Success Story: Gazillion Office Products

Switch to DDMS Ends IT Nightmare

Gazillion Office Products

At Gazillion Office Products in Dallas, things had gotten to the point where owner Derek Hartsfield was just about ready to look for the nearest window ledge to jump from.

After three hard-charging years that had seen Gazillion evolve from just another start-up business into one of the fastest-growing office products dealerships in the country, Derek and his team were staring disaster in the face. He had put in a new computer system—the second in two years—and it had become a nightmare.

“I switched from our original system because it didn’t give us the functionality and scalability we needed, but the change brought massive problems from day one,” Derek recalls with a shudder.

“We had tested the new system for six months before we made the switch,” says Derek. “The box we pulled off the shelf and tested worked great,” he remembers. “But the box we implemented couldn’t even handle simple functions like transmitting orders. We’d send an order to our S.P. Richards branch in Dallas for delivery in Dallas and the order would be pulled from Baltimore—and we had no idea why!”

Within 60 days, the dealership had lost a significant amount of its business. “Customers would tell us, ‘We love you guys and you’re a part of our family, but if you can’t get us the product, we can’t use you,’” he recalls.

Something clearly needed to be done and fast. Derek turned to DDMS, with an urgent request to implement their system as soon as possible. Thirty days later, the system was up and running and Derek was sleeping a whole lot better.

“DDMS stabilized our business and put back together everything that the previous system had torn apart in just 45 days,” says Derek.

“There were really only two things I ever wanted from my third-party provider,” Derek explains. “I needed scalability, so that the system could handle the increased transaction level as our business grew, and I needed stability so that I could give my customers a consistent buying experience.”

Derek’s own experiences with the first two systems he tried taught him some tough lessons. “Our first two systems didn’t have scalability and only the first one offered stability,” he says. “With DDMS, I got the scalability I needed and the stability I needed to get our dealership back on track. And when DDMS told me they’d do something, they did it!”

The switch to DDMS has also brought Gazillion a far stronger online presence, says Derek. “ECinteractive is stable and it has more functionality than any other solution we looked at,” he reports.

“Our customers tell us they want to be able to get on the Web, place their order and then sign off and that’s what ECinteractive lets them do,” he continues. “It’s fast, comes with a great search engine and rewards program and lets our customers pay their invoices online by credit card or by printing a remit form. It’s got more features and functionality than the big three and that’s huge for us!” he says happily.

Today, Derek is well on his way to recapturing all the business he lost, adding new salespeople and new customers. “We’re on track to double our business this year, but we’ve got the infrastructure in place right now to support much, much more,” he reports proudly.

There’s a new confidence in his voice as he talks about the future. With the turmoil of the pre-DDMS days an increasingly distant memory, Derek now can concentrate on what’s really important. “DDMS allows me to run my business and focus on sales instead of on solving software problems,” he says. And what dealer out there wouldn’t stand up and salute to have something like that as part of their business?