Cranes and Lifting explores how a US forklift and material-handling dealership streamlines its collections process with Esker’s cloud-based Collections Management software.
Founded in 1978, ProLift Industrial Equipment began as Louisville Lift Truck, a forklift rental house in Louisville, KY. Today as a Toyota materials Handling company, ProLift is a full-service forklift and material-handling dealership operating nine locations, employing 450 workers and offering multiple product lines.
ProLift Industrial Equipment is one of the Midwest’s largest Toyota-owned dealers of forklifts, pallet jacks, reach trucks and other material-handling equipment. The company operates nine locations across Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana and West Virginia, selling, renting and servicing equipment manufactured by the industry’s leading brands. ProLift’s clientele ranges from major corporations to smaller, single-store businesses.
ProLift’s own business had been expanding steadily since 2007 when the company was acquired by Toyota Industries North America (TINA). But, as order volume increased, the technical limitations of ProLift’s ERP began to create friction during the company’s post-sale activity. In talking with collections personnel, ProLift identified the following outstanding needs:
• visualisation of all collections activities (e.g., via a dashboard);
• customisable call lists and contact follow-up reminders and management tools;
• automated workflows capable of eliminating redundancies; and
• seamless interoperability with existing and future ERP systems.
After vetting several solutions, ProLift ultimately selected Esker’s cloud-based Collections Management software. With its ability to integrate with ProLift’s Microsoft Dynamics NAV ERP, Esker’s solution has introduced a new level of transparency to the company’s invoicing and payment tracking processes. ProLift’s internal stakeholders can now quickly resolve collections issues using a plethora of varied and highly localised data points.
Thanks to the Collections Management solution’s extensive menu of options, ProLift staff can now:
• generate customised reports;
• assemble more actionable call lists; and
• access granular customer activity data across a range of touchpoints and categories, from new sales to parts, service and rental (PSR).
Stuart Geiger, ProLift’s corporate controller, notes that Esker’s Collections Management solution has even helped ProLift better manage customer lines of credit. In addition to aiding with risk management, this functionality has also been critical in elevating the level of customer service it can provide.
“With Esker, I can instantly collocate and analyse all 2,000 customers who have an open balance,” Geiger explained. “I can then make decisions about which customers have too high of a credit line, which don’t have enough available credit, and which are approaching their credit limit and need to be engaged.
“Esker has been very valuable to us. The collections management solution has allowed us to pinpoint and improve where our receivable problems exist,” said Geiger.
Beyond the expected improvements, Esker has delivered invaluable business intelligence about inaccurate data introduced to invoices during ProLift’s order entry process. Whether they contain an incorrect mailing address or reference the wrong PO number, such invoices are not collectable. Knowing that those problem invoices stem from front-end errors rather than back-office operations has enabled ProLift to distinguish, as Geiger puts it, “the symptoms from the disease.” Since implementing Esker’s Collections Management solution, ProLift has:
– reduced past due payments by 60 per cent, from 11,479 to 4,669;
– boosted the collections team’s overall productivity by implementing better QA and clearing bottlenecks at every stage of the AR process;
– decreased Days Sales Outstanding from 55.4 to 48.3 within two years, significantly enhancing reconciliation efforts; and
– improved average response time on customer inquiries to 36 hours since implementation.
In the near future, ProLift hopes to implement Esker’s customer payment portal to make their end-to-end AR processes even more efficient.
“Esker’s Collections Management System solution has allowed us to better manage what we’re doing and intelligently answer questions about why and where we’re placing our resources,” said Geiger.
Further information: www.esker.com.au/solutions/order-cash/collections-management/