Serving a nationwide client base, the Matrix-NDI business development team wanted to modernize and streamline its sales and design processes. Reducing complexity and enhancing collaboration were priorities. System Surveyor fit the bill with its intelligent system design platform, which matches Matrix-NDI’s breadth and depth of systems offered. Using the mobile application and cloud-based software, the sales staff is conducting more professional, accurate site surveys faster. Remote collaboration with customers and partners has improved the system design process, and sales have increased.
Matrix-NDI is a technology firm based in Minneapolis, Minnesota that provides turnkey, cutting-edge solutions to support customers of all sizes and from every industry. They specialize in national IT infrastructure projects, low voltage structured cabling solutions, wired and wireless networks, physical security systems, smart building technology, and cloud or hosted business phone systems. Matrix-NDI has a team of RCDD’s on staff ensuring expert project designs, and certified smart hands in the field for seamless installations.
CHALLENGE: Seeking a Digital System Design Brain & Single Pane of Glass
Operating in all 50 states and Canada, Matrix-NDI offers a wide variety of multi-site solutions and services centered around intelligent buildings. The firm specializes in needs analysis and design/build of building systems and networks. Its success is evidenced by the number of service tickets handled monthly: 30,000.
The foray into intelligent buildings enables the company to get into the IT stack, according to Thomas Herr, Vice President of Business Development for Matrix-NDI. A large, diverse technical work staff, along with partners and subcontractors, supports all the building systems – from data networks to structured cabling to access control.
Coordinating multiple systems, clients, sites, and vendors across the U.S. is an increasingly complicated endeavor. To better manage this complexity, Matrix-NDI sought to upgrade how it sells, designs, and eventually installs and services projects.
“Our goal is not to sell the most cameras but to work collaboratively with customers to sell a variety of system solutions. It’s a complex sale and process but creates lasting business relationships,” said Herr. “We wanted to use the latest tools and technologies to become more efficient and sell more solutions.”
On the front end, Matrix-NDI aspired to digitize and standardize its site survey and proposal/design process. Each staff person used different, conventional methods for gathering customer requirements (e.g., pencil and paper). These can be time consuming, error prone, and complicates hand-offs between departments.
In addition, each solution that the company sells has its own management tool. Some are proprietary, while others are on paper. This adds to the complexity, according to Herr. Herr and his staff started looking for a partner who could help the sales team phase into a solution and customize it to the company’s needs.
“It’s almost impossible to have the time and patience to sort through all that stuff and deliver it in a timely manner customers want and need. The security industry is largely still in the dark ages when it comes to documentation and management.”
SOLUTION: System Surveyor - Digital Map for Security and IT System Design
Matrix-NDI found its partner in System Surveyor, a company that offers an intelligent system design platform. This mobile application and software make planning, designing, and maintaining systems easier and more efficient.
“It’s a living dashboard that translates into construction documents,” said Herr.
The product covers a wide range of systems, such as electronic security, cable infrastructure, audio-visual, IT and communications, building management, healthcare, and more.
Users in the field can collaborate visually with the customer to gather all system requirements and IoT assets on an iPad®. An interactive, drag-and-drop interface lets users place system components on a “living” digital floor plan.
Users can upload or create a floor plan (with Google Maps integration), develop a system layout, and capture photos with annotation. The photos are automatically associated to each device on the digital floor plan or map, saving time.
System Surveyor customers can also specify products within the application, such as a specific camera model and accessories. As salespeople add devices to the system layout, an accurate, procurement-ready Bill of Materials can be automated in the background.
All information is accessible in one cloud-based platform. Users can instantly share design plans and collaborate virtually with customers, colleagues, subcontractors, and other vendors. From both the field and the office, everyone can work together in one system of record throughout the entire lifecycle of a space.
RESULTS: Time and Cost Savings, Increased Sales, Satisfied Customers
The Matrix-NDI sales organization has now standardized on System Surveyor, increasing both efficiency and sales. The platform has gotten business development staff, customers, and subcontractors on the same digital page. Digitizing system design from the first site visit automates more of the process to improve sales, design, and procurement.
According to Herr: “System Surveyor covers just about everything we put into a building. We can do large-scale design assessments more quickly and accurately. The platform also gives us a common language to discuss requirements and designs with customers. It’s a powerful sales and internal communications tool that differentiates Matrix-NDI and has bolstered sales.”
Visual Collaboration and Customer Engagement
One of those differentiators is the visual collaboration with each customer. Salespeople easily add devices and photos to the digital design plan as they walk a site with the customer. Customers have more engagement with and buy-in to the process.
Automated prompts and intelligent device recommendations guide users through critical data capture and product selection. Also, System Surveyor enables Matrix-NDI to pre-configure the systems and products the team sells or buys regularly, for quicker filtering and selection.
“No one wants to read a scope of work, so having a visual creates a good impression from the first site visit and beyond. Customers can see exactly what they are buying and why,” said Herr. “The mobile app’s ease of use lets our staff spend more time focusing on the client’s needs and speaking more clearly and eloquently about how to satisfy them.”
Saving 40 Hours Per Client & Faster, More Precise Proposals
In addition, Herr said the platform is saving the sales team a week’s worth of time on each client. Normally, staff members would spend this time translating customer requirements and photos into a coherent design plan for the estimators. Now, the company delivers more precise proposals faster.
Remote Collaboration with Third Parties
The ability to share design plans and collaborate with third parties is also a major differentiator for Matrix-NDI. The company works with 250 individual subcontractors a year, many of whom are local to the customers. System Surveyor provides a consistent way for subcontractors to conduct the site surveys if needed, work with sales staff and end customers, bid on projects, and get ready for installation. In addition, System Surveyor’s collaborative capabilities have sped up reviews and approvals from all parties.
The mobile application and cloud-based platform are especially beneficial for Matrix-NDI’s national focus. For example, with travel restricted during the pandemic, the company could depend on local contractors and even customers to gather and upload data at each site. This enabled the company to continue to quote projects and deliver value via a pipeline of approved jobs and procurement.
Another Brain for Us: All the Customer Info in one Place
Another benefit of System Surveyor is having a centralized, up-to-date system of record for each client. The ability to access what is installed and where helps when upgrades or additional systems are required. The sales team can show customers precisely what’s needed and how to deploy it in context with existing systems.
In another scenario, if a potential customer passed on a project and then comes back months or years later, the sales team can quickly access that proposal, update it, and re-propose it.
Herr concluded: “System Surveyor acts as another brain for us. We can reference any information quickly in front of clients. It’s enabling us to impress customers and drive sales. It’s now on us to take it and deploy it into the rest of the organization.”
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