The direct sales division of Tech Electronics transitioned from pen and paper to the System Surveyor digital system design platform. Subsequently, the more professional, organized, and effective approach to selling convinced Tech Electronics to adopt the platform companywide as their standard. From sales and design to installation and maintenance, the company now has an integrated process that provides better, more efficient services to their customers.
“There’s never been a tool like this in the industry. Companies that don’t utilize it are operating in the dark ages. We’re all in a highly technical field, so having System Surveyor shows that we’re playing on a whole different level of technological savvy and professionalism.” Alex Wasson, Director of Security & Healthcare Technologies, Tech Electronics
About Tech Electronics
Headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, Tech Electronics specializes in life safety and communication systems in education, healthcare, construction, government, commercial-industrial, SMB, and worship organizations. The company designs solutions to fit each site’s unique layout and priorities, from fire alarm installation and testing to security cameras and video surveillance. Tech Electronics has more than 350 employees in nine offices across five states.
CHALLENGE: Manual, Paper-Based Process Impedes System Design Sales
Tech Electronics has two go-to-market channels: construction and direct sales. Once construction is completed, the direct sales team engages customers to offer their full product line, including security systems. These systems are sometimes specified during the construction process, but customers often need more for their businesses.
“Security is an afterthought for some customers,” said Alex Wasson, Director of Security & Healthcare Technologies for Tech Electronics. “They will install what’s required at a base minimum to get building occupancy, such as fire alarms. On the direct sales side, we help our customers with the other critical systems they might need, such as access control, intrusion detection, and video surveillance.”
The direct sales team sought to improve its ability to deliver these systems to customers. Their manual proposal process was holding them back. Each salesperson created site surveys as most system design professionals do: With paper and pen or pencil and a bunch of photos taken on a cell phone.
“We had to hope we labeled the photos correctly or remembered later where each device was supposed to go after a day of customer visits,” said Wasson. “Cobbling everything together like this was inefficient and made it difficult to gather all the information we needed.”
Lack of detail can snowball at an organization. Like a game of telephone, less accurate information gets communicated between departments as the project progresses. Often the customer tells the salesperson one thing, only to discover that the installation technician is taking a different approach. Access control devices get placed on the wrong doors, for example, wasting time and money as well as causing customer frustration.
The direct sales team knew there had to be a better way of doing site surveys and developing system designs. They wanted an easier-to-use tool than the construction side’s CAD and Bluebeam design tools.
SOLUTION: The System Surveyor Digital System Design Platform
The Tech Electronics direct sales team found a better way with System Surveyor, an intelligent system design platform purpose-built for the job. This mobile, tablet-based tool enables system design professionals to gather all requirements and IoT assets in one place. They can upload or create a floor plan, drag and drop devices, develop a system layout, and capture photos with annotation, eliminating the need to upload and re-label photos.
With the digital site design in hand, a salesperson and potential client can review and adjust the system layout during the first sales call. Once sales has a complete system layout, they can instantly share everything – including device details and photos – with Tech Electronics team members to collaborate on review and proposal development.
Beyond sales, the cloud-based platform facilitates collaboration between everyone involved in system design, installation, and maintenance. Engineers, estimators, operations staff, technicians, system integrators, subcontractors, and others can work together from one cloud-based platform to deliver better, faster results.
RESULTS: Companywide Adoption Streamlines Design Process
Enhancing the Experience for Salesperson and Customer:
System Surveyor has helped the direct sales team become more organized, polished, and effective, leading to a better customer experience. During the discovery phase, team members ask the customer for a floor plan in advance. They then upload it to System Surveyor and start to plot out devices and ideas.
This customized, digital design puts the sales team ahead of the game. The customer gets a visual overview of the proposed design customized to their space. Once on site, the salesperson collaborates with the customer on the design.
“Customers’ eyes brighten up when I show them their design on my iPad,” said Wasson. “System Surveyor gives them a 10,000 foot overview of where all the devices would go. The tool not only helps us design the system together, it also gives the customer skin in the game.”
With System Surveyor as the foundation, the sales team can now capture much more detail for each site survey. They are able to create a more accurate design plan in less time. In addition, they can make modifications on the fly with the customer, gaining their confidence.
“Personally, as a technical salesperson, I wasn’t asking the right questions before. I was so focused on trying to write every detail down,” said Wasson. “Now I can spend more time selling and building a rapport with the customer.”
This process not only saves time but is more convenient. The salesperson can make changes to the survey and send the customer a hyperlink to review and approve the design. The ability to easily share information and receive constant confirmation through the entire process has helped the sales team become more productive, according to Wasson.
“There’s never been a tool like this in the industry,” said Wasson. “Companies that don’t utilize it are operating in the dark ages. We’re all in a highly technical field, so having System Surveyor shows that we’re playing on a whole different level of technological savvy and professionalism.”
Enhancing Service via an Integrated, Companywide Process:
The benefits the direct sales team experienced led Tech Electronics to adopt the System Surveyor platform throughout its entire company for direct sales operations. From the initial customer interaction to post-installation service calls, the company now has an integrated process for delivering projects. This has led to better customer service at each stage.
“It’s created continuity throughout the process, which is very powerful,” said Wasson.
Once the sale is made, the operations division pulls up the site survey via the Web or a mobile device to understand what needs to be installed. The technicians then use it at the office and while on site to know exactly where devices such as video surveillance cameras should be positioned.
After installation, the service department has access to the system design for maintenance calls or issues. They know precisely what devices were deployed and where, making the visit easier and faster for them and the customer.
“Every job now requires System Surveyor,” said Wasson. “Nobody can question what goes where, because we have it all in one tool.”
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