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Wholesaler for Sheet Metal and Fabrication Machinery Improves Sales and Delivery Process

Bison Machinery integrates full range of business software and automates multiple business tasks using TaskCentre

Orbis Software, a provider of business process automation solutions, today revealed that Bison Machinery Ltd., a supplier of manufacturing machinery (sheet metal, fabrication, sawing and engineering) has improved its entire quote, order and delivery cycle, as well as improved the monitoring of customers’ financial data, having used TaskCentre to integrate its business systems and automate a wide-range of tasks and processes.

“TaskCentre is a great tool to have. We justified the purchase of the software based on three tasks that have been achieved. It just seemed a good fit, with the knowledge that we can do further work in the future,” explained Guy Bushnell, Director, Bison Machinery. “If you can get the best software for different areas of the business and integrate them well, then why not follow that route? It’s also a significantly lower cost for us to integrate existing software than to invest in a completely new ERP system.”

Bison Machinery has been using Access Dimensions (accounting) and GoldMine (CRM) for the past five years, along with QuoteWerks (quoting), and the online services of UPS (delivery and dispatch) and CreditSafe (company information and financials). Having selected and deployed TaskCentre, Bison Machinery focused on three key areas that needed integration and automation, the first of which was integrating QuoteWerks with Access Dimensions.

“The problem we had before the integration was that if we won an order we had to manually rekey everything into Access Dimensions as a sales order, and then send a customer a pro forma invoice,” explained Bushnell. “Now that we have integrated QuoteWerks with Access Dimensions, TaskCentre automates that process. It basically eliminates a lot of manual input and prevents any items on the quote being missed from the order.”

“Imagine the sale of a £20,000 machine. A customer might want an option with it. This is then included in the quote that the customer accepts. If, by accident, this option is not included in the sales order, and it’s a factory fit option, we aren’t going to find out until the machine is installed. We would then have to order a new machine with the option fitted and swap it out to rectify that mistake, which obviously costs a lot of money.”

The second process that Bison Machinery wanted to automate was the management of dispatches via UPS, especially the printing of consignment labels.

“We have built a specialised web page for our dispatch department that is now integrated with Access Dimensions and the UPS system. The team check and pick the orders that appear, and then input the number of parcels and the weight. The system automatically sends that information to UPS which then returns a tracking number and prints out a consignment label to attach to the parcel. The address comes straight from the order so now it’s always correct,” explained Bushnell. “This is a really good integration for us. The entire process has reduced errors, saved a lot of time and enhanced the customer experience.”

The third aspect that Bison Machinery wanted to tackle was to make sure that the customer data it held in its CRM database was up-to-date. Bison Machinery stores customer data, such as the customer’s registration number, net worth, shareholders’ funds, SIC code etc., which is essential for future negotiations and transactions.

“Sometimes we get enquiries from companies discussing a significant amount of capital equipment, which involves large sums of money, and when we check the database we realise they have a negative net worth. As we are dealing with possibly tens of thousands of pounds sometimes, it’s a good way of checking if it’s worth the time and investment,” said Bushnell.

Bison Machinery use CreditSafe to access this information and to monitor the financial situations of potential and existing customers. Previously, this data had to be manually researched and then inputted into GoldMine, which was time-consuming and meant that the CRM system wasn’t always up-to-date.

“The data in CreditSafe is updated regularly, so TaskCentre has been deployed to perform an API call to CreditSafe, pull in the latest financial information and update GoldMine,” said Bushnell. “Now we know that when our reps, or anyone else in the company, are looking in the system it contains the latest financial figures for that particular customer.”

The insight into customers’ financial statuses from CreditSafe has also provided Bison Machinery with some marketing opportunities. TaskCentre notifies the team when a company is approaching its financial year end period – a time when some businesses are looking to curtail tax payments.

“Often, at the end of the financial year, if a business has made a good profit they will want to reduce their tax bill. In this instance, they may look to offset this by purchasing some capital equipment,” said Bushnell. “Therefore, just before the year end we can generate some marketing activity, contacting those businesses to see if they have got any requirements.”

About Bison Machinery

Bison Machinery Ltd. is a supplier of manufacturing machinery, specialising in the supply and maintenance of sheet metal, fabrication, sawing and engineering machinery. Based in Stafford, Bison Machinery is part of the UK Machinery Group, a consortium of individual companies with a wealth of history dating back to the 1800’s. Its unique portfolio of more than 30 trusted brands, includes over 800 models, as well as selected refurbished machines.

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