Headquartered in Hartford, Alabama, Kelly Seed sells seed and fertilizer to farmers throughout Alabama and neighboring states, supported by three branch locations. As with any retail business, and particularly because the company is on a first-name relationship with many customers, it’s critical to accurately process and deliver orders. To do so, Kelly Seed has relied on the technical expertise of Action Computer Sales & Service, based in Dothan, Alabama, and serving SMB customers for over 30 years.
Al Casey, Project Manager for Action Computer, has been providing IT services to Kelly Seed for over 10 years. When he began, the farm supply company was using the IBM AS/400 computing platform for the network connecting the four locations. “About four years ago, we realized the system was becoming antiquated. Since we were already using Windows PCs, we swapped out the AS/400 for the Windows platform. At about the same time, we started using the Agvance accounting system, which is designed for seed and feed sellers,” he said.
Designed specifically for diversified agribusiness companies, the Agvance suite of products provides an integrated approach to effectively manage all business operations including grain, energy, agronomy, and accounting. While Agvance provided a platform to track grain activity, inventory, storage, and sales contracts by location, profit center and company-wide, along with reporting, a separate solution was required to customize print orders for Kelly Seed. “We wanted to print four copies simultaneously. In each store, we had HP printers with four trays of colored paper, but we needed a system to print the copies all at once,” said Casey.
A Google search soon led him to RPM Remote Print Manager®, from Brooks Internet Software. “RPM works better for this than any other way I’ve found. And, it’s so much better than the old system, which only printed single white copies, and sometimes led to confusion about orders and where they were in the process. Now, when a customer places an order, the printer prints a pink copy for the sale, green for the warehouse picker, white for signature on delivery, and a yellow copy for the customer. RPM drives the printing and ordering process workflow, and easily accommodates our order processing color scheme,” said Casey.
As much as he’s satisfied with RPM as an application, Casey is equally pleased with the company’s support. “Kelly Seed’s busy season runs from February through July, when the farmers are just getting their fields ready, through the beginning of planting and growing. During this time, we need the ordering system to work without interruption and print thousands of orders in four colors. Any time we’ve had an issue, I’ve been able to get someone from Brooks on the phone immediately,” he said.
“Not only do they help me fix any problem, sometimes remotely, but they also don’t relegate my issue to escalating levels of help from different reps, beginning with someone who’s newly trained and certified. There’s never been a problem with Brooks’ support – it’s been spectacular,” said Casey.
Kelly Seed CEO Chris Kelly likewise singles out the support of Al Casey. “We’re in the seed and fertilizer business, not technology, so we rely on Al to keep our computer and order processing systems running. This sales ticket system and RPM ensure our customers’ orders are processed and filled accurately, and we have the paperwork we need to run the business properly,” he said.