Since opening its doors in 1965, Ditch Witch of Minnesota has utilized many business systems. In 2012, the dealership earned the 2012 Crescent Club #1 Ditch Witch Dealer Worldwide distinction—a high honor, and one that’s based on consistently high levels of customer service. To continue this commitment to serving customers, dealership management decided, in 2012, to explore options for dealership technologies that would improve processes. According to Controller Lois Gardeski, “As we reviewed alternatives, IntelliDealer was the front runner, and we ultimately decided to make the move.”
Although Gardeski cites ease of use, financial reporting, and real-time updates in the dashboard as clear advantages of IntelliDealer over the previous system, she says one feature stands out from the rest. “We just completed our first full physical parts inventory. And it was amazing,” says Gardeski.
Until transitioning to IntelliDealer, the physical inventory process involved an all hands on deck effort for Ditch Witch of Minnesota. In fact, Gardeski says, “We would hire whomever we could—temps, wives, kids, anyone we could round up—to help with a full physical inventory. Then we would pair each new person up with one of our employees who understood the parts and process.”
Even with the extra help, Gardeski admits that the physical inventory process would take 18 hours. “Each team would hand count every part, write the information on a piece of paper, and then hand that in. After that, someone else had to interpret the handwriting, enter the data into the computer, and then purify the data. It was a recursive process until we were comfortable with the counts,” says Gardeski.
This year, however, Ditch Witch of Minnesota employed CDK’s Parts Wireless Inventory, which includes a handheld barcode scanner that connects directly with IntelliDealer. When each part is scanned, the device automatically counts the parts and then adds the information to IntelliDealer.
Gardeski says, “For the portion of our inventory that’s easily barcoded, we had a more accurate physical inventory process. We took out the human elements of hand-counting, handwriting interpretation, and manual data entry. But also, it was so much faster. It took two-thirds less time and we had far fewer people on hand to help us.” With that information automatically added to Ditch Witch of Minnesota’s dealer management system, Gardeski says that reconciliation was significantly easier, too.
Parts Wireless Inventory is having a positive impact on the parts receiving process at Ditch Witch of Minnesota, too. Gardeski says, “We scan the parts as they arrive, and IntelliDealer is automatically updated with that information. Even if the part hasn’t gotten to the shelf, if a customer needs it, we know whether it’s in the building or in another branch. And, all of that information is available to us in one main screen that serves our entire operation.”
We just completed our first full physical parts inventory. And it was amazing. It took two-thirds less time and we had far fewer people on hand to help us.” - Lois Gardeski
Ditch Witch of Minnesota, Inc. is the premier supplier of underground construction equipment in Minnesota and western Wisconsin. Today, Ditch Witch of Minnesota has 30 employees at two locations. The dealership earned the 2012 Crescent Club “#1 Ditch Witch Dealer Worldwide” distinction.