Not that long ago many of our customers were content to use handwritten parametric charts and tables to price door and window projects. Some would look at the door and window schedule, pick up a set of drawings and put a job price based on the weight of the drawings. All kidding aside we have come a long way from the days where a fancy spread sheet would allow you to estimate a project. You had a team of drafters and engineers creating mounds of paperwork. For production you had plenty of employees that had been on the floor for 20+ years and just knew how to make it work.
Then came the introduction of computers to the world of manufacturing. It was a natural fit for your drafting and engineering teams to adopt this new technology. With the help of this technology they were able to develop new methods for accurately quoting door and window projects along with some formula-based manufacturing documentation. The use of this maturing technology enabled nimble businesses to expand and grow. With expansion came the need for a highly skilled work force.
The lack of a skilled work force became the stumbling block for the entire industry. Moreover, with the adoption of technology, customer’s expectations began to change. We became a society of instant everything: cell phones, instant messaging, 24/7 access to information via the internet. No longer are customers willing to wait for anything, including door and widow quotes. This gave rise to the need for a simpler, nimbler software quoting system. One that could be deployed closer to the end user.
Upon further investigation, the potential shortcomings on the dealer network end of window and door sales were revealed. This research led to the creation of Soft Tech’s Dealer Module, an extension of our existing sales and quoting software solution, serving our global customers today. This web-based application makes the sale of your windows and doors faster, more convenient, and more accurate for the folks working at the front end of your value chain. It effectively digitizes the point of sale.
The module is designed to do several things which make it easier for dealers to sell your windows and doors, while at the same time beating the rush and delivering better customer service. Firstly, as it is a web application, rolling it out is simple – it’s accessed through a standard web browser.
The real magic, of course, is in what Dealer Module does. It effectively extends your factory right to the point of sale, as it is directly integrated with your V6 system. It’s important to note though, users of Dealer Module don’t need any V6 knowledge.
From an intuitive interface, dealers can select and specify the units required while the contractor is standing in front of them – instantly, accurately, and efficiently. As the orders are placed, they come directly to you, the manufacturer. No need for any additional re-keying of data, or waiting for orders to reach a specified threshold, and all this without any paperwork. It’s fully digital, easy to use, and immediate.
What that means for your dealers is selling your windows and doors is now easier and more efficient than selling those of your competitor. Your dealer network becomes empowered to process orders faster, leaving them more time for other things, and less time spent on manually capturing orders.
With full access to your complete catalogue, your dealers have a tool supporting project management, quoting, and ordering. Whether it’s ordering of whole units, fully fabricated off the shelf, or custom designed doors and windows. Every dealer is provided with the tools to manage their own clients, contacts, staff, margins, overheads, projects and quotes. Whenever the dealer takes an order, the order is automatically sent straight through to you, the manufacturer.
And when your catalogue is updated with new products, Dealer Module updates the dealers, too. There’s no confusion on product availability, no orders for out of stock or discontinued items, and therefore ‘no comebacks’, resulting in quicker sales and happier customers.
Dealer Module doesn’t only support and enable your dealers, it also delivers a major boost to demand management. That’s considered something of a Holy Grail for supply chains. It’s also something we’ll look at in more detail in the next article.
For more information on Soft Tech’s Dealer Module, click here.