Dealer – Driven Software

Greg Musson SASS DevelopmentGreg Musson, general manager at CropLife Top 100’s Gar Tootelian Inc., had a hefty wish list when he went searching in 1999 for management software. “I started looking for something simple that would make our staff extremely efficient, force good procedures upon us, produce monthly financials and allow our people to leave every night with a clean desk and a smile on their face,” he says. “What I saw on the market was software that would keep our CPA smiling but did little towards making our life simpler or more profitable.”

So, he set out with John Kirby, long-time Wilbur-Ellis programmer, to create just what the doctor ordered. In 1999, Kirby was leaving the company and returning to Fresno. He had developed and managed the “operational” software that was used to run Wilbur-Ellis’ branch system – and was sold to users outside the system, such as Gar Tootelian (a 10-year customer, in fact).

“We felt that two veteran industry people with good accounting, software design, and ‘hands on’ operational experience could build a better software package for our industry than someone, let’s say, in the parts business,” says Musson.

Very Close To Customized

The result was CPR+, a business management package launched in mid-2000 that handles direct shipment of product, stock transfers, manufacturing, formulation, sale orders, back orders, and complex vendor and customer pricing schemes. “It is fast, well-tested, and very stable on virtually any Microsoft platform. It even does rebate estimating & tracking and allocates it to sales history; and even the P&L if you like,” explains Musson.

“Ship something and it shows in your A/R and Inventory. Order something and your dispatcher immediately knows it. Write a recommendation (in Agrian, CDMS, or CPR+) and it flows right into the shipping process. Create a ‘will call’ and your people can not only anticipate future inventory needs but also follow through to make sure you ship the order,” he says.

Musson says that everything is totally integrated and available in detail for at least 7 years. A user can pull up an invoice from 7 years ago, drill down on a line-item’s detail, and then re-create the statement he got back then.

“Additionally, what sets CPR+ apart is that our users get access to all modules. So as they grow and need new tools, CPR+ has them for them already. Also, CPR+ users have access to a centralized database of products where manifest and chemical information is maintained for them. This relieves them of the need for a regulatory person to maintain this data,” says Musson.

Meeting Specific Needs

He and Kirby knew they were on to something back in 2000 when the software worked so well for Gar Tootelian’s needs – and so they formed SASS Development to market the program to dealers. Musson serves as director of marketing for the firm.

He says one selling point is that CPR+ came out of a belief that software would be more effective if it is simple to use. Most of the programs that Musson tried seemed to be written by a CPA or programmer totally unfamiliar with the ag retail industry, he says. “They did not address such things as shipment manifests, hazmat reporting, special taxes, repackaging, application, EDI, etc.” Most could not even hold detailed historical information for more than 12 months.

And CPR+ development has been totally user-driven. People in companies using the system meet and network regularly. Enhancements suggested are implemented and introduced as they become available – “as opposed to one big, buggy, new upgrade,” Musson says.

Happy Users

Word about the CPR+ has spread, first to customers in California, then to Arizona and Texas. Several installed the program in its first year of existence, and so far, SASS has yet to lose a buyer.

Jill Cotten, office manager at SureGrow Ag Products in Comanche, TX, is a new user that’s particularly pleased with CPR+’s powerful inventory tracking capabilities. She also likes how it maintains pre-pay accounts – a task she used to have to handle manually on spreadsheets. The pre-pay function was something her former software, the generic business program QuickBooks, could not do.

Musson says new users like the fact there’s no big “up-front” cost for the software – as well as its low monthly cost. One new user “is pretty excited” with a new formulator module recently introduced.

“User and sales friendly,” “very logical,” “best software around,” are words Rich French, manager of Bear River Supply, Rio Oso, CA, uses to describe CPR+. “The system has saved money with the flow of information and lack of double entry of information. In addition, good people are hard to find – and my estimate is that with CPR+ we need at least 50% less staff to get more done accurately.

“It addresses the needs of this business,” he says. “We do not adapt our business to the software. I never have to tell a customer that we can’t do it that way because of the computer program”. Readers can contact Musson at greg@sasscpr.com or 559-908-9884.

Leave a Reply

Software Stories
SoftwareBlending Software To Address Every Need Of Ag Retail
March 3, 2014
This year’s packages cover more facets of dealer businesses than ever. Read More
SoftwareNew Crop Scouting App Now Available For Ag Retailers
September 3, 2013
AgraScout is a data management and communications tool used by retailers, consultants, and others to track and report conditions in a particular farm location. Read More
SoftwareWinfield Launches New Mapping Capabilities For R7 Tool
August 29, 2013
Winfield has announced the addition of a Field Response Map and a Profitability Map for its R7 Tool at 2013 Farm Progress Show. Read More
SoftwareTrimble Launches Connected Farm Dashboard
August 29, 2013
The company claims its new dashboard enables better decision making by putting key data at growers’ fingertips. Read More
Top 100 Articles
CropLife 100Pinnacle Expands Sanders Brand To Nine Southern States
February 27, 2015
Pinnacle has acquired Hopkins Seed and Chemical in Qulin, MO, which expands the company's Sanders brand to nine Southern states. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Launches New Providence Agriculture Location In Indiana
February 27, 2015
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings — ranked No. 6 on the CropLife 100 — has established a new retail location in New Castle, IN, which will operate as part of Pinnacle's Providence Agriculture brand. Read More
CropLife 100Cooperative CHS Returns $518 Million To Owners
February 23, 2015
The 2015 cash return to owners is based on CHS net income of $1.1 billion, the company's second highest on record. Read More
corn field
CropLife 100The Andersons’ Humic DG Now Available In Canada
February 13, 2015
The Andersons, Inc. Turf & Specialty Group has announced its Humic DG product is now available to customers in the Canadian turf, agriculture and horticulture markets. Read More
Farmer on tablet
CropLife 100Southern States Co-op: An Inside Look At Our Aerial Imagery Program
February 8, 2015
Now is as good a time as any to explore the basics of what a retail aerial imagery program looks like today. Read More
CropLife 100Wilbur-Ellis Inks Satellite Imagery Agreement
February 3, 2015
Wilbur-Ellis Company has reached an agreement with Planet Labs to bring satellite imagery to the AgVerdict software platform. Read More
Latest News
CropLife 100Pinnacle Expands Sanders Brand To Nine Southern States
February 27, 2015
Pinnacle has acquired Hopkins Seed and Chemical in Qulin, MO, which expands the company's Sanders brand to nine Southern states. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Launches New Providence Agriculture Location I…
February 27, 2015
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings — ranked No. 6 on the CropLife 100 — has established a new retail location in New Castle, IN, which will operate as part of Pinnacle's Providence Agriculture brand. Read More
Management2,4-D Celebrates 70 Years; GROWMARK Uses Super Bowl Ad …
February 27, 2015
Jim Gray, executive director of the 2,4-D Research Task Force, lays out planned activities to mark the chemistry’s 70th anniversary. Read More
HerbicidesUniversity Of Arkansas Flag The Technology Program Adds…
February 27, 2015
Started in 2010, the Flag the Technology program provides a visual reference for applicators to distinguish between fields planted with different herbicide-tolerant trait technologies. Read More
Luckey Farmers, Inc.’s Berkey Farm Center
Industry NewsLuckey Farmers’ Berkey Branch Certified In 4R Nut…
February 26, 2015
The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program has announced Luckey Farmers Inc.’s Berkey Farm Center in northwest Ohio has been added to its growing list of nutrient service providers to achieve certified status. Read More
Crop InputsWinField Unveiling NutriVision Technology, Ascend Dry F…
February 24, 2015
New for 2015 are NutriVision Technology, a unique tool for monitoring in-season plant nutrient availability, and Ascend WSG plant growth regulator, a new dry formulation of Ascend plant growth regulator. Read More
FertilizerNew Formulation Of NutriSphere-N Protects High Volume U…
February 24, 2015
Verdesian Life Sciences is launching NutriSphere-N HVTM, a new polymer formulation of the proven NutriSphere-N Nitrogen Fertilizer Manager that protects high-volume applications of UAN. Read More
EquipmentIowa Ag Secretary Northey Names Hagie Water Quality Lea…
February 24, 2015
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey has named Hagie Mfg. as a recipient of the Secretary’s Water Quality Initiative (WQI) Leader Award. Read More
FungicidesEvito Fungicide Gives Canadian Wheat Growers New Diseas…
February 24, 2015
EVITO fungicide from Arysta LifeScience North America gives Canadian wheat and barley growers a new option for disease control. Read More
Eric SfiligojThe Commodity Classic Turns 20
February 23, 2015
Two decades in, this annual gathering of all things agriculture has become a must-see event. Read More
CropLife 100Cooperative CHS Returns $518 Million To Owners
February 23, 2015
The 2015 cash return to owners is based on CHS net income of $1.1 billion, the company's second highest on record. Read More
ManagementCropLife Retail Week: On The Road Edition
February 20, 2015
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discuss their recent trips to the National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville and the Read More
Crop InputsLand O’Lakes Acquires FLM+ Assets
February 19, 2015
FLM+ will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Land O'Lakes, Inc., and the company will retain its employee base after closing of the deal, which is scheduled for the second quarter of the year. Read More
Seed/BiotechUnited Suppliers, Stine Seed Form Marketing Alliance
February 19, 2015
The new alliance will greatly expand sales opportunities for Stine Seed with the United Supplier Seed Link Owners. Read More
Crop InputsVilsack To Deliver Commodity Classic Keynote Address
February 19, 2015
The secretary will deliver a keynote address to several thousand farmers and ag allies during the event's General Session, to be held Friday, February 27, in Phoenix, AZ. Read More
Crop InputsSoybean Storage Tips
February 19, 2015
On-farm storage of soybeans requires some special considerations compared to corn. Read More
Monsanto Sign
Crop InputsBioAg Alliance Delivers Promising Field Trial Results
February 19, 2015
In its first full year of field trials, the BioAg Alliance reported that the top 10 microbial strains tested in corn and soybeans showed very promising results. Read More
National Farm Machinery Show overview
EquipmentNational Farm Machinery Show Attendance Up By 16K
February 18, 2015
The 2015 event saw the second highest attendance total of all time as 310,589 attendees that included exhibitors and agribusiness professionals traveled to the Kentucky Exposition Center to participate in the nation’s largest indoor ag trade show. Read More