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Technology: Flooring software aims to bring simplicity to daily workflow

March 5/12, 2018: Volume 33, Issue 19

By Lindsay Baillie

 

Las Vegas—Business management, estimating and measuring software manufacturers continue to serve up solutions to simplify flooring dealers’ daily processes. At Surfaces, these companies showed off the latest programs and apps in cloud- and browser-based formats for both residential and commercial businesses.

The following is an overview of some of the new programs and apps unveiled during Surfaces 2018.

Comp-U-Floor
Comp-U-Floor’s latest web and mobile applications are now all cloud-based, which has sped up the databases five or six times the original speed, according to the company. The software can also now be run on any device, including iPads, Androids, computers and iPhones.

“With Comp-U-Floor web and mobile, you can access your system from anywhere on any device,” said Mark Wiltgen, sales and marketing manager. “There’s now a mobile app available for installers, which has multiple filtering and search capabilities. It has secure dashboards to provide a quick analysis of all business operations, which are all filed and listed based on the user’s role in the company.”

With this updated system, retailers can now walk around showrooms with the customer and do all of the sales processes from an iPad or other hand-held electronic devices.

Kerridge Commercial Solutions
Kerridge Commercial Solutions has unveiled an improved installation scheduling interface, a real-time general ledger for mid-month financials and increased trigger functionality, which sends users notifications whenever data is added, changed or deleted.

“Trigger functionality helps resolve issues before they become an issue,” said Lisa Truitt White, marketing manager for North America.

“For example, when a backorder is delayed and a purchase order is updated, the sales rep in charge of the order is notified immediately and can manage the customer experience prior to a job delay.”

Kerridge Commercial Solutions is also in the process of increasing functionality in its already ingrained CRM software.

Measure Square
Measure Square introduced its latest AR tool, which aims to make it easier for homeowners and dealers to conduct a home measuring, according to Steven Wang, president. To use the tool, a user simply calibrates the device he or she is using to measure and then selects the corners of the room. After the measurement of the space is calculated, the user can select various flooring types to view in the space. What’s more, the user also gets a finished drawing of the floor plan.

In addition to the AR tool, Measure Square has updated the number of devices able to run its applications. “We have launched the same software on Android devices,” Wang explained. “It’s now available on all devices.”

Measure Square has also integrated with other flooring software companies, including QFloors, RollMaster and Comp-U-Floor. These integrations aim to allow information to flow seamlessly from one program to another.

One program currently in testing is Measure Square’s new AI technology. “The program can automatically detect where the corners of the room are,” Wang explained. “The user first uploads a floor plan and the AI tool automatically detects where the room is and what the dimensions are.”

RFMS
RFMS brought a host of software enhancements to Surfaces. Among them is the Measure Mobile Order Entry, which allows dealers to go in the home and complete a measure and order (see page 35).

In addition to several mobile apps, new installer scheduling programs and a new CRM mobile app, RFMS is also developing a new data collection system. “We’re bringing a whole new ideology into the industry with our data collection system called Business Insights,” said Terry Wheat, CEO. “We’ll be able to give you trends on different products, average selling prices in different regions, average costs, etc. We will have data collected in one central [repository], and all the people who are already sharing data are already able to benchmark.”

The new system has been in development for the past two years. “To date, we have 162 stores sharing data and we’ll have 500 stores by summer,” Wheat said. “Our goal is to have in excess of 3,000 to 5,000 stores sharing data. And then we’ll able to give users statistics on their financials and sales across the industry.”

RollMaster
Integration with Measure Square, new Install Web Calendar and Mobile Sales apps and automation are just a few of RollMaster’s new innovations for 2018.

“We’re integrating with Measure Square for commercial and residential measuring,” said Kelly Oeschlin, marketing coordinator/technical writer. “If users have RollMaster and are using Measure Square once they do the takeoffs and whatnot, it gets uploaded back into RollMaster.”

This integration, along with the company’s new apps, are part of RollMaster’s mission to help make users better businesspeople, according to Oeschlin. The Install Web Calendar and the Mobile Sales App were developed to allow employees in the field to have access to customer information, which promotes productive, knowledgeable conversations. Managers can also have access to inventory, payments and other key features to help run the business.

RollMaster has also incorporated automation as a way to help its users. “There are all of these programs in marketing and business that we’re bringing in and giving access to our users, so they can connect,” Oeschlin explained. “For example, online reviews with Testimonial Tree. We also integrate with Retail Lead Management so that users can access that program.”

Pacific Solutions
New to Pacific Solutions is the company’s multi-family portal for its mobile plan. As Bob Noe Jr., president, explains: “If you’re in an apartment complex and using the multi-family portal, you can call up the unit number and confirm the floor plan, and you can tell it whether or not you’re changing the carpet and then submit that information to the system.”

Pacific Solutions’ SiteDraw has also been updated to allow the use of an iPad as a reference point for measuring. SiteDraw’s current features include measuring, drawing, positioning, placing doors, measuring angles and curves, naming rooms, placing flooring product in designated rooms, recording nots, access to saved files and various export options.

The company also showcased changes to its FloorRight software, which allows users to import flooring plans, create materials, draw rooms, add transitions, add bases, estimate the job, generate reports and integrate with management software. “Now FloorRight software can automatically find wall perimeters,” Noe added.

QFloors
QFloors has released the first edition of QPro POS+, a 100% browser-based cloud software. According to Chad Ogden, president, all current QFloors customers will eventually be grandfathered into the software at no additional cost.

“Our QPro product is the one that everyone has been waiting for,” he said. “It’s the first time we’re selling it to the public and we’re excited as a company.”

As a browser-based cloud software, QPro has lower operating and material costs, greater device independence, easier customization, more flexibility and compatibility, easier third-party integration and enhanced security and redundancy.

In addition to QPro, QFloors is offering users a commercial version of the original QFloors and a Mobile Office application. The company has also integrated with Measure Square to provide seamless transitions from one program to the other.

“For our current users, the Mobile Office can help increase sales with less mistakes and the receivables go down,” Ogden said. “They can also do everything in-house.”

 

Digital services galore at Surfaces

Various tech companies got a chance to shine at Surfaces as they sought to provide assistance to dealers struggling with their own websites and digital strategies. Among them: Creating Your Space (CYS) and Floor Force, which showcased updates to their programs and proven solutions for digital marketing and CRM.

CYS demonstrated the depth of customization to its full digital marketing program. How it works: Every dealer gets a custom, unique program starting with the website all the way through the digital marketing. “It helps them not only get their hands around a complicated offering that changes daily, but it also ensures they get exactly what they need for their business,” said Jay Flynn, vice president, CYS.

CYS customizes its digital programs based on the following criteria: the size of a business, its goals, the competition in the store’s area and the store’s budget. “There are a number of digital marketing tools out there with varying goals and purposes,” Flynn said. “What we’ve done is broken it down for the dealer based on those four parameters and said, ‘Here are the tools and the right budget based on where you are for your business.’”

While digital marketing and social media strategies are still relatively fresh concepts to industry members, John Weller, co-founder, Floor Force, sees an optimism in dealers and a shift toward greater digital involvement. “We’ve gone from about 20% of our retailers investing in websites and paid advertising to over 50%. We now have over 1,000 retailers doing Google AdWords, which is a huge sign that people are starting to really understand digital marketing. We expect to have over 1,000 dealers on our Facebook campaign this year. Things are progressing.”

As for new offerings, Floor Force has completely changed its portfolio. “We’ve added integrated CRM to our program, and we’ve also partnered with Retail Lead Management,” Weller said. “We’ve developed a really well-thought-out CRM system that is fully integrated with our website.”
Floor Force is also launching a new Facebook inventory ad program that will allow retailers to put products into various product catalogs and clearance sections, which will then be continuously added to a curated product catalog of in-stock products available for consumers to see throughout their online journey.

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Quemere Designs implements KCS’ K8

Cary, N.C.—Quemere Designs, a manufacturer creating premium handmade tiles for the luxury markets around the globe, has successfully implemented K8, according to Kerridge Commercial Systems (KCS). Quemere deployed K8 to facilitate all sales, operations, production and accounting processes across its operation.

“The successful implementation of K8 at Quemere is a stellar example of how we partner with our customers to move their businesses forward,” said Alan Cross, executive vice president North America, KCS. “K8 has a proven track record for providing real-time information across all areas of the business giving our customers more control and less stress on a daily basis.”

K8 is a fully integrated core software system including financials, BI, WMS and CRM. The KCS solution is complete with sales order processing, purchase order control, stock management, integrated financials, business intelligence, CRM, e-commerce solutions, warehouse management, tool and equipment rental and much more.

“We chose K8 for a couple of reasons,” said Rich Yuris, CFO of Ferazzoli Imports of New England. “First, we have a long history with KCS. Their understanding of our business needs was invaluable when looking at alternatives for our newest company, Quemere Designs. We wanted something that would not only work well for this company, but would ultimately become the primary ERP solution for all of our companies.”

 

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Chameleon Power debuts next-gen software at NAHB International Builders’ show

Novi, Mich.—Chameleon Power, a leader in photorealistic visualization technology in 2D, 3D, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, will debut the next generation of its comprehensive set of software applications for home builders at the NAHB International Builders’ Show in January (Booth #W7271). This suite of tools helps builders to market their homes more effectively, and assists home buyers through the entire design and selection process.

Chameleon Power builder’s software includes: 

  • Lead Generation Tool – a photorealistic visualizer that helps buyers to find and decorate available homes in a community. Buyers can save and share their designs, generating leads for the sales center/team.
  • Kitchen & Bath Visualizer – online tools that allow buyers to view and select materials in standard room scenes, and in their own home during the selection process.
  • Virtual Reality (VR) – a VR toolkit to help home buyers with selections and design with a 3D model of their homes in a fully immersive environment. Reduces the need for model building, lowering the cost of developing communities.
  • Digital Selections Guide – a web-based tool that allows the buyer to select and organize home options and upgrades. The guide is accessible by both the builder and buyer in real time.
  • Augmented Reality (AR) Lot Selection– a mobile app that allows buyers to view and select model homes on available lots in a development.

All applications are built on Chameleon Power’s proprietary asset management system and visualization engine. In combination, this software platform will manage and configure a nearly infinite amount of product and image data, and allow it to be leveraged through Chameleon Power visualizers in 2D, 3D, VR and AR viewing environments.

For additional details, contact Chameleon Power at info@chameleonpower.com.

 

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Technology: Cloud-based software helps flooring retailers stay mobile

November 27-December 11, 2017: Volume 32, Issue 13

By Lindsay Baillie

 

In keeping with the growing computing demands of small and large businesses alike, technology companies are developing a host of cloud-based software programs and systems. The primary goal is to provide their customers with improved data sharing and security, better user access, easy upgrades and software fixes.

While there are multiple differences between a cloud-based system and an in-house program, one of the most significant is the fact that a cloud-based system is not housed within a customer’s desktop computer. This allows the user to access specific programs anywhere as long as he or she has Internet or browser access. What’s more, because cloud-systems do not require direct changes to a user’s desktop, updates and software fixes are more easily implemented and can often be customized for each user.

Following are some of the industry’s top cloud-based software systems and their recent program updates:

American Business Software
ABS offers FloorPro, a cloud-based software that often looks different for each customer. According to Joseph Flannick, ABS president, the software consists of 400 to 500 programs depending on how it is configured for a specific customer. In addition to a customized system, updates—which are delivered through the cloud—are also specific to a user and dependent on his or her needs.

A key feature of the system is its versatility. “Not everyone gets the same thing at the same time,” Flannick explained. “Across the course of a year there are generally 150-200 new updates and a lot of stuff are things people have requested. Our software is developed for cloud-based operation, so it works extremely fast in a cloud-based environment.”

Comp-U-Floor
Comp-U-Floor has offered its ERP software as a cloud-based option for more than 10 years. The company currently has thousands of users accessing its cloud services from the U.S. and Canada.

“Our Comp-U-Floor ERP software has been redeveloped under a web and mobile platform,” said Mark Wiltgen, sales and marketing manager. “What this means to our clients is the software is no longer based on a Microsoft Windows platform, which limits the type of devices that are used to access the software. Users can now access the Comp-U-Floor ERP software on any device with an Internet connection and web browser. This allows users to be completely mobile and still have access to the software.”

FloorSoft
FloorSoft’s cloud-based software for measuring and estimating was developed in 1998. Since then the program has grown to include more than 1,500 users in 46 states and Canada.

“When we started our program we didn’t really have a development partner,” said John Petrel, president. “Now that we have a product we found users have a lot of ideas and they’re willing to tell us how to make it better.”

According to Petrel, the company collects suggestions and puts them on an issue list. Then every two weeks FloorSoft has a meeting and reviews all of the issues and suggestions. These ideas are then put into production. “Once we deliver them to production we put out a notification to all users and we acknowledge the person or persons who had the idea,” Petrel explained.

What’s more, the company has developed a system to assist users who might have to use the program in areas without Internet access.

“Even though we are cloud based, when you are in the field measuring you don’t have to have Internet connection,” Petrel explained. “Before you go out into the field to measure, you contact the cloud and the system takes all of the information about the job and downloads it to the client. Later, when you reconnect, you can bring the data back to the cloud so anyone on the team can access the data.”

Measure Square
Measure Square currently offers cloud-based software through its popular FloorLink CRM system. Recent enhancements have improved efficiencies for users across the system.

“In our most recent update of the FloorLink CRM, we have added a dashboard function that makes it easier for administrators to keep track of various aspects of the sales and installation process,” said Darienne Jordan, office coordinator and marketing manager. “As well, we have added a job funnel to keep track of job progress with all installers and estimators. This updated version is designed to make it easier to keep track of and follow up with customer management for those utilizing our software.”

One of the biggest benefits to using cloud-based software is the ability to see and share projects amongst a group of users. “This makes for more effective management of projects and saves time when having to access product databases or needing to make changes to a takeoff for an existing project,” Jordan noted.

NivBen
NivBen’s Premium Flooring Estimator 2040 is a cloud-based software program that can be used for residential projects and new commercial buildings. The software includes other programs such as proposals/samples, schedule measure request forms, a roll manager and an instruction manual to help streamline processes.

“Bidding on projects big or small can affect the bottom line if not done right,” said Dennis Benton, president. “The use of computers has helped me and my company fix ‘miss measures’ or math mistakes. You are able to estimate showing master cuts and fills with all seams showing. Proposals can be made much faster because all quantities are transferable over to the invoice.”

The Premium Flooring Estimator 2040 draws from the PDF layout provided by the architect all the products that are being specified for bid. These take-offs separate each product needed to be estimated and supply the user with all of the quantities for that layout.

Pacific Solutions
PacSol Cloud, the company’s browser-based system, allows users to check customer and vendor information as well as work orders via an Internet browser.

“We’ve had a cloud-based system for years because our technology runs on Apple products,” said Bob Noe Jr., president. “The downside is it only works on the IOS system, so we have started writing some modules.”

According to Noe, converting to cloud is something that takes time and requires knowledge about what platforms a company is developing for. “Converting to cloud for us is building the very best solution so when users access it through any device it rocks. To make the software really right we have to think: What does the user need to see when she looks at this program on her phone? If we were to jam every feature into the Android phone that’s on a desk platform it would be overwhelming.”

QFloors
QFloors offers two types of cloud software technology: QCloud, which has been around approximately 15 years, and QPro, a new product that was developed over the past few years.

QCloud gives users access to their complete QFloors system through servers stored on the cloud. Customers access their QFloors software through an icon on their desktop. QPro is based on web browser and mobile app innovations. This type of system is accessed via any type of device with a web browser and removes the expense of paying licensing fees to third-party companies.

“You are not required to download or install anything, and you can use whatever brand or type of device you wish as long as it has a web browser,” said Chad Ogden, CEO and president. “Once the users log in through the browser, they can then access their QFloors system and data.”

Eventually the full QFloors system will be converted to this new QPro technology, beginning with QPro POS+, which is expected to be released by the end of 2017.

RFMS
RFMS offers numerous cloud-based software and services—a web-based hosting service and several mobile applications. With the hosting service, RFMS users can access the company’s business management software using the Internet. All the software is in the cloud, which means the RFMS user no longer has to worry about system updates, hardware maintenance, backups or operating system updates.

“We also offer two distinct products that use cloud technology to streamline the way the sales process works in the flooring operation,” said Maria Cauchon, media services director. “With these two applications, a salesperson can estimate, create quotes or orders and post payments using any mobile device. RFMS Mobile allows orders and payments, product look-ups and more while in the field or in a customer’s home. The information then connects to the cloud to sync up with the database, updating the main RFMS system.”

Measure Mobile 3, another RFMS application, lets users draw rooms and apply RFMS product information to create a quick estimate. “RFMS Mobile is undergoing a soft rollout and we expect to see many features and upgrades in the next quarter,” Cauchon said.

RollMaster
RollMaster software is delivered one of two ways. The first is via a secure cloud-based server that the company hosts and protects; the other is via a user’s own installed server. Regardless of how the user chooses to set up the software, the program can be accessed from anywhere at any time with Internet access on a laptop or desktop computer. “We are moving in a very mobile-friendly direction with the software,” said Kelly Oechslin, marketing coordinator. “This means several browser-based and mobile phone applications can access key data from the system.”

A couple of these products include the RMMobileSales app, which allows for outside salespeople to look up customer data, product pricing and inventory availability. The RMWeb Installation Calendar app connects floor layers in the field with the scheduling and installation component of RollMaster software. The company’s new API Integration allows for non-flooring-specific business features to interact with RollMaster data. This includes features such as Testimonial Tree to gather and post online reviews, marketing integration and CRM platforms.

Surge1
Surge1 is a fully scalable, cloud-based platform designed to provide office automation for installation companies. Surge1’s product provides a complete, standalone solution that also integrates easily with existing systems.

“Our solution was designed from the ground up by installers,” said Jacob Myatt, CEO. “Our installation specialists work with our development team each day to create the best solution for office, field and warehouse.”

The company is working on several updates including its offline mobile app, which is expected to launch in the first quarter for Android and Apple products. This will allow flooring installers to see their schedules, pay sheets and measure diagrams when they travel to an area outside of cell service.

 

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Mill Creek chooses K8 business management software

Screen Shot 2017-11-21 at 11.05.24 AMCary, N.C.—Mill Creek Lumber & Supply Co., has chosen Kerridge Commercial Systems’ (KCS) K8 as the business management software for its LMB business. Mill Creek has purchased a K8 system to include Web Builder, and will leverage the KCS product portfolio to take its business above current industry standards and prepare for future growth.

“Kerridge Commercial Systems is a leading software company that provides a highly integrated system with proven capabilities in two core industries that are vital to Mill Creek—lumber and building materials as well as flooring materials,” said Wade Lennon, Mill Creek CFO. “The software, combined with KCS’s culture and drive to work with its customers, proved to be the right solution for our company.”

For more information on Kerridge Commercial Systems visit, kerridgecsna.com.

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QFloors highlights new partnerships, products and features during conference

CHR_6308Cozumel, Mexico—QFloors explored new partnerships, products and features during its 2017 “Dive Deeper” Users Conference, held on the Norwegian Escape, Nov 4-11. The 61 attendees participated in business and software training, collaboration and roundtable discussions during the days at sea.

At the conference Chad Ogden, QFloors president, announced a new partnership with Measure Square. “Partnering together, we’re able to create the strongest combination of estimation and business management software in the flooring industry.”

A great deal of buzz revolved around the new browser-based cloud software product, QPro POS+. Attendees were given a log in and invited to familiarize themselves with it. Ogden explained they would be able to see updates in real time as programmers continue to add to the browser-based cloud software product. The introduction of the new QFloors Mobile Suite was also met with enthusiasm by attendees. With new and better mobile technology, flooring dealers can now take care of everything from A to Z on an iPad or tablet computer, all before stepping away from the customer’s living room.

Trent Ogden, QFloors CFO, provided in-depth business training for attendees. “‘Dive Deeper’ is the perfect theme for this conference,” he explained, “because this is not just a high level “click here to do this” type of software training. We’re not just showing how to access important numbers and reports through QFloors, we’re teaching them how to evaluate and use those numbers to make the very best decisions for their business.”

In forum discussions, QFloors customers Jennifer Schmidt, Greg Besteman and Rex Fabrizio shared their experiences with topics such as utilizing B2B, wisely taking advantage of opportunities to distinguish your company and how using credit card tokenization can be a game changer when it comes to receivables.

The conference concluded with Chad Ogden leading a roundtable discussion on features attendees would most like to see added to the legacy QFloors software.

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Target Estimating assists contractors with net quantity calculations

Screen Shot 2017-10-30 at 4.40.59 PMSt. Petersburg, Fla.—Target Estimating aims to make determining net quantities faster, more affordable and more accurate for flooring contractors. The company was created by Skip Bendig, a flooring contractor of 15 years.

Target Estimating uses Estimate All, a software program developed by Safe Harbor, to complete all of its net quantity requests. The program was designed specifically for flooring and can handle all aspects of net quantity estimating.

“I started the company in August of last year,” Bendig said. “I can do any take off as long as I know the materials.”

As a seasoned flooring contractor, Bendig also knows what to look for when estimating net quantities. This includes transitions which are often left out of requests, he explained.

Target Estimating software takes on jobs of all sizes—nothing is too large or too small, according to Bendig. Most projects are completed in under two days and are completed at a rate that won’t break the bank.

The company’s client list is available upon request.

For more information, visit targetestimatingllc.com.

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Technology: Industry-specific vs. generic software—Is there room enough for two?

August 28/September 4: Volume 32, Issue 6

By Lindsay Baillie

 

Choosing the perfect software for a business can seem like a daunting task, especially with all of the different choices available. Industry-specific software and generic systems are just two of the overarching categories of solutions available, and they both provide a series of positives to help flooring retailers manage their businesses.

While looking for software takes time, Kelly Oechslin, marketing coordinator at Rollmaster, suggests retailers take the 80/20 approach. “When you find a solution that does 80% of what you need, you are better off starting there and working with the industry-specific developer than any other provider in further development of additionally needed functionality.”

Joseph Flannick, president, American Business Software (ABS), also suggests thinking about how much complexity a company can handle and how much time the company is willing to spend setting up the software.

Overall, software experts urge retailers to understand that not all software (including generic and industry-specific) is made the same. Many of the systems offer different services and some are easier to use than others. The size of a dealer and a store’s commitment to implementing the software are two factors that can change how a particular program will benefit the user.

Following are general advantages and disadvantages to using industry-specific and generic solutions, according to software experts.

Screen Shot 2017-09-05 at 12.22.51 PM

 

 

 

 

One of the benefits in using industry-specific software is familiarity; many developers generally have a greater understanding of industry needs and procedures. In addition, those systems usually contain industry-specific features that help businesses of all sizes streamline processes.

As Mark Wiltgen, sales and marketing manager, Comp-U-Floor, explains: “Software companies that develop industry-specific software have made substantial financial investments, plus years of software development efforts to understand the industry vertical-market requirements and incorporate unique productivity tools, which provide business advantages over generic software products that do not include these features.”

In addition, many industry software developers are able to address individual needs important to each flooring business’s core processes, Rollmaster’s Oeschlin explained.

This key ability allows for a system to be fine-tuned not only to the flooring industry but to the individual needs of the retailer—something a retailer may not find in a generic system, according to Bob Noe, president, Pacific Solutions.

When looking specifically at Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions, an industry-specific software program has the potential to offer flooring retailers business process management, lead management, fcB2B connections, inventory control for roll goods, tracking contract labor, etc.

“One of the main pain points for dealers in regard to software features is the unique issue of tracking roll goods,” said Maria Cauchon, media services director, RFMS. “The over-the-counter software packages simply can’t handle roll inventory.”

Beyond the features industry-specific software offers, the program also helps to decrease the opportunities for human error. Unlike a generic system, most industry-specific programs do not allow just anyone to access and change information.

“You can track things such as sample checkouts or labor, and you shouldn’t need as many accounting workarounds to get accurate numbers,” said Chad Ogden, CEO and president, QFloors. “You’ll have greater accounting accuracy.”

Furthermore, most of these systems are able to help users decrease the need for manual conversions, according to Gaston Baladi, creator of WIP, a scheduling and tracking program for the flooring industry.

To add even more value, industry-specific software usually comes with a support team that is keyed in to the flooring industry, Comp-U-Floor’s Wiltgen explained.

Screen Shot 2017-09-05 at 12.22.59 PM

 

 

Most software experts agree generic systems often offer a solution with a smaller upfront cost. However, they also caution retailers to consider any additional costs that might be tacked on as the business grows and requires different features.

“Generic software is best used for small companies with limited budgets and resources for implementation,” Comp-U-Floors’ Wiltgen suggested.

In addition, generic software may also have a shorter learning curve. “The main advantage to generic software is outside accounting firms are more familiar with these programs,” QFloors’ Ogden said. “Additionally, a back-office employee who has gone to school for accounting will probably be familiar with how to navigate within QuickBooks.”

Another advantage involves the ability to add minor modifications to the system. A reseller that is familiar with the system often has the capability to make those changes, according to Pacific Solutions’ Noe.

Overall, generic software provides a flexible system with the freedom to enter and manipulate functions. “It’s very easy,” WIP’s Baladi said. “When using a generic software you can set it up the way you want.”

Screen Shot 2017-09-05 at 12.23.08 PM

Similar to the advantages, the downside to using industry-specific software may vary depending on multiple factors such as the size of a business and the willingness of management to commit to the software.

One of the major disadvantages is the potential higher initial cost. However, according to Comp-U-Floor’s Wiltgen, “The apparent higher cost is quickly recovered from productivity gains and growth with better financial returns.”

While some industry-specific software might be harder, or take more time to learn than generic, the level of difficulty and amount of time is dependent on which software a retailer is using. Each industry-specific program has its own learning curve and ease-of-use level.

Beyond the cost of the software, industry-specific programs may not have as many accounting features. “Some of the accounting and reporting features are not as robust as those found in generic software,” QFloors’ Ogden explained. “Also, some outside accounting firms turn their noses up a bit at industry-specific software because they only want to deal with what they know and are familiar with—which is generic software.”

Another disadvantage, Ogden adds, is some industry-specific software is only designed for larger operations, and some is only designed for smaller operations. A company seeing rapid growth could have trouble transitioning from one system to another.

In addition, if a smaller business purchases something designed for a larger company, it can be a large financial investment. Also it might take time for the smaller business to get the proper return on investment. Conversely, if a large business purchases something developed for a smaller company it will quickly outgrow the system. The system might not have all of the features a larger business needs.

Screen Shot 2017-09-05 at 12.23.15 PM

 

 

One of the crucial disadvantages of using generic software is the lack of important industry-specific features most companies need to run daily functions.

“General programs like QuickBooks and Sage cannot handle carpet roll inventory correctly, so it may cause installation or sales errors from time to time,” said Steven Wang, president, Measure Square.

Most software experts agree another important point to consider with generic software is most accounting entries are not done correctly for the flooring industry. These systems, they say, often require a lot of additional manual journal entries in order to get correct results.

“Because of these shortcomings, it generally requires more manpower, more resources and more time to process the same amount of business as if you were to use an effective, industry-specific piece of software,” Ogden explained.

Furthermore, while the initial cost of generic software may be cheaper than industry-specific programs, it is often more expensive over time. According software experts, these systems can force retailers to pay more in overhead. As a business expands and more accounting help is needed, the retailer ends up paying people to do what an industry-specific program can do on its own.

Another disadvantage to using generic software is the lack of industry experts available to help tweak the software to fit a retailer’s needs. Custom training and support are not always available when using generic software, critics say.

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RFMS adds implementation team, trainers

image001Tuscaloosa, Ala.—RFMS, a provider of business management software for the flooring industry, recently re-organized its software implementation department to improve the way new users go live with the program. The company also added Jennifer King to its implementation team, and Jamie Gauen and Cindy Thompson to the RFMS training team.

King was a previous RFMS user and brings years of experience not only in the flooring industry but with the RFMS business management system. Gauen bring many years of experience using RFMS and looks forward to providing top level training to all RFMS clients. Thompson previous worked with the RFMS Helpdesk team.

The implementation team prepares a new user’s database, which contains items such as vendors, customers, chart of accounts and accounting setup, product data, commission tables and more. This assistance enables the new users to begin to use RFMS at a faster pace.

“It provides both the client and the trainer with improved education on using the RFMS software without getting bogged down in the initial setup phase,” said Joey Denson, implementation manager, RFMS.

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Dancik sells new ERP system to Premier Tile

Screen Shot 2017-06-01 at 9.49.39 AMCary, N.C.—Dancik has sold a 35-user SaaS license for Navigator, DNav-BI, DNav-Online, and DNav-EDI to Premier Tile—a distributor of tile, stone, LVP/LVT, brick and related accessories that serves retailers throughout the Midwest.

Premier Tile has been utilizing its current ERP system since 2005, but concerns with hardware infrastructure, lack of future scalability and limited hosting options lead them to select a new business management solution.

“Premier Tile chose Dancik for its ERP solution for a number of reasons,” said Kerry Reiss, controller at Premier Tile Corp. “They are the industry leader for floor covering distribution companies, 100% cloud based and offer customer access immediately. Also, they are scalable, allowing us to not only meet the needs of today but to easily scale to the needs of tomorrow.”

DNav is a fully integrated enterprise management solution designed specifically for flooring retailers, manufacturers and distributors. Sales processing, mobile data access, inventory management, business intelligence and accounting are easy to use and fully integrated. DNav’s modern architecture and comprehensive industry-specific functionality make it the easy choice for flooring companies looking to take their business to the next level.