Success Stories

Connectedness is a key word in our growth strategy - with our companions, our customers, our community and, of course, our own company. We need an IT company that gets where we're going and how technology can support that vision. We are bakers and we don't have the time or energy to worry about the stuff Karpel is good at.

We moved our bread production facility for the first time in 22 years. We bake and deliver bread seven days a week. We shut our ovens down in South City at 2 am and pulled our first breads from our new ovens in West STL by noon. We needed a lot of IT support to pull that off. Karpel made it happen seamlessly.

What we like best about working with Karpel....Responsiveness. We call. Karpel answers. We have a problem. Karpel fixes it. We want a creative solution. Karpel figures it out.


Bread Guy
Companion Baking


Karpel helped us plan and flawlessly execute a major software upgrade that required a transition from a client-deployed hosted on our servers to a web-based application. Karpel personnel are technically knowledgeable, highly responsive and just good people.


Car Credit City, LLC


Karpel custom created the application that operates all seven Kennelwood Pet Resort locations. They continue to support and monitor our network with the 'iNSIGHT' program. Help is only a phone call away and resolved quickly by a wonderful and friendly support center.


IS Manager
Kennelwood Pet Resorts


We appreciate the technical expertise Karpel brings to our banks. With 17 branches and offices around Missouri it is important to partner with a firm that understands our industry and the importance of both network security and productivity achieved by constant maintenance of our network.


President
BancStar, Inc.


Karpel Solutions have been our technology support organization for several years. We outsourced all of our technology support to them including servers, workstations, software updates and the VoIP application (phone network). We have avoided the expense of staffing an internal technology organization including hiring, training, etc. Karpel keeps up with current technology and, as a result, keeps my organization current with new technology. We do not consider Karpel as an expense. Rather, we consider Karpel as a value creator.


IT Director
BancStar, Inc.


I just wanted to say thank you for all the help working through the outstanding items in 5.3 the last couple of months, and the very few post-live issues we had with the 5.3 upgrade. Overall it went extremely well, the release is very solid, and the issues we had were minor and solvable. The response here has been enthusiastic, people are thrilled with all of the new things you’ve added at our request. They are stopping me in the hallway to tell me how much they like certain features.

Thanks for being our partner, you guys rock!


King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office


Thank you for hosting the CA User Group meeting yesterday. I always find your meetings to be very informative and helpful, and I appreciate your openness to all of the user suggestions. PbK just keeps getting better and it is because of your continuous desire to improve the product. So thank you!


District Attorney's Office, County of Merced


Maricopa County Attorney’s Office Streamlines Prosecution Process with New Case Management System

PHOENIX – Prosecutors with the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office will greatly reduce the amount of paperwork they have to handle by using a new online criminal case management system to create and exchange electronic documents with the courts, law enforcement agencies and defense attorneys. The new system, PROSECUTORbyKARPEL, is also designed to facilitate a mobile solution that allows prosecutors to quickly access necessary case information while in court using computer tablets.

“This solution represents a quantum leap forward in our efforts to create a paperless system that allows our prosecutors to more effectively and efficiently manage their caseloads,” said Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery. “By reducing or eliminating the delays that frequently occur with generating and distributing paper documents, we will be able to shorten the time it takes to resolve cases and provide justice for victims and their families,” he added.

“The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office is setting an important example for other large prosecution agencies by converting to an online case management system that will improve day to day operations and serve the greater interests of the communities they protect,” said Jeff Karpel, founder of Karpel Solutions. “We are proud to have been selected as a partner in this effort and we look forward to an ongoing successful relationship,” he added.

In adopting PROSECUTORbyKARPEL, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office becomes one of the largest jurisdictions in the U.S. to convert from a case management system that relies on data stored in multiple “silos” to one in which information is centralized in a single location accessible from virtually anywhere. The new platform will allow attorneys, paralegals and support staff to electronically file court documents, access criminal histories, track evidence, provide discovery materials and perform a range of other tasks without having to rely on a physical case file.

Karpel Solutions is a solutions provider that focuses on streamlining criminal prosecution across America with the implementation of current and cost effective technology.


I want to thank Karpel for the tremendous job they did converting our data. We now have a data base that is usable and helpful for every employee of the office... Most importantly, Karpel has provided an effective tool that increases our ability to prosecute crime in our county.”


Chief Trial Attorney
Jackson County


Merced DA's office second in California to go paperless

Perhaps no product has been more indispensable over the years in the criminal court system than paper - reams and reams of paper. From police reports to criminal complaints to legal briefs, writs, appeals and judgments the system has always run on countless tons of paper. But that is changing.

On Monday, January 5th, the Merced County District Attorney’s office officially went “paperless”. All of the prosecutors in the DA’s office started the New Year bringing their laptops or iPads to court in order to conduct business.

According to District Attorney Larry D. Morse II, Merced County is only the second county in California to go paperless, after Yolo County. The milestone has been a few years in the making, he said, and puts the Merced County District Attorney’s office on the cutting edge of criminal justice technology.

Morse said “paperless” is something of a misnomer. “A more accurate term would be ‘fileless,’ as there will always be a need for some paper in the court system,” he said. But under a “fileless” system, prosecutors and clerical staff will not spend their work days creating, carrying and storing thousands of paper files as they have for decades. All of their cases and the information needed to conduct their weekly criminal calendars will be accessible from their laptop or IPad while in the courthouse.

In 2010 the District Attorney’s office purchased a new case management system, Prosecutor by Karpel, a St. Louis, Mo. based company with clients in several states that was looking to get a toehold in California’s market. Morse said the company made his office “a discount deal that was too good to pass up. We became their ‘loss leader’ in California and it has proven to be an incredible bargain.”

Morse noted it is something of an irony that California, the home of the Silicon Valley, has lagged far behind other states in criminal justice technology. He described the previous case management system as “antiquated and inefficient in every way. The new system has enabled our attorneys, clerical staff, investigators and victim/witness staff to receive and store police reports, written evidence and court documents electronically and to access and share that information much more quickly.

Morse said the ultimate goal for the new system was always to get the office to operate without paper files as soon as possible. He acknowledged there were some challenges along the way.

“Some of the older attorneys, me most of all, had a more difficult time making a transition from the comfort of paper to computers. Our younger attorneys, who have been raised in a computer age, have stepped into the new system without a hitch,” he said.

The move towards becoming “fileless” was led by Chief Deputy District Attorney Harold Nutt and Staff Services Analyst Trish Goodman who Morse described as “relentless in keeping us on task and moving toward our goal.”

“We were really interested in being on the front end of the technology curve instead of bringing up the rear. District Attorneys offices in other states have been fileless for many years. It’s a much more efficient way to conduct business and has the added benefit of being environmentally responsible,” he said.


How an ASP-based solution can help your business

Grimco Inc. dramatically improved customer service and sales response this year after installing CRMbyKarpel, a customer relationship management (CRM) software by Karpel Computer Systems.

Is your information availability keeping up with larger competitors and high-demand customers? The Internet has increased the speed on which decisions are made and communicated. Most companies, and their customers, depend on it as part of their day-to-day business operations. However, many firms still fail to take advantage of everything high-speed communications has to offer. Those who fall behind the curve are not only losing significant business opportunities, but may be losing ground to their competition.

Larger companies are able to support and access critical business applications through a traditional in-house server-based system. In this scenario all equipment is located at the company site and the company takes full responsibility for the entire system.

Companies like this must make hardware and software purchases, system upgrades, back-ups, and have round-the-clock technical support. In addition, as a company grows and requirements change, the information and communications system must adapt to these changes. The system may require additional hardware, equipment and software licenses when a new location is added. Costs can be significant.

So how do you take advantage of the applications and processes your larger competitors enjoy? A sound alternative for a small business is an Applications Service Provider or ASP-based solution. An ASP hosts applications and data in a world-class data center. Information is accessed via secure connections over the Internet. The ASP manages the site thereby replacing the need for installing and maintaining applications and data on every PC or server at every business location. All general IT maintenance, all data back-ups, and software upgrades are done at the central data center. The Internet is integrated into the solution to support fast, efficient, simultaneous communications between companies and individuals at multiple locations. Without the need to host your own applications, the ASP can help level the playing field with your bigger competitors.

Stable and reliable, the 24 hours per day, seven days per week operation is a key benefit of an ASP-based solution. Most installations include on-site generators for power failures, unlimited Internet bandwidth and automatic failover switching for communication failures. All you need is an Internet connection to use your application in a well-maintained and stable environment. An ASP will seamlessly support remote employees and remote operations you would otherwise need to manage. You can catch-up on work in your office, home, or on the road during regular business hours at night.

You also control the costs. The ASP-model is typically subscriber-based putting you in control. Payment is by monthly fee or fee-based on usage. No need to purchase software(and any upgrades) outright. This monthly fee remains the same until your needs change or you opt to add or remove certain services. It’s all-inclusive and covers software upgrades, system back-ups, security and general maintenance of the data system. You don't need a long-term commitment and you have the flexibility to make and change business decisions quickly as needed.

An ASP solution also offers a world-class data center; a powerhouse built on the latest technologies. It supports an aggressive service model and is continually upgraded to support the changing needs and requirements of the customer base. It seamlessly performs software upgrades with automatic back-ups. It has a high level of reliability with full redundancy capabilities and is less likely to go down than an individual or legacy system. An ASP also offers a robust secure environment including firewalls, encryption and the latest security technology.

Small-business owners realize that to be successful in today’s competitive marketplace, it is essential to focus their time and resources on their core competencies. Many have found that though they need computer technology to run their business, they need it as a user, not as a manager. For them, an ASP is the right way to go.


St. Louis County

Karpel Custom Software, a subsidiary of St. Louis-based Karpel Computer Systems, was contracted by St. Louis County to develop and install a new case management system for the office of the prosecuting attorney.

The Karpel Case Management System enables the county to track prior arrests, convictions and offenses of any kind. KCMS should be fully operational by April. Total cost for license, installation, configuration, training and data conversions is $224,000. Karpel is offering the upgraded version. Karpel is offering the upgraded version of the software at no charge to the city of St. Louis which has been using an earlier version since 1999.


Abstar Disbursing Co.

Karpel Custom, a subsidiary of Karpel Computer Systems of south St. Louis County, has won a $400,000 contract to develop an application for Abstar Disbursing Co. of Clayton, a company that provides construction disbursing services and mechanics’ line coverage.

The Internet-based application will replace Abstar's in-house disbursing application. Abstar wants to offer the new system to other disbursing companies on a subscription basis, said John McEvoy, president of Abstar.

Karpel, based at 5714 South Lindbergh Boulevard, has created dozens of custom software and Web development projects, said its president, Jeff Karpel.


Lou Fusz and Karpel Design Service Scheduler

Lou Fusz Automotive Network is best-known for selling and repairing cars driven by many St. Louisans. But the Kirkwood-based company recently has become involved in a side business: a sophisticated software application service for automotive service departments.

Karpel Computer Systems in south St. Louis County has developed an innovative software application, CarScheduler.com, which allows customers to easily schedule service appointments online. It also gives dealerships the ability to track productivity and better manage the work flow in their service departments.

Instead of a software package installed on a personal computer, the application is hosted on a remote server controlled by Karpel Computer. Customers access the program through their dealer's Web site.

Lou Fusz has rolled out the service at all five of its Saturn dealerships and will expand the application to its other 11 stores.

Now, Karpel Computer plans to sell the service to other Saturn dealerships nationwide. Marketing efforts start this week.

Customers love the convenience of the online system, said Chuck Tucker, fixed operations manager at Lou Fusz Saturn in Creve Coeur.

Since introducing this capability in May, about 25 percent of the Creve Coeur customers now use the online service requests, and the store hopes that eventually increases to 50 percent, he said.

"Right off the bat, it picked up faster than what I thought it would," Tucker said.

Before, customers phoned the service department and talked to a service writer, who made the appointment.

Now they can schedule online 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In the request, customers can pick one of 20 common problems or services, or they can give a detailed description of a problem.

The new program also means service writers can spend more time talking to customers instead of juggling incoming calls from people wanting to schedule a simple oil change or brake job.

Most importantly, the program only allows a customer to schedule an appointment when a technician with the right experience to handle the job is available.

"If a customer wanted an engine overhaul and I had only two beginner technicians here (at the requested time), it wouldn't let you schedule," Tucker said.

The beta version

By matching a specific appointment with an available technician, CarScheduler.com allows dealers to turn around jobs more quickly and finish jobs by a specific time.

The application grew out of frustration with scheduling programs that fell short of the dealer's expectations, said Chris Hedgpeth, operations manager for all Lou Fusz Saturns. The stores already had a scheduler program, but it was archaic and not much more than a simple calendar, he said.

"That's why we've converted back to paper" to make appointments, Hedgpeth said.

Then last year, a Lou Fusz manager mentioned the problem to Jeff Karpel, president of Karpel Computer. The dealer had used Karpel Computer to maintain mainframes at the Saturn businesses.

Karpel was excited about the chance to work closely with Lou Fusz in creating a new automotive product. Besides being the largest dealership group in the St. Louis area, Lou Fusz is the 69th-largest auto dealer group in the nation, posting $481 million in revenue last year, according to Automotive News.

Working closely with the Lou Fusz staff for about six months, Karpel Computer rolled out a trial, or beta, version of the software in May at the Creve Coeur store. By August, the four other Saturn stores were running the service, too.

Dealers using CarScheduler.com would be charged a fee, initially set at 95 cents, whenever a customer made an appointment. That includes a reminder e-mail and automated phone call to the customer as well as a follow-up e-mail, asking about the service.

A fee would make the service affordable for smaller dealerships, Karpel said.

"Within a year, I hope to be offering this service to independent repair shops," he said.

Making a match

Lou Fusz expects the online schedule to improve customer satisfaction. But the company hopes to see additional benefits on the business side, too.

"This is just not a service scheduler, it's an actual management tool," Hedgpeth said.

The dealer benefited the first day it introduced the program at the Saturn store in Columbia, Mo. Early-bird customers were requesting work that required higher-level technicians than the store regularly had at the start of the day. That spurred the dealer to change its staffing, Hedgpeth said.

Matching the right job with the right technician also saves the dealer money, he said.

"I don't need (highly skilled) technicians, earning journeyman wages, doing oil changes and rotating tires," work that can be done by lower-wage apprentices, Hedgpeth said.

Michael Behrmann, associate professor of automotive technology at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, hasn't had the opportunity to examine CarScheduler.com.

But dealerships are certain to give the application a good look, because they already face a tough task juggling complex repair work and a large volume of jobs, he said.

Behrmann estimates that roughly 40 percent of service departments use some software, which varies from the simple to the complex.

"A lot of service departments are looking for better management service software," he said. "If it has the capability, is priced correctly and offers ease of service, it is going to be a wonderful tool."

Besides keeping costs down, dealerships want to keep customers happy, which often means doing repairs as quickly as possible, Behrmann said. "If you can get them back on the road as soon as possible ... that will help customer satisfaction."


St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Sunday, Oct. 02 2005


Grimco and CRMbyKARPEL

Grimco Inc. dramatically improved customer service and sales response this year after installing CRMbyKARPEL, a customer relationship management (CRM) software by Karpel Computer Systems.

Phil Green, an outside salesperson at Grimco, thinks it has made a huge impact on the way sales happen. “While driving down the highway, I received a phone call from an upset customer,” says Green, “He was promised a quote last week and was giving me one more chance to get his business. He was willing to stay on the phone while I pulled onto the shoulder and opened my laptop. I reviewed his account using CRMbyKARPEL and clarified his needs. While sitting in my car, I finished the quotation and e-mailed it to my customer.”

“My customer was astounded at the quick turnaround,” reports Green. “He reviewed the quote and agreed to proceed with the order on the spot. This program turned a negative situation into a positive one in under two minutes. I think I was just as amazed as he was. I would have never dreamed of providing that kind of service before this technology was available.”

Grimco Inc. is a large sign supply distributor with 16 locations, 225 employees and roughly 25,000 active customers across the nation. This customized CRM software package has allowed Grimco to organize its sales effort throughout the company. Because CRMbyKARPEL integrates directly into their back-office system, everyone is working off the same data.


Kennelwood Village chooses Karpel Computer Systems

What the software does: Ties all six Kennelwood locations together, keeps detailed customer information, tracks services provided to pets and performs payroll, scheduling and other office functions.

Does your terrier demand three walks a day? Need insulin shots? Mid-afternoon treats? Time to run around and bark with other canines?

If so, Kennelwood Village is happy to provide those services for dogs boarding at its chain of facilities. Kennelwood offers an array of services at its pet hotels, from Yappy Hour treats to personal playtime to suites with televisions tuned to "Animal Planet."

But tracking services for as many as 650 dogs and 70 cats boarding on holiday weekends, 75,000 yearly grooming appointments and dozens of training classes overwhelmed the off-the-shelf computer program Kennelwood used until May.

"We had a lot of special requirements," said Barb Haynes, general manager of three Kennelwood locations. "When you're dealing with people's family members, you don't want anything to fall through the cracks."

So early last year, Kennelwood managers began discussing their needs with Karpel Computer Systems Inc. of Saint Louis.

Kennelwood wanted to document each service provided to each animal, track each pet's vaccinations, its food and veterinarian - as well as assure that there was enough staff to provide the services.

In addition, Kennelwood needed payroll, financial functions and detailed information on each customer, from contact information to pickup and drop-off times for boarding or grooming.

Karpel started with a customer-relationship management program, but that didn't take into account the boarding and grooming aspects of animal care. Jeff Karpel, president and chief executive, likened the project to merging retail, hotel-management and service-business programs.

It took nearly a year of programming and consulting with Kennelwood to come up with the new system, dubbed eKennelwood.

The system ties all six Kennelwood locations together, so a customer who calls one office can enroll in programs at another location without making a second phone call. Early next year, customers will be able to make reservations for boarding or grooming online, specifying their pets' individual needs or a preference for a specific groomer.

Kennelwood customers can buy prepaid cards for multiple days of doggie day camp and other services. The eKennelwood program allows the company to track use of the cards, so it can remind customers when they're down to one or two visits, said Joe Zuccarello, vice president of hotel operations for Kennelwood.

It also tracks vaccination records, so Kennelwood can remind prospective boarders if they need shots before their next visit.

Kennelwood also uses the program to track pickup and delivery of pets to clients' houses with its fleet of nine Bow Wow buses, seven boasting a giant golden retriever on top. Kennelwood plans to offer doggie day care pickup soon to employees at Nestle Purina PetCare, where many employees bring their dogs to work.

The scheduling functions allow Kennelwood to shift its 225 employees among facilities as needed. For example, the holiday period means full houses at the company's three boarding facilities, but traffic at non-boarding locations may be light. Because most pets are bathed and groomed before returning home, the company sometimes brings in extra groomers as early as 5 a.m. on the Monday after a holiday weekend.

Kennelwood has grown dramatically in the 31 years since it was founded, but the old computer system was one constraint on its growth, Haynes said.

With eKennelwood, the company and Karpel set up a new location in O'Fallon, Mo., on the system in about 20 minutes - less time than was needed to install the store's computers.

Zuccarello is looking forward to using the system's analytical capabilities to determine where new facilities are needed, to gauge the popularity of certain services, even the productivity of employees.

Above all, Kennelwood wants to give its customers the security of knowing that their pets are cared for properly when the owners are away.

"They're boarding their pet here because they trust us," Zuccarello said.


St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Monday, Nov. 28 2005


First Bank ACH Prepaid Debit Card

First Bank started development of their prepaid card product line in 2002. Our initial focus was to tap into the unbanked consumer market by developing a product that could be used for routine spending, but also allowed the consumer to reload or replenish funds on the card for continued use. One of the challenges that we were faced with was coming up with a recognized approach to replenishing funds that could be used widely and easily. Since the majority of our potential cardholders also held employment, we looked at developing a "payroll" card that could be replenished via ACH.

With that, we looked to Karpel Computer Systems for development. In the end, we were presented with a full end-to-end replenishment solution for virtually any prepaid card product that we currently offer or may offer in the future.

First Bank currently issues two unique prepaid card products. Each card is marketed and supported by a third party processing company that accepts and processes the transactions performed in both the replenishment process via ACH and the general usage/spending of funds once they are made available on the card. To date, Karpel Computer System's interface has allowed for more than $2 million in funds to be applied and used by cardholders annually.


Vice President
Electronic Banking First Banks, Inc


Missouri 22nd Judicial Circuit Court Data Conversion

Problem: The 22nd Judicial Circuit was due to convert form legacy AS400 and mainframe case management systems to an Oracle-based case management system. More than twenty-five years of case data needed to be converted into individual XML formatted files.

Solution: Using Oracle's XML developer technology, Karpel Solutions developed custom software to extract the AS400 data and transform it into XML data files which could then be imported into the Oracle-based system. Karpel Solutions performed three “mock” imports over a six month period, improving the efficiency and accuracy of the export with each trial run. The data was converted and imported successfully, allowing the 22nd Judicial Circuit to transition to 21st century technology with a minimum of down-time. Karpel Systems completed the task under budget and on time.

Solution Technology Server: Windows 2003/AS400
Database: Oracle/DB2
Language: XML


Alberici E-Timesheets

Problem: Alberici Construction Company needed a fast and easy way for employees to enter their time against construction projects. The existing paper system was inadequate to handle the volume and accuracy they demanded.

Solution: Karpel Solutions created the E-Timesheet web based application that can be used by employees anywhere on the Alberici network. The E-Timesheet software will validate the employee number and details by interfacing to the Ultimate Software Group’s UltiPro Human Resources system. Once the employee is validated the user enters their time against specific projects. To validate project numbers the system was integrated to the Construction Group Company software system. Once the employee’s time is logged against the projects for the week an e-mail is sent to the employee’s supervisor indicating their time is ready to be reviewed. The supervisors log into the system and a grid of all of their employees is displayed with drill down capabilities that allow the supervisor to validate entered projects and hours. The supervisor presses the authorize button and the time information is sent to an AS/400 to produce time reports and payroll information. Once the supervisor authorizes an employees time, an e-mail is sent to the employee confirming their time. An additional feature of the E-timesheet application are unlimited number of templates that are stored for each employee allowing them to save their time, projects and work descriptions so they can be reused and modified on following weeks, thereby saving time on data entry.

Solution Technology Server: Windows 2000
Database: SQL
Language: VB.NET
Display: ASP.NET