Sanford & Hawley building materials distributor builds sales through new mobile software
29.09.2015 354 views
The company’s tablet-toting sales reps can now quickly help customers place orders on construction sites or in the field.
Sanford & Hawley Inc., a family-owned distribution company, has been selling lumber and building materials since 1884. But there’s nothing old-fashioned about how the 131-year-old distributor is selling to its customers, now numbering some 3,000 contractors and construction companies.
Until it launched a mobile commerce strategy last year, a typical sale involved a sales rep driving to a construction site, speaking with contractors about their inventory, pricing and delivery needs, then returning to his home office to gather that information and calling the customer back with the answers before closing a deal, says Bob Sanford, president. These typical sales efforts wasted a lot of time, he adds.
“Time is our most limited resource,” he says. “If we make one more customer visit in a day or one more phone call, it’s a net gain for us. The last thing I want to do as a business owner is tie my salesforce up with administrative things or make a customer wait to process an order or get information.”
Thanks to Sanford & Hawley’s new mobile strategy, company sales reps no longer have to waste time with such administrative tasks. In April 2014, the company began to change how its sales reps operate by launching mobile software that allows them to use mobile devices from any location to check product pricing, inventory availability and order status, and place customer orders. The new system eliminates the need to head back to the office to answer customers’ questions; the reps can get the information they need while still visiting customers with a few swipes of their mobile device. The mobile software, Epicor BisTrack Cloud from Epicor Software Corp., is designed specifically for the lumber and building materials industry. Epicor introduced the software in a test period last year, with Sanford & Hawley as one of the beta users, then formally launched the technology last month.
Since deploying the Epicor mobile technology, Sanford says its sales reps are able to make more site visits and pitch more customers in a single day. He declines to comment on any related financial results, but says the mobile technology addresses builders’ expectations regarding the sales process and instant availability of information. “We live in an era where customers want and are used to instant information,” he says.
The mobile software integrates well with Sanford & Hawley’s Epicor BisTrack e-commerce software and its enterprise resource planning software for managing inventory, customer relationships, financial accounting and other business operations, Sanford says. That integration enables the mobile devices used by sales reps to show updated and accurate information on such things as product pricing and order status. The company and Epicor both decline to comment on the cost of deploying Epicor BisTrack Cloud.
“BisTrack Cloud gives our sales team instant access to key information in the field that sets them apart from our competitors, and helps us offer our customers an enhanced level of service and information,” Sanford says. “We are confident that our continued use will result in increased sales opportunities and win rates.”
Source: Internet Retailer
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