Strategic Evolutions, based in Canada, provides business consulting and software development services to the capital equipment sales and service industries. Strategic Evolutions works with clients to identify ways to deepen relationships with their customers, improving operational performance, customer satisfaction, and, as a result, profitability. Capitalizing on their intimate knowledge of the industry, Strategic Evolutions has created a Dealer Management System (DMS) uniquely optimized for the industry called, Vizybility. This DMS will enable small to medium size equipment dealers to subscribe to sales and marketing functionality tailored to their industry, including the ability to handle sales of equipment and related parts, as well as equipment rental and maintenance services.
Strategic Evolutions built Vizybility DMS using modern technology and a cloud-first, mobile-first mindset. A modern solution, not restricted by old-fashioned software designs or legacy technologies.
According to Mets Kramer, founder of Strategic Evolutions: “At Strategic Evolutions, we focus our development efforts on the Vizybility DMS functionality. We are using the Vanenburg Rappit Composer platform to integrate financial software packages used in our industry easily.”
Some of the most commonly used financial packages in Strategic Evolutions’ target market include QuickBooks Desktop, QuickBooks Online, Xero, and similar solutions.
Ronald Haantjes, Vanenburg North America leader, says: “Strategic Evolutions is partnering with Vanenburg for an open integration layer between Vizybility and external on-prem or cloud-based financial software solutions. Vizybility focuses on the other side of the spectrum, where parties run their business without a dealer management system. These companies now have the opportunity to benefit from a modern DMS, without the pain and suffering typically associated with the implementation or integration of a legacy system.”
This project concerns the design and development of a cloud-based integration hub between the Vizybility DMS and external financial software solutions, with an initial focus on Xero and QuickBooks Online. The hub – for now called Vizybility Cloud Connect (VCC) – should provide Strategic Evolutions with the ability to onboard new clients and configure the integration with the Vizybility DMS and the customers’ financial software package.
The workflow engine
Another important aspect of the solution is a workflow engine to support flexibility in exchanging financial data. “One of the problems I see when talking with dealers is the ‘ERP software conditioning’ of people,” explains Mets. “When I listen to how things should be done, you realize that by and large, these people and their teams are being educated by the dealer software they have chosen. They think this is how you run the business. They have to do it this way because the software was built around a process another company decided 25 or 30 years ago.”
For example, dealers often need to ‘play games’ with the software in rental management. Let’s say they have an active rental contract on a machine, but they want to set up a new contract for the next customer to rent it. In legacy software, someone decided that you can only create a new contract if the existing contract is finished and the machine is marked as available. So, dealers created a workaround by creating a ‘temporary machine’ on a new contract and replacing that machine with the actual equipment once the previous contract expired. That is a poor workflow. But this is quite common in the industry, and we will eliminate the need for such workarounds.
API exposure and integration
The web service integration APIs of Vizybility and any third-party financial package will need to be exposed and registered, including required authentication.
Mets state, “There is a really important fundamental reason we want to build our software solution on existing, off-the-shelf, but modern accounting software. Such software comes with a strong set of APIs, in the same way, that Vizybility was built with a comprehensive set of APIs. From day one, the entire Vizybility platform is fully API-enabled to access data and functions using the customer’s preferred technology stack. With Vanenburg Rappit Composer, we know we are working with modern software that fully supports that open architecture.”
“Another important aspect is experience and collaboration. We are working together with Vanenburg on this. We could have done this on our own, but we see great value in partnering with an experienced organization that can give us the additional technology resources we may need. Our partnership and collaboration allow for better customer service and growth potential.”
Haantjes says: “At Vanenburg, we welcome this relationship with Strategic Evolutions and look forward to assisting them in their expansion with Vizybility in the capital equipment sales and service industries.”