Suffering from contact chaos? Inventory implosions? Scheduling snarls? Customer-service commotion? Warranty wig-out? You may need a tiger in your tank, or in your office.
Tigerpaw Software inc. of Omaha, Neb., has rolled out Version 8 of Tigerpaw Business Suite, a group of integrated software modules to help sales professionals track the minutiae of the sales and customer-support process. “We’re having a ball with it,” says CEO Dave Foxall.“The whole kit is designed for you to get and keep customers.”
Version 8, which retails for $5995 for five users ($9995 for 10), was introduced to the market in July 1999 and sales have been very strong. It has gone to about 5,000 customers worldwide – about 25,000 users.
Business Suite is designed to track the entire sales process, from cold call to service after the sale. It does so with four modules:
Pursuit: This is a comprehensive contact and account management system that enables salespeople to keep infinitely detailed tabs on all prospects. Standard contact management features include task scheduling, auto-dial, email, fax and the merging of information to Microsoft Word (the module is designed to work with Microsoft Office). Spreadsheets, graphics files and other documents can be linked o contracts. “We’re like the old flat contact managers on steroids.” Said Foxall.
Quotes: Also made to work with Office, this module is for quotes, sales forecasting and work-order processing.It enables the user to design line-item quotes and track quotes by customer, sales rep, products, status, date or type.Price list are provided, or individual information maybe substituted. The system also offers tracking of work orders and invoices.“I can bang out a $100,000 quote to you and fax is 10 seconds,” said Foxall.
Service and Repair: This module is the most popular, according to Foxall. “Most of the companies we deal with have no idea if they’re making money on customer service. “It can track numerous service issues, including maintenance-contract profitability, technician time and scheduling, telephone support and on-site repair, Service orders and customer service history can be monitored in numerous ways, and in great detail.
Parts: This module offers a comprehensive inventory control and purchasing system.Users can closely follow customers’ purchasing history, serial numbers on particular items, transfers between locations, multi-level pricing on inventory, and reordering levels. With one serial number, an item can be tracked from the moment is ordered through years of repair, resale or trade-in. That’s a hot feature now, as manufacturers demand more information from their dealers in order to honor longer warranties.
Business Suite includes and advanced scheduling interface to coordinate personal and group scheduling; several accounting interfaces, including QuickBooks Pro, Peachtree and Computer Associates AccPac for windows; and more than 200 report templates and a report manager function, to satisfy even the report-happy boss. Reports represent a serious investment for Tigerpaw: two employee work full time developing and writing report programs.
New users should be able to get up to speed quickly. Business Suite includes five “scripts” to guide new users. The first, for everyone, is an overview that teaches the major tasks of the system. The subsequent ones detail different functions. The second script teaches the user to create a database, import data, create code files and set system options. The third, for sales and marketing personnel, includes information on coding accounts, managing contacts, follow-ups and group mailings. The fourth, for service tracking functions; the fifth is for accounting and inventory control.
The Guided Tours give new users a broad understanding of the system, teaching how to process and print a quote, work order, invoice, service order, contract and purchase order. The “How Do I” feature enables users with questions to simply type in their query and takes them directly to the relevant section, rather than wading through a manual.Sections on managing lay out various functions in detail, and cue cards offer interactive audio-video training for those with sound cards and speakers.
Tigerpaw also offers a try-before-you-buy version.The company promises extensive training and tech support, updates software developments every 60 days, and prides itself on its public-forum user group, where customers exchange information, tips and even gripes. ‘We let all our customers talk to each other,” said Foxall, “and we embrace bugs because they stimulate problem-solving discussions.”
By Mary Chollet Tigerpaw Business Suite