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Solutions4ebiz's Java/Linux Solution puts National Company on Trak to Success

DSI-NPS, the nationwide electronics distribution company that sells satellite dishes and manages their installations found themselves in need of a long-term business solution. They needed an effective way to manage their business across the country. So again they contacted Solutions4ebiz, who implemented a browser-based, Internet-enabled application they appropriately named DSITrak, to track the business.

Mike Mountford, President of DSI-NPS felt very comfortable working with Solutions4ebiz because they had worked together in the past. According to Mountford, "We're very happy with them. We've employed them on two other projects in addition to this one; the first was to make us Y2K compliant which only took Solutions4ebiz 5 or 6 hours. We had heard of other companies taking 5 to 6 days, so we were very pleased. The second project they suggested was transferring our database from a Sun server to a Linux server, a move that literally saved our company thousands of dollars (per month)."

Solutions4ebiz dove into this particular job in February and knew it had to be operational in one month because DSI-NPS had been notified that their existing subcontractor would no longer be providing services. If the system wasn't functional in one month, DSI-NPS would have had to keep track of all of its transactions on paper, a difficult task since the company's call center operates 18 hours a day, 7 days a week.

According to Mountford this system was an absolute must. " We couldn't operate without it, our only alternative would be paper and you couldn't keep track of all of this information on paper, you'd go nuts."

With only a 30-day window to complete the project, Solutions4ebiz was able to rely on their Java Class Objects© to create DSITrak. Throughout the design process, David Naylor, DIRECTV Project Manager at DSI-NPS appreciated how Solutions4ebiz's Chief Technology Officer, Mike Sheward was willing to listen to the company's needs and implement suggested improvements. "What I like about working with Mike Sheward is he's very approachable. I've worked with other programmers in the past that get so attached to their work, they don't want to listen to any feedback. Mike always keeps an open mind and works to improve the project based on your suggestions. I also like how Mike made a strong effort to show us the user screens before we had to sign off on the project."

Here's how the application works. DSITrak creates a work order for a potential satellite dish installer. The system initially sends the potential installer an e-mail asking if he or she is available to handle a particular job. It is then up to the installer to respond to the work order assignment within 36 hours. If the installer's answer is yes, the job drops down on the user screen into a scheduling phase. If the subcontractor is not available to work, the job then moves out of this particular installers screen to the system administrator who re-assigns the installation.

DSITrak was operational on time as requested by the client. So far the system has been completely operational for over a month and according to DSI/NPS President Mike Mountford he's happy with the way things are going." I would know if there were problems, I'd know about it and I haven't heard a thing. It's worked out better than we thought."

David Naylor appreciates the way Solutions4ebiz designed the application to be easy to use. "Solutions4ebiz made a very concerted effort to make it easy for the end-user, it is not confusing."

DSI-NPS is so pleased with DSITrak that they have plans to integrate it into their long-term business model according to Mountford. "We are going to enhance the software with a scheduling system. The project is currently ongoing and eventually our hope is that retailers will actually be able to assign the installer while the subscriber is physically at their location."

With the addition of the scheduling system, Mike Sheward of Solutions4ebiz says, "It will be a workflow-oriented installation tracking system that allows the next phase to happen only after the previous step has been completed. The retailer will be able to flip into the scheduling software, find out when the installer is available to install the dish and schedule the installation. DSITrak will allow DSI-NPS to not only schedule the install at the time of purchase, but also allow the job to be monitored throughout the process and notify the retailer when the installation is complete and the installer has been paid.

DSI-NPS is currently undergoing a business transition. Over the past year demand for the company's larger C-Band satellite dishes has dwindled while orders for its smaller DIRECTV dishes has grown. As the company's volume of installations increases according to Solutions4ebiz President Jack Wilson, "the application will easily migrate to a larger server inside our hosting center." DSITrak is currently being hosted on a Linux server, supplied by Solutions4ebiz at its full-service hosting center, where it is expected to remain over the long-term.

With DSITrak in place to manage all of DSI-NPS's installations, the company is on track to manage its success, leaving DSI-NPS again a very satisfied customer of Solutions4ebiz. According to DSI-NPS President Mike Mountford, "contacting Solutions4ebiz has been a very beneficial relationship for us. If we have another project and we will, we wouldn't contact anyone else".