Johnson & Towers and Western Branch Diesel founded their businesses in marine service in 1926 and 1946, respectively. Over time, each company grew as a distributor, offering brands such as Detroit Diesel, Allison Transmission, mtu, Volvo Penta, and others. Then, in 2019, Johnson & Towers and Western Branch Diesel merged to form Indel Power Group. Today Indel has nineteen distributor locations, along with four truck dealership locations, in nine states, and offers parts, service, and solutions for their on-highway, power-generation, industrial power and gas, and marine customers.
While the Indel Power Group companies have nearly a century of excellence that powers their commitment to their customers, the companies also have an eye firmly on the future. They hire the best technicians, train them to use the latest technology, and leverage that same technology to deliver fast, quality service, so their customers can get back on the road—or water, as the case may be—as soon as possible.
A Seat at the Table and a Long-Term Partnership
Prior to implementing Excede DMS, the companies were using a custom solution developed in-house, so their staff were both experienced with and accustomed to being involved in the software development process. They understood how to build a solution that would meet the needs of their organization. When Daimler asked all of their dealer and distributors to implement a DTNA-approved platform that integrated with DTNA’s systems, the distributors knew it would be important to still have a voice. “We knew other distributors like Clarke Power Services, Interstate Power Systems, Central Power Systems & Service, and Cullen Diesel Power were using Excede DMS,” said Kevin Burnette, Senior Vice President and COO of Indel Power Group. “As a distributor, we were looking for a long-term partner who would give us a seat at the table to enhance the software so that it would work well for both dealers and distributors alike. Procede Software was open to that type of working relationship.”
“When we did our first implementation in 2018, we had to learn each other’s language, but ultimately, we were able to successfully go live with the software without missing a beat. We especially appreciated Procede’s willingness to integrate with some of our key third-party solutions,” Burnette said, as he described the implementation process. “Today, we use Excede everywhere, across all our businesses, and every time we make an acquisition, we schedule a conversion.”
Indel Power Group has quickly come to depend on the people at Procede Software and on Excede DMS, as Burnette explains: “The people at Procede Software are very good—over time, we’ve gotten to know the team and work well together. In addition, there is functionality in Excede that took us light years beyond where we were, and today it is critically important to the success of our business, particularly as we go through acquisition mode. We have rapidly gone from one to six businesses leveraging the software, and not only does our senior management team now have more timely, concise information across our entire company, we’ve saved money by centralizing our back-office functions.”
An Easy-to-Use, Customizable Solution for a Complex Business Use Case
A few things that the Indel Power Group team appreciates most about Excede DMS is how easy it is to use, especially given the complexity of their business, and how flexible it is, which is useful in accommodating the company’s unique workflows. Burnette explains, “With Excede DMS, Procede has taken what used to be complicated functions in our old system and made them easy to understand and execute, whether that’s opening orders, doing reversals, or any other functions.” Burnette continues, “Procede recognizes that no two businesses are the same—they’ve built customized features into Excede DMS that give companies the control they need to create their own, unique setups with the overarching construct. The way we leverage Excede DMS is somewhat complex due to the breadth and diversity of our businesses, but the tool is flexible and straightforward, so it’s still simple for us to work in it and get the results we’re looking for.” For Indel Power Group, another stand-out feature of Excede DMS is the user interface. “I also appreciate the user interface, especially compared to our old, custom platform. It’s modern, graphical, easy to navigate, and easy to use. Our workforce is getting younger, and new employees gravitate toward it and can quickly learn how to work in it,” said Burnette.
In addition to these advantages, Burnette describes another key benefit the company is realizing from their partnership with Procede Software, saying, “The single, biggest benefit from partnering with Procede and implementing Excede DMS is that we no longer have to take complete responsibility for the development of our business system. Procede is better at software development than we could ever be, and this takes the pressure off our team to be subject matter experts. Procede does such a great job of leveraging the broad knowledge base that exists in the industry through their Excede Insider Program, and we have had many opportunities to make connections with key people on their team and work with them on the future direction of the software in terms of its support for distributors.” They also have user groups, including one focused on distributors like us, and other processes for getting input from customers, so they are able to bring regular, continuous improvement to Excede through new releases. Ultimately, this allows us to focus on our own business and living up to our commitment to excellence.”
A Shared Technology Journey
As he looks to the future, Burnette foresees a changing industry driven by technological change: “Indel Power Group is all about taking care of our customers—it’s our number one focus. We want to continue to be known as an excellent solutions provider. Technology is changing and growing so quicky, and our customers are faced with so many choices—they need to be able to rely on us now more than ever. We have to adapt and be more than just a seller of solutions for them. Instead, we have to go on a technology journey with customers, both before and after we deliver products to them. As we continue to grow, we are looking forward to partnering with the outstanding Procede Software team, participating in the distributor group that enables us to have a voice in the design of the software, and building out more functionality that is applicable to distributors, so that both Indel Power Group and our customers can benefit from these changes and the new opportunities they bring.”
In Burnette’s view, the past, present, and future success of the partnership between Indel Power Group and Procede Software comes down to two things: a shared vision of the future and trust. As he explains, “We believe in Procede’s vision and are aligned with where they are headed as an organization. Procede is big enough to accomplish their vision with the help of their customer base, but not so big that they’ve lost sight of the customer or are not accessible; they have found a way to grow and get more sophisticated but without leaving their commitment to customer service behind.” Burnette continues, “At Indel Power Group, we trust Procede to be there for us, just like our customers trust us to be there for them.”
At Procede Software, that trust is not something we take lightly. We work hard every day to earn it, and we’re looking forward to continuing to partner with Indel Power Group and building even greater functionality on our shared technology journey.