Tigerpaw Blog

How a converged IT services provider overcame inventory management woes

Kelly Ethington is president of Complete Technology Solutions, which uses Tigerpaw One.

Kelly Ethington’s CFO was threatening to retire.

After more than 20 years of utilizing Tigerpaw, Complete Technology Solutions (CTS) made the decision to switch to ConnectWise in 2014.

“I remember my disappointment when I found out we’d lost them,” Tigerpaw President & CEO James Foxall says. “I felt we lost friends, not just a client.”

CTS soon was hurting, too. The company’s issues with the other PSA software began with inventory, especially receiving equipment, assigning parts and costing of assemblies.

“We had a few things that we thought were missing on the service module of Tigerpaw,” says Kelly, president of the Sparta, Ill.-based company that offers unified communications, managed IT solutions, cloud solutions, surveillance and access control and disaster recovery. “Once we made the switch over, however, we were surprised. With a tremendous pain that lasted over an 18-month time frame, the challenges impacted our business tremendously.”


Receiving equipment

Many of the orders CTS receives for clients are quite large, ranging from 200-500. The CTS inventory is serialized and each item needed to be individually scanned into the database. But CTS staff sometimes had to re-scan entire batches due to errors with individual items.

“As you can imagine,” Kelly says, “this was extremely frustrating to our staff, and, of course, very cost-prohibited for our company.”

Assigning of parts

Another pain point for CTS was the assigning of parts to an account’s assets, or better known as Confirgurations in the other software. When a quote was sold and installed, CTS had to manually enter each individual item to get the parts moved over from the quote to the configurations of the customer’s account.

“The demand of this actually forced us to hire a full-time employee to do nothing but this process,” Kelly says. “Obviously, that was an expense far and above what we imagined.”

Costing of assemblies

CTS uses both open and closed assemblies for quoting. The other software gives accurate total costing for the assembly, but not for individual items within that assembly.

Instead, it averaged the total cost among the number of items that were inside the assembly. So when CTS had a quote and didn’t use a part, they were unable to pull the correct cost out of what they actually installed.

“This created another time-consuming, manual entry for my accounting staff,” Kelly says. “And we had to manually adjust each cost line item every day with the assembly used.”

Reconciling assets

The biggest problem CTS encountered, however, was reconciling its assets daily, something it had done since its founding in 1984.

With the other software, they began seeing fluctuations of tens of thousands of dollars from one direction on one day to the complete opposite the next day. After months of reporting the issue to the other software company, CTS was told that the issue was in the software itself and that all users of the software were experiencing it and didn’t even know it.

“The issue prevented us from being able to accurately access our financials,” Kelly says. “We really struggled to account for how our company was truly performing. We couldn’t make good decisions.”

Back to Tigerpaw

For all of those reasons, CTS knew it was time to return to Tigerpaw.

“We got them on Tigerpaw One, squared up their inventory and accounting and the relationship is as strong as ever,” James says.

Today, CTS has found ways to do more automation and is fully committed to staying educated on all of Tigerpaw’s offerings — something it hadn’t been doing prior to leaving Tigerpaw.

“The software plays an enormous part of our business success,” Kelly says. “Had we done this all along, we really never would have left, and we would have saved hundreds of thousands of dollars in the long run. Our staff is so much happier because of the efficiency they’re able to gain and being able to just trust the software. We are truly overwhelmed to be back with Tigerpaw.”

And that CFO?

“He just retired,” Kelly says. “But he helped us successfully get us to where we needed to go. I had a very happy CFO when he did retire.”

How Tigerpaw can help

Is your company struggling with inventory management issues similar to CTS? Download this eBook and find out how a PSA software solves six common inventory management challenges.


A business automation software like Tigerpaw One can solve six of the most common inventory management challenges for IT services SMBs.

Dec 20, 2019 2:44:01 PM / Posted by Team Tigerpaw

Tags: Customer spotlight, Inventory and Asset Management