PDI was fundamental in giving us the data to see how we are doing on an interim basis instead of waiting on financials.
The story of Lykins Energy Solutions all started in the years just after World War II in 1948 with Guy “Bandy” Lykins and a service station in Newtonsville, Ohio. Decades later, the company is in the control of the third generation of family ownership and processing over 400 million gallons in unbranded wholesale, branded wholesale, bulk plant sales, petroleum product transportation, power generation and power consulting across 16 states.
“We’re very diversified around meeting all our customers’ energy needs,” said Bob Manning, vice president and CFO at Lykins.
The company has grown a lot since its early days, but the values Guy instilled in his sons remain the foundation for Lykins’ success today: the customer comes first.
Despite all its roots and experience in commercial and residential fuel services, Lykins was having trouble finding solid footing in the modern world of digitally powered business. Specifically, its software just wasn’t up to par, creating problems for the company.
Manning cited the company’s particular pain points related to lack of integration with other systems, difficulty adding enhancements and customization, and limited access to data and customized reports.
Lykins had a number of company-specific needs that its existing solution couldn’t satisfy: sourcing engine, intercompany freight processing and flexible pricing configurations. The company also wanted to move toward automated electronic billing, but it needed a solution that had powerful reporting and tracking capabilities first.
After deciding to make a switch, Lykins teamed up with PDI. Almost immediately, the company was able to unlock the gains it knew it could make with capable software.
“PDI improved our ability to deliver more current data through customized exception reporting and allowed for the flow of electronic data to begin taking steps toward automating more steps in billing,” Manning said.
The quality of reporting was a big benefit for Lykins, as was the accessibility of information.
“PDI was fundamental in giving us the data to see how we are doing on an interim basis instead of waiting on financials,” Manning explained. “Now, we can see down to the individual invoice if need be to make sure we are on track.”
Manning also noted that visibility into and capacity to add import and export jobs saved time and money. Receiving completed load and order data shortly before a delivery is made helped Lykins make progress in automating electronic billing.
Lykins saw results right away after working with PDI, registering a 17.6 percent decrease in day sales outstanding after one year. The company met its projected ROI and made progress in other areas, like DSO, that “came as a surprise.”
In addition to the operational advantages Lykins gained with the solution, the relationship with PDI became a trusted and valued one that Lykins could leverage in many areas.
“PDI’s not afraid to think outside the box to bring us solutions,” Manning said.
That responsiveness and ingenuity in meeting customer expectations goes back to the ideals of Guy, solidifying the partnership.
“Over the years they’ve listened to challenges we’ve faced with how to handle changing demands and have been able to make recommendations,” he adds. “PDI is a business partner to us. If we have a situation that we are struggling with, we don’t hesitate to ask how we can work together to resolve the situation.”
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