Part I: Thoughtful, Intelligent, and Completely Practical
One of TPI’s greatest strengths is its sheer wealth of useful, thoughtful, efficient features, all there to make your working life easier and enhance your user experience. We polled the TPI staff to find out what they loved the most about the system, and this is what we discovered:
1. Price (Scott Tetz, Owner):
When you are entering in the basic information of a part, the system will take into account your physical location (you will have already entered your address into the system) and then scan other, related parts already posted, and come up with two aggregate prices: National and Regional (pretty ingenious, isn’t it? Yes, we are smart ). These two prices remain private, and they are extremely useful in gauging what might be a competitive price.
2. Post Moderation (Scott Tetz, Owner):
TPI allows different users within your company to have different levels of access and Post Moderation can be activated to give Management the ability to approve, correct or disapprove part posts before they are made public. Post Moderation is like an extra level of Quality Control, enabling many people to use the system but ensuring that the company’s objectives are respected.
3. Max/Mins on Parts (Scott Tetz, Owner):
This great, hidden feature helps you with your reordering: you can activate it by clicking inside the little box that “Allows reordering of this part” when you are posting a part, and then entering your maximum and minimum quantities for that part. Once you save the part, the system will remember your choice and send you an alert when your minimum quantity is reached, allowing you to place an order and avoid the problem that non-stocked items can cause (you can’t sell what you don’t have, and you don’t want to be caught advertising an item and not have it in stock). On the other end, Maximum quantities ensure that budgets aren’t destroyed by inadvertently buying more items than you need or have planned for. Again, the system will alert you.
4. CRM/Connect Companies (Martin Mercer-Deadman, Sales):
TPI’s CRM (Customer Relations Management) is, quite frankly, an amazing, comprehensive feature. Companies who want a CRM normally have to invest in third-party software, paying each month per user, and that can start to add up, especially when you have several counter people plus management using the system. With TPI, you get a really well-designed CRM included in what you are already paying, giving you the great advantage of being able to consistently build and maintain your relationships with your customers. TPI’s CRM is so good that it could actually be sold on its own as a separate product, and you’re getting it as a part of the package. Nice.
5. Mobile Use (Martin Mercer-Deadman, Sales):
On a phone or a tablet, TPI is user-friendly. It’s like having an entire inventory system in your pocket! (TPI is cloud-based, so it can be accessed from anywhere)
6. Call Tracking Report (Mathew Twardowski, Developer):
Users can listen to and download inbound calls from their toll-free TPI number, thereby better allowing them to analyze customer service or deal with any issues that may arise as a result of calls.
7. Sales Receipts (Mathew Twardowski, Developer):
Instead of creating an invoice and then having to go back to add a payment to it if a customer is going to pay right then, users can create a sales receipt. With this feature, you can create the invoice and payment at the same time, thereby saving yourself time and steps.
8. Company Merge (Mathew Twardowski, Developer):
When you are creating an invoice for a customer, it can happen that you inadvertently enter the customer in twice in the system, thereby creating a duplicate profile. This becomes tricky because the customer’s information is then split between two different profiles, and you are never working with a complete, realistic picture. However, only customers can be merged with other customers, and vendors can only be merged with other vendors.
9. Truck Profit Report (Martin Mercer-Deadman, Sales):
The Truck Profit Report is a feature found under the Profit tab of the Seller’s Bar, along with a host of other Reports. What the truck report does is allow you to see how well different parts are selling from any particular complete truck that you have bought. This lets you gauge the value of your investment and whether or not you should continue to include this type of truck in your inventory.
10. Print Tags (Paula Wade, Content Writer):
This feature could also fit into Part II of our Top Ten Lists because it is fast and fun, but it does have a more comprehensive function: after you have entered a part into TPI, you can actually print an inventory tag for it that can be attached to the part (the part information within the system is now accessible through this tag). After the tag is printed, you just scan it and all of the part’s information will show up, just like in a grocery store!