Transforming a Business

As developers, we rarely see, or understand, the difference that what we do can make to our clients businesses. We deliver the solution, support it and change it but that’s, generally, about it.

I’ve just returned from spending two days with a client on site. While I was there I took the opportunity to do video interviews with the owner and the 4 department heads. I wanted to find out how the program, I had developed, was impacting their jobs and work patterns. Before you watch it, here are the:

Key Changes & Benefits

• In a 4 year period, all business tools (Excel, Microsoft & FileMaker) have been replaced with a single , highly automated FileMaker™ Pro system.

• Complex quotes are now produced in minutes instead of hours.

• Converting a quote to an order is done with the press of a button.

• All administrative tasks are completely automated including removing inventory, ordering parts that are out of stock, sending build instructions to Production.

• New products can now be built on-the-fly by sales staff instead of having to wait for Production to do it.

• Inventory control now allows for precise ordering patterns.

• When a component price changes, that change is automatically reflected across the entire product line of over 4000 products.

• Almost all data entry has been eliminated by using point-and-click methodology. (Consistent product descriptions means there is no confusion at any point in the process).

ROI (Return on Investment)

• Sales have increased 300% with no extra staff – the objective was to increase them by 50%

• Annual cost-of-living price increases are now accomplished in 20 minutes instead of 3 weeks

• Follow-ups are now done in 5 minutes, twice a week, instead of taking 2 days a week – Approximately 35% of automated follow-ups result in an order

• New products can be created in minutes instead of an hour or two

• Unnecessary inventory purchases are no longer required saving the company significant money

• Nothing falls through the cracks and there are virtually no errors or costly mistakes from sending out the wrong item

• Reporting allows owner to see accurate forecasts and cash flow projections

• Office staff have more time to spend on customer service which also results in increased sales.

• Stress levels throughout the company have all but disappeared.

The video that follows is the edited highlights from those sessions. I think you’ll find it very interesting; I certainly did.

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