Big Rig Dealer Streamlines Payments with ACOM Software
October 20, 2009 Alex Woodie
Worldwide Equipment, a big rig dealer with more than 30 locations, expects to save a lot of money and time as the result of a new payment system it implemented with the help of ACOM Solutions. The company used several ACOM offerings, including EZPayManager and the new iBridge spool file conversion tool, in the roll-out of the ACH payment network and check-printing system.
Worldwide Equipment sells, leases, and services medium- and heavy-duty trucks and trailers from manufacturers like Mack, Volvo, Kenworth, GMC, Hino, and Benson. The company, which is based in Prestonburg, Kentucky, operates 32 locations through five states in the South and Midwest.
Like many vehicle dealers, Worldwide Equipment relies on AS/400 technology–specifically, an iSeries model 520–to manage its business operations. However, the company found the platform a little too slow and restrictive when it came to printing checks. And with 1,300 checks to print every month, the system was a good candidate for an upgrade.
Before implementing the Windows-based EZPayManager system, Worldwide’s check-printing system was composed of multiple dedicated check printers and six different pre-printed check forms. When the company needed to print checks or remittance forms, an employee from the IT department would manually load the appropriate check stock or form into the printer. Each print run was conducted sequentially, making the whole thing work-intensive and time-consuming.
Now that ACOM’s EZPayManager is in place, Worldwide’s check and payment process is much more automated and efficient. The check or payment process still starts with i5/OS spool files generated from the company’s iSeries server. But instead of printing directly to dedicated check printers, spool files are first converted from the restrictive EBCDIC format to the more open ASCII format using iBridge, which ACOM lauched this summer.
When the company needs to print a check, the Windows-based EZPayManager automatically merges the converted i5/OS spool file data (which is stored on the iSeries’ IFS) with a pre-defined check template stored on the Windows machine. The check image is then printed on a fast laser printer, using blank check stock.
According to Worldwide IT manager Wayne Dyer, the new check printing system is much faster and more flexible. “We now do all of the check runs at once,” Dyer says. “This is a great time-saver because of the speed of the printers and the fact that check stock doesn’t have to be changed out for each different check run. It also saves management time, since the checks are signed as they are produced.”
In addition to the new check-printing setup, EZPayManager allows Worldwide to make payments electronically using the Automated Clearing House (ACH) network. The company is currently working to transition some of its partners to the Vendor Self-Service module, which will allow them to receive payments from Worldwide via ACH and have the option of viewing remittance forms via paper, e-mail, fax, or the Web.