As I learned first hand this week, when a company combines great customer service with an effective inventory management system they’re bound to keep their customers happy. Here it was the first official week of spring … and no sooner did I drag the tractor out of hibernation did I realize that old green would require an infusion of parts. So I headed off to a not-quite-local shop, in search of answers …

Within seconds, the chap behind the counter tickled the inventory system to display a schematic on the monitor as a copy rolled out of the laser printer. When I returned to the ranch I knew exactly what to expect when I tore the beast apart.

After busting a couple of knuckles, I quickly identified what was needed to complete the repair. Having the schematic in hand — with an exploded view of the mechanism — made all the difference. I returned to the shop that afternoon with a checklist and I placed my order.

It took a couple of days for the order to arrive.

Two of the pieces — a cotter pin and a washer — initially showed in the inventory system as not being in stock. Seeing that the manufacturer had high minimum orders for these small pieces, the shop did not order them, in the hope that we might be able to come up with a suitable replacement. But lo and behold, when I went to pick up the order, they plugged the numbers into their inventory management system and they came up as in stock. Woo hoo!

Even better, the shop’s inventory system displayed the exact bin and shelf location of the parts. Pretty cool stuff … and about 180 degrees from my last experience with a poorly-implemented small business inventory management system.

These guys went the extra mile to help me out and I’ll be sure to come back again. I’m happy to drive a few extra miles. There’s no discounting friendly and competent service … (not to mention the free spiffy JD baseball hat they tossed in the box) …