In the early days of any family-run business, everyone does a bit of everything. The team is small, processes are informal, and you have the time and flexibility to really look after customers and make them happy.
But then your business takes off, your team expands, and customers grow. You need a system in place to keep your team organized and efficient while still giving customers the warm treatment of a family-run business.
These are some of the changes Fred and Lori Lennox had to navigate as their business grew and transformed. Harbor Saw and Supply was founded in 1992 in Aberdeen, WA as an outdoor equipment dealer. It has grown considerably in the thirty years since it opened its doors.
Business operations grew more systematic as the business and team expanded. Product lines and service offerings grew over the years. All the while, they’ve continued to provide the quality customer care one expects from a family-run business.
When Gina White got started as Office Manager and Accounts Payable five years ago, she was new to the lawn and farm equipment space. Still, she hit the ground running. Harbor Saw and Supply had been using Gravity Payments with their dealer management systems and it was new to her, she found it easy to adopt and make an impact right away.
We recently spoke to her about the experience of starting at Harbor Saw and Supply, using new software, and how Harbor Saw and Supply has managed to grow while strengthening its bond with clients old and new.
Tell me a little bit about Harbor Saw & Supply. What differentiates your business from the competition?
Gina: Well, we sell lawn and garden tools, farming equipment, tractors, and accessories for tractors. We’re in a small town and what sets us apart is that we’re home-town friendly. Everyone’s a neighbor, basically.
We open accounts for a lot of the businesses. We let people do lay-away. We visit them. The majority of customers we know very well. We have quite a few long-time customers, too.
How did you get started at Harbor Saw & Supply?
Gina: I was looking for a job, they had an opening and hired me on the spot.
Why did your team see the need to start using Gravity Payments?
Gina: I know that before things were pretty chaotic. They had a manual unit before where you just slide it across the card. You couldn’t do payments over the phone for customers which was a barrier to sales. Switching over made us far more versatile in our abilities to process payments and track things.
For example, we have an outside salesman, we’ve had one for years who travels all week long and drives hundreds of miles. With Gravity Payments, he has the ability to take credit cards when he’s on the road. That’s been helpful to him and customers.
He can do it himself, too. People might just want a pair of jeans, and they’re on his route. They don’t have to pay freight. They can pay him when he gets there which just makes it really nice.
Has that helped with the customer experience you offer at your dealership?
Gina: Yes. We even have customers outside of our state that buy a few things, and they pay over the phone. It’s convenient. Our long-term customers now just give us a credit card number, and we lock it in a file, and process it whenever they order.
That must widen the area that you can cover with your customer base then.
Gina: Yeah, definitely. Not for everything but clothes or products that we make ourselves, like our own style of different kinds of rope, have been selling like hotcakes all over the place.
Overall, what would you say your experience using Gravity Payments has been like?
Gina: It’s a good product. The support teams are also very helpful if we have any issues. They don’t make you feel like you don’t know what you’re talking about when you call to ask them a question.
Gravity is really responsive and helpful. The Ideal team’s been great. I feel like I know a couple people at Ideal pretty well now.
Ready to learn more about how Infinity can power your business? Reach out at 800-334-3114.