know that pinnacle will help us to achieve our long term goals. If I could change one thing… we should have moved sooner.
Contact Hollander International today for a no obligation chat about your yards requirements or request a demo
Download this Dronsfields Case Study.
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