Octopus Yachts Standardizes TRXio for Simplified Inventory Management
TRXio creates efficient serialization, tracking and asset management for custom marine electronics installer.
Octopus Yachts – a leading installer for custom marine electronics – has standardized TRXio’s inventory management and asset tracking software to keep a detailed history of unique items and history of its movement to better serve high end pleasure vessel owners and small commercial vessel operators. Based on the New Jersey coast, Octopus Yachts, tracks nearly a quarter of a million dollars of inventory, including GPS, chart plotters, radar, sonar, audio, video and more, with TRXio powered by Cairnstack Software.
Octopus Yachts performs new electronics installations, refits and service existing equipment at their headquarters in New Jersey and on the road with five service vehicles, making it difficult to track inventory from each of their permanent and mobile locations. Octopus Yachts integrated TRXio nearly one year ago, now spending more than 40 hours on the software per week, “Before TRXio, we were using Excel and a custom ‘equipment log’ spreadsheet, but this was very cumbersome and prone to error,” said Rob Demeter, parts manager for Octopus Yachts. “As sales volume increased, we needed a way to track equipment and parts throughout the job cycle. At the same time, we wanted to reduce unnecessary parts in inventory while maintaining sufficient stock for daily operations and to track specific details such as serial numbers to assist in invoicing and warranty purposes. Often high-value items are brought in specifically for a certain project, or need to be allocated from stock so we can have equipment lined up for projects as soon as the vessel or tech staff is ready. During “spring rush” we need to know, at a glance, if the ten chart plotters we have in the shop have been allocated to projects, and if we need to order more. At $6,000 a piece – we don’t want to overstock, or be short and make a customer wait.”
Octopus Yachts had spent a great deal of time looking for an inventory management and asset tracking software to allow them to spend less time tracking products and more time working on their customer’s installations, As a business that sells and services emerging technology, we are excited by new developments that can increase our productivity,” said Demeter. “One of the first challenges we faced was educating ourselves that everything needs its own QR code, even if it is a ‘simple’ bulk item, for example a network coupler. We might stock 50 of them and they don’t have serial numbers, but each one still needs a QR code for the system to function. It’s not as simple as a traditional SKU system but the effort put in is worth it.”
TRXio has helped to improve communication between outside technicians, those inside the office and different departments to allocate which parts are assigned for a particular job, “We love the ability to track each part as a unique item and keep a detailed history of its movements. We have looked at other inventory systems and nothing else is as thorough,” said Demeter. “A typical SKU based system does not account for the nuances of each unique piece of equipment we handle such as serial number, date in, software version loaded, and configuration. All off these parameters can be different on the same item for us, and we need to reference those parameters often. With almost every other package we looked at, something as basic as serial numbers was an afterthought that required a ‘workaround.’ With TRXio, each items’ uniqueness is built right in to the software’s core. We strongly feel that TRXio performs in a way that no other system can accomplish.”
By standardizing inventory management and asset tracking in TRXio, it has created a more efficient and effective approach. Octopus Yachts has fully adopted TRXio, even adding QR codes to equipment used on installation, “Being able to locate exactly what we have and where it is helps immensely in checking stock and in placing orders. Being able to see historical details about items saves time on warranty registrations, invoicing and future service and warranty work,” said Demeter. “We’ve also assigned QR codes in TRXio to our tools, and on several occasions this has led to the return of an extension cord or drill that was left at a boatyard. Someone found the tool, scanned the QR code, and called us up to let us know they found it!”
As an early adopter of TRXio’s software, Octopus Yachts has experienced the immense progression and enhancements that have been implemented. “We’ve seen more improvements with each update and TRXio is probably one of our most important software tools now. Our next step is giving all of our technician’s access to TRXio in the field,” said Demeter. “We would strongly recommend TRXio because of its ability to record and track inventory so precisely, and a support team that is one of the best we work with. One of the most amazing things we’ve seen is how the software package has grown in a very short time based on suggestions we’ve given. We’ve never seen another software platform update as fast as TRXio, and each update is stable, which is a necessity in the business environment. Cairnstack Software and TRXio has become the mark with which we judge other companies by.”
TRXio continues to update software, rolling out new enhancements and partnering with other players in the AV industry to create a more robust, reliable solution for custom installers. Specifically designed for the AV industry, TRXio provides a unique approach to inventory management and asset tracking, “As a former integrator, I saw a need for a software that allowed custom installers to keep track of their products during the entire lifecycle, including after they’re installed,” said Reid Hanson, president and founder for TRXio. “When Octopus Yachts registered as a TRXio user, I worked with them hands-on during the first demo and we continue to provide them with sales support, located in-house at our headquarters. We’re honored that Octopus Yachts understands the power of our software and we’re pleased have them as one of our valued customers.”