Ronnie Barnett knew his company had to make a change.
“We needed a consistent way to quote equipment to our customers,” says the CFO of H&R Agri-Power, a 17-store Case IH dealer headquartered in Hopkinsville, Ky. “We also needed a consistent way to collect data on trade-ins, and we needed to be able to document the bill of approval. Lastly, we wanted to make our inventory — and potential inventory — available to all our sales staff, whether they’re in the office or in the field.”
That’s where Power EQ came into play. According to Barnett, Microsoft Excel — which H&R had previously used to track this information— was no longer working for the dealership. Between 2012 and 2014, the company hired a pair of programmers to develop Power EQ, based on spreadsheets that had already been created in-house. By 2015, the program was ready for implementation.
“If you talk to any of our salespeople today, they wouldn’t know how we could operate without it,” Barnett says.
According to Barnett, Power EQ is especially crucial in supporting H&R’s salespeople as they strive to meet the company’s target for the used inventory turn.
“Our target is 3.75 – which is a lot higher than what most people would attempt to set as a goal,” Barnett says. “But that is our goal, and each of our salespeople are held accountable to that.”
Ryan Polete, a regional manager with H&R Agri-Power, says part of that accountability is maintained through the setup of Power EQ’s home screen. It’s designed to spotlight used inventory companywide, as well as the total number of individual units, average days on hand and inventory totals per store. There are similar screens available for each store, with clearly displayed inventory totals per salesperson in a pie chart.
“This has really helped us increase our used equipment turns,” Polete says.
The program is also beneficial to H&R salespeople when they complete appraisal paperwork for potential trade-ins. All trade-in information collected companywide is housed in one section, and a clearly delineated form is available to use when collecting detailed information about the trade-in, according to Polete. He says the form is designed to ensure that salespeople ask all the necessary questions.
Because of their own internal success with the program, and interest from other dealers, H&R Agri-Power has made the program available to other dealers.
“Information is crucial at this time,” Polete says. “The appraisal form can be very detailed, but we can also scale it down, depending on [a company’s] individual needs. And we can customize the questions in the appraisal for your needs.”
According to Polete, one particular benefit of Power EQ is its use of drop-down menus to answer those questions, which “ensure accuracy and speed during the appraisal process.”
Barnett notes that his sales team has praised the appraisal form and the support it provides to salespeople in the field, especially ones who are less experienced and might not know exactly what to look at on a piece of equipment.
Because the program includes a mobile app, Barnett says, it’s easy for salespeople to quickly complete paperwork in the field, leading to greater efficiency.
“All they have to do is open the app on their phone, or their iPad, and it starts asking them a series of questions based on what we want to know about a piece of equipment to be able to sell it,” Barnett says. “It’ll open up their camera on their device and say, ‘OK, take a picture of this,’ and then once it’s finished they hit submit. Within 5 minutes it’s available for everybody in the company to see what we’re potentially trading for this particular piece.”
Polete says that instant availability speeds up the process for helping customers who want to find a specific piece of equipment in the inventory.
“With a simple search, we can filter all information that’s been sent in companywide, and we can also drill down into the details to take a look at what that salesman has collected,” Polete says. “All that information is readily available. Additionally, if the machine is traded for and becomes an inventory unit, a link to that tag number or stock number is also available, and that’ll take you directly to our inventory.”
Power EQ has also proven to be a useful tool for starting new quotes for customers, Polete says.
“We have the ability to go in and start a quote for a customer,” he says. “Each quote brings along an individual quote ID number. This number follows this quote all the way through settlement and reconciliation.”
The program allows salespeople to quickly add the trade-in cost to new quotes, as well as to navigate via links to the appraisal that was completed, according to Polete.
“These features increase timeliness and accuracy in quoting,” he says. “After a salesperson has completed their analysis, they can request approval easily and move on to other tasks.”
Barnett emphasizes that, although H&R Agri-Power developed Power EQ, the company doesn’t have access to other companies’ data on the system.
“It’s cloud-based, and it’s hosted on Amazon’s servers,” Barnett says. “Your data is your data — H&R doesn’t see it. Everybody’s data is stored on separate servers.”