Increase Revenue & Improve Customer Service Using the Same Technology You Sell Every Day
May 3, 2021 Sponsored by by SiteOwl
From 4K video surveillance cameras and touchless access control to the explosion of cloud-based services, security integrators make a living selling and installing products with some of the most advanced technology available. But these same integrators often hesitate to use technology to streamline their own business operations.
This is a problem that Joseph Ndesandjo, former CEO at 3Sixty Integrated, has taken to heart. After 17 years at the forefront of industry battles around integration, Ndesandjo decided to tackle some of the biggest challenges that most integrators experience as they pass through the design, installation, and service phases.
The result is SiteOwl, a cloud-based software platform that uses a simple drag and drop interface to design, install and manage physical security systems. The platform leverages cutting-edge digital services to help integrators stay informed on all stages of a project. The result, Ndesandjo says, is a remarkable improvement in project management, customer experience, and installation efficiency.
Most importantly, SiteOwl provides an opportunity for integrators to generate recurring revenue and deepen customer relationships by consolidating all design-build-manage operations on a single, unified platform. This vastly improves communication — particularly during project handoffs and customer-facing interactions.
Ndesandjo believes that creating the opportunity for improved recurring revenue is key to long-term success and stability for every integrator. Over the years, the pursuit of this goal has reignited his passion for the industry.
Why should integrators care about recurring revenue?
Joseph Ndesandjo: Without any recurring revenue in their pipeline, every integrator starts the year with $0 in projected annual revenue. If you account for overhead and operational costs, they’re running at a deficit on day one.
That means every single year is a struggle as the integrator starts the climb from zero and tries to win a big enough contract to turn a profit sometime in the year. And profit margins razor-thin as it is.
It’s a bad place to start. But, with recurring revenue, integrators know that those expenses are already turning a profit because those contracts can carry over at the end of each year. They have an existing pool of customers and an existing list of services that they provide on a routine basis. It’s a more stable and sustainable position — especially over the long term. A recurring revenue model can easily increase an integrator’s valuation by 8x or more.
What are some things integrators can do to start generating recurring revenue?
JN: Some of the most important innovations that integrators can make are operational changes that improve efficiency and customer satisfaction. One of the easiest ways to do this is to standardize your service delivery.
As an industry, we need to move from a project-based to an account-based business strategy. Integrators have long followed a “more is more” mentality when it comes to business – the more new clients there are, the better. Statistics show, however, that the success rate of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%, while successfully selling to a new customer lags far behind at 5-20%. Take care of your existing customers, rather than looking past them for the next prospect, and you’ll have a sales pipeline full of opportunity.
We also need to elevate service offerings by providing better service. We need to move beyond the “break-fix” mentality and find other opportunities to improve service and earn additional business.
Standardized service delivery allows for all employees and subcontractors to follow the same processes, decreases ambiguity, and improves productivity and quality.
How does digital delivery play a role in this approach?
JN: For most industries, the cloud has been a game-changer. Even in our personal lives, our access to data is synchronized. Your email and collaboration tools synchronize across your phone, your tablet, and your computer.
The same should be true for all the moving parts of an integration project. By digitizing the design, installation, and service processes with a platform like SiteOwl, integrators have found that operations run more smoothly, and they can focus on growing their business.
Plus, it’s easier than ever to keep customers looped in throughout the entire process, so you’re constantly engaging with them and fostering that relationship.
How does SiteOwl help integrators achieve this goal?
JN: SiteOwl takes integrators through the design, installation, and service phases in a way that brings your team together.
Too often, integration teams work in silos. Designers don’t talk to field techs, or project managers miss details that were lost during the handoff meeting. All of this results in errors, misinformation, project delays, and — most importantly — unhappy customers!
Our platform works to prevent problems that damage the customer experience. That way, every project can be smooth and seamless from start to finish.
At the end of the day, that’s what customers want. If integrators can deliver a project with minimal issues, customers will keep coming back and revenue will continue to grow.
A closer look at SiteOwl
SiteOwl is broken into three main parts: Design, install, and service.
In the design phase, the designer adds a new or existing customer floor plan to the SiteOwl platform. This can be a sketch, an image of a fire escape plan, a formal building blueprint, or something similar. The drag-and-drop interface allows users to add planned project devices onto the virtual floor plan. Based on these additions, an accurate bill of materials and scope of work is automatically generated, eliminating the need for manual takeoffs and long handover meetings. Once the design is approved, the designer changes product status from “Design” to “Install” and all the design work — including notes, guidance, customer feedback, and more — is immediately passed to the installation team.
During the installation phase, the project manager adds installation technicians and subcontractors to the project. Access is automatically granted as the team comes onboard. As technicians complete installation projects, they add images to SiteOwl, providing real-time status updates and unparalleled quality control. Real-Time Installation™ progress is shown via progress bars. Color-coded icons distinguish operating and non-operating devices, as well as the overall completion status of the project. As projects are completed, floor plan diagrams and equipment schedule details are viewable — and printable — at any time. Generated reports are always accurate and up to date.
Once all tasks are complete, the customer accepts the newly installed project into their own Living Floor Plan® for monitoring and maintenance. They can create tickets within the app and assign them to technicians for service and repair. Because SiteOwl provides all relevant information for a malfunctioning device, integrators can ensure that the technician has everything needed for a successful repair before ever leaving the warehouse. While on-site, the technician’s actions and notes are recorded within SiteOwl’s Living Floor Plan® so that customer systems are always up-to-date.
But, says Ndesandjo, SiteOwl doesn’t require integrators to rethink their entire workflow. The platform simply consolidates what integrators already do and provides better project visibility for everyone involved. It’s a small change, but one that the company hopes can make a big difference for every integrator in the market today.
To learn more about SiteOwl, please visit https://getsiteowl.com.
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