Tribute Customer of the Quarter – Hydraulic Controls, Inc.
The History of Hydraulic Controls Inc.
by Chuck Hranac, IT Manager, HCI
Hydraulic Controls Inc. was founded in 1965 by Richard Cotter in a modest facility in Emeryville, California. The emphasis for the initial business program included sales of hydraulic equipment for mobile applications as well as for industrial applications, reflecting the nature of two principle product lines.
Early in the business venture, it was determined that a branch operation was desired in the center of the Sacramento Valley since a considerable amount of business was being developed with specialty manufacturers of fruit harvesting and product handling machines. A small branch was established in a rental facility north of Yuba City to provide local inventory support and service capabilities to our customers in that area.
Subsequently, branch operations were established in Redding, Stockton, Fresno, and Tulare, California. Concurrently, branch operations were opened in Salt Lake City, Utah, Denver, Colorado, and Phoenix, Arizona. Through the acquisition of the facility built by one of our original product line manufacturers in Hawthorne, California, we established an important presence in the greater Los Angeles market. The San Diego facility was developed through another acquisition several years later.
Throughout the years, Hydraulic Controls Inc. (HCI) technology has advanced by leaps and bounds. In 2001, HCI stepped into the 21st century by partnering with Tribute Software in order to better manage inventory levels, control finances, and provide high levels of quality customer service. Tribute Software and their staff assisted in an implementation which spanned across eleven branch offices and four states. This was no easy task, nor was it without its problems.
In January 2002, management made the decision to upgrade technology yet again by completely reworking the network, computers, switches, routers, and printers. Once again, Tribute was there to assist with their excellent knowledge and willingness to help. During the 2002 - 2007 fiscal years Tribute has played a key role in the continued success of Hydraulic Controls by providing straight forward business solutions such as Auto emailing and faxing of invoices, statements, and acknowledgements to our customers. This implementation has helped HCI save over $18,000.00 the first year.
Implementations such as cycle counting have been key in the management of inventories across eleven branch offices. We’ve eliminated the need for annual inventory counts which rack up overtime hours and detract from daily business. Bin Management has been crucial in this program as well by setting locations for each item, which makes shelving and pulling product more effective and less costly.
As Hydraulic Controls continues to move forward in its business model, we will continue to use Tribute as a base line for growth, technology, cost reduction, and business practice streamlining. Future projects may include adding features by Tribute associates Rubber Tree Systems (Tribute Mobile), and Tour De Force for the sales staff marketing capabilities which include CRM, and Real-Time data throughput. Our outside sales staff would be able to track and follow up with important sales leads using CRM technology. Blackberry phones would provide up to the minute quote status, sales information and connectivity to the global market we all work and live in. We see Tribute as a great business partner for many years to come.