How a Partner with Automotive Industry Experience Helped Auto Action Technologies Get in the Lead with Acumatica
Installing aftermarket automotive accessories is a competitive business, and Auto Action Technologies (formerly Auto Action Group) is out in the forefront. They have grown to become a nationwide provider of accessories to both public and private clients, such as Siemens and Verizon.
Things haven’t always been so rosy for Auto Action; they’ve faced some hard times and tragic losses. But their CEO and his business partner made some smart moves – including the implementation of Acumatica Cloud ERP – that put them back on top.
In the beginning: Ups and Downs
Back in 1978, Auto Action Technologies got its start in the hands of Bruce Cohen. His original focus was providing aftermarket automotive accessories to dealerships, installing them on-site or, as they grew, one of Auto Action Technologies’ service centers. As time went on, he added other services to their offerings, such as car washes and limo services. Sadly, after 27 years of hard work, Bruce unexpectedly had a heart attack and passed away.
After the tragic loss, Auto Action Technologies needed a leader. Bruce’s son, Jared, had studied with a view to entering the restaurant industry, but at his mother Brenda’s request, he took the reins of the family business.
Although Jared wasn’t an auto-industry expert, he did know a thing or two about business. He formed a partnership with Joe Cardinale, then head of sales. The duo put their hands to the plow and opened several new locations. However, they didn’t have technology in place to manage the operations across the different branches, which moved them to migrate to Millennium Power Base, a Linux-based solution, in 2006.
The new system brought several improvements, including tighter control over sales, the general ledger, and even a web app. Although they managed to increase their client base, they still struggled to keep up with their distributed operations and remain competitive in a changing industry landscape – car manufacturers were starting to sell accessories and become their competition. As a result, they decided to scale back to just their original facility.
Seeing an opportunity, Jared and Joe shifted gears and started installing leather seats, sunroofs, and other accessories. Still, they had electronics technicians that were underutilized, so they were put to work installing auto safety devices to capitalize on another increasing trend. This got them back on track, growing their clientele and even garnering them a large contract.
Looking to the Future…
Acumatica Fuels Growth
Now back on a good growth trajectory, Auto Action Technologies was again straining their Millennium Power Base software system, as well as the energies of their dedicated programmer. The handwriting was on the wall; it was time to invest in better technology. Jared did some digging and came across Patricia Bennett of PC Bennett Solutions.
Jared was on the hunt for a cloud application that could run their business from end to end. It needed to help them manage inventory and handle their installation operations. Although he did consider Microsoft Dynamics and a few other ERPs, it was the auto industry experience and custom-tailored solutions based on Acumatica, provided by Patricia and her team, that made the decision a no-brainer.
All of this change came about right as the COVID-19 pandemic began to take hold. With the expert guidance of PC Bennett Solutions, Auto Action Technologies took advantage of the temporary shutdown to move ahead with the Acumatica implementation, including Advanced Financials, Service Management, Warehouse Management, Expense Management, CRM, and other useful tools.
Here are some of Auto Action Technologies’ favorite features of Acumatica
Maps and Appointment Boards
“We’re able to see how long it takes for someone to go from point A to point
B and ask the questions necessary to determine why it takes someone else longer. That’s a large expense for us: gas, tolls, and drivers’ time, so connecting them to the Acumatica brain allows us to look at inefficiencies and determine how to fix them quickly. We never had a grip on that before.”
Unlimited User Licensing
“When we grow, it’s nice to know we’re not going to get nickeled and dimed.”
“The dashboards help us tremendously. Without a full-time person to analyze the data before, we wouldn’t catch things like a wrong standard cost until later in the P&L. Now, we have a dashboard to immediately notify us if something goes awry, items are fixed immediately, and I don’t have to worry about making decisions later.”
Automated Expense Process
“Credit card expenses were a nightmare. Now with the mobile app, they are uploaded in real time, which is saving us a lot of time at the end of the month.”
“We love it. It helped speed 100 percent user adoption. Before, we were using a blue screen. Now we are in the modern era of business.”
“Someone could even be on the beach somewhere, and it wouldn’t make a difference. Before we had to VPN, which was difficult to use.”
Auto Action Technologies: Moving Forward
From here on, the sky’s the limit. Jared, Joe, and the whole Auto Action Technologies team are reaping the benefits of a modern, cloud-based ERP solution, especially with PC Bennett Solutions by their side.
Acumatica allows them to adapt to the custom and constantly changing nature of their industry with minimal IT investment. They’re very happy with the transformation since implementing Acumatica, and are also pleased with its ability to integrate with other applications, giving them room to grow for the foreseeable future.