Cee Kay Supply Inc. is an independent distributor of industrial and specialty gases and welding and cutting equipment based in St. Louis, Missouri. The company has made its niche by being first to market with new products and technologies and recently celebrated 60 years in the business.
The need to improve on its cumbersome, error-ridden cylinder tracking system led Cee Kay to ask TrackAbout for help. With years of experience in the gas cylinder industry, TrackAbout had the expertise to give Cee Kay a more accurate and user-friendly solution. As the project got underway, Cee Kay recognized that its legacy-based, batch-processed ERP system needed replacing as well. Data was hard to obtain and reports took MIS staff days to generate—often forcing Cee Kay to rely on “gut-feel” management strategies instead of real numbers.
TrackAbout assisted Cee Kay in the search for the right ERP vendor. “The key was finding a leading-edge provider willing to work with TrackAbout to create a joint solution,” said Ned Lane, president of Cee Kay. After an extensive search, TECSYS emerged as the best company for the job. “What made TECSYS ideal was that they offered a Windows- and browser-based platform,” Lane explained. “They also were willing to start with a blank piece of paper and deliver a product that was good for Cee Kay and the industry.”
The TrackAbout/TECSYS solution has given Cee Kay the best of both worlds. TrackAbout Core Tracking and Rental have vastly improved Cee Kay’s cylinder management capabilities and made cylinder balance disputes—which formerly cost the company 50 cents on the dollar—a thing of the past. “TrackAbout let us create a culture of accuracy,” Lane said. “We have total confidence in the system, because we know there are no errors. And everyone from our drivers to our administrative people attests to how user-friendly it is.”
Data access has been transformed as well. “The volume of information available to us through TECSYS is night and day compared to before,” Lane said. Staff can now generate reports from their desktops in seconds, rapidly obtain critical data for customer calls, vendor meetings, invoice and transaction monitoring, and other day-to-day activities.
Adding Up the Benefits
Exceptional data visibility has eliminated the need for guesswork. “Now we base our decisions on numbers and facts, not opinions,” said Lane. Efficiency and productivity have soared, enabling Cee Kay to handle higher business volumes without adding staff. Profitability has also increased. “We win more business because the accuracy of our tracking solution reinforces our credibility and integrity,” Lane explained.
The flexibility to add new capabilities is another key benefit. “Both TrackAbout and TECSYS are always interested in our ideas and willing to add improvements that enhance the solution,” said Lane. Future developments include client access to shared data, automated cylinder retesting and maintenance tracking, and paperless documentation.
“With TrackAbout and TECSYS, we get the leading-edge solution that meets our unique needs and has significantly improved the way we run our business,” said Lane. “We couldn’t be happier.”