April 2016

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Control Solutions, Inc. - Minnesota

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Louis-Nicolas Hamer
Louis-Nicolas Hamer, Eng.
VP Customer Solutions

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I've had the chance to work with many forward-looking and amazing building automation system integrators and mechanical contractors in the last few years working for CAN2GO and Schneider Electric. Even so, in my opinion, many were not taking full advantage of modern technologies to build and manage sales and operations.

These same system integrators must convince building owners and managers to equip their properties with a modern centralized building management system (BMS). Yet, their own business tool belt was often lacking: no CRM (Customer Relationship Management System) to ensure proper sales pipeline management and customer service satisfaction, an outdated website and an absence of other modern marketing tools, no automatic and mobile-enabled service fleet dispatch tool, no inventory management for replacement parts, no automated quote and invoicing system, etc.

The building automation world has seen a major shift in the last few years from basic ms/tp and Modbus type communications to modern IP-based systems evolving to cloud-based & mobile-enabled systems. This shift has had a major impact on the industry and is leaving behind system integrators that do not follow the curve. The same is true for business productivity tools. Business owners went from pen and paper to spreadsheets and now are moving to mobile-enabled, cloud based productivity tools.

contemporary The right tools can positively impact your top and bottom line. An appealing and up-to-date web presence is important. Make sure your web site is mobile-friendly as a good portion of web traffic today originates from mobile devices. From a sales perspective, upgrade your business to a cloud-based, mobile-enabled CRM software. You need to equip your sales team with a tool that allows them to stay on top of their leads and opportunities with automated alarms and reporting tools. The CRM also gives the business manager a clear and up-to-date picture of your sales performance and pipeline. And just as important, a CRM can ensure better customer service.  Efficient service ticket tracking and reports that identify common and frequent issues are good examples of the benefits a CRM can offer.

From an operational point of view, processes and tools that maximize productivity is also important. Manually entering quotes and preparing invoices should be a thing of the past. A good CRM allows you to streamline and automate this task. Same for inventory management: your service teams should be able to automatically check out items from inventory. Eliminate milk runs back to the office for the right parts, or long wait times for your customers from lack of basic inventory items. Dispatching of your teams can also be automated and integrated into your CRM system. 

A strong parallel exists between the value proposition of a modern cloud-based BMS system and that of business productivity tools like CRMs. At Soljit, we specialize in helping SMBs scale and grow their business. Moreover, our past experience in the building automation industry provides us good perspective on your specific challenges. Call us for a free consultation 1-877-276-5548 or visit our website www.soljit.com.

About the author:

Louis-Nicolas Hamer has worked for more than 15 years in wireless and software products for telecommunications, security, and facility automation. Mr. Hamer’s and his associates led the development and commercialization of SCL’s CAN2GO line of multi-protocol wireless and wired controllers for building automation and monitoring. SCL Elements was sold to Schneider Electric in 2012. Post-acquisition, Mr. Hamer held global business development and solution positions at Schneider Electric until early 2015 when he joined Soljit, a consulting firm providing expert advice and service in CRM systems and mobile applications.


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