Software Enables Integrator to Earn $265K Per Employee
Logic Integration increases its revenue per employee by 15 percent using Integrator Dashboard, a customized version of Microsoft Sharepoint software.
Jason Knott · December 3, 2012
Like many integrators, Shawn Hansson of Logic Integration in Lone Tree, Colo. couldn’t believe how many things seemed to continually slip through the cracks at his company.
“About three years ago, we were a small but growing company and I realized that our old processes were not working,” he recalls. The company had already invested heavily in various pieces of software, from Salesforce CRM to D-Tools. “Nothing was working,” says Hansson.
The CE Pro 100 company eventually invested in Microsoft Sharepoint in an attempt to find holes in its system. “Boy, did I find holes,” says Hansson. “Everything from missed billings, constant processing of paper, poor sales processes, to the inability to access company information from an iPad in the field. We were totally dependent on sending emails back and forth amongst each other for communication and for a paper trail. We were forgetting to bill so many orders, doing the ‘carbon copy thing’ in email ... it wasn’t working.”
Three years later, Logic Integration is a well-oiled machine earning an incredible $4.5 million in 2011 with just 17 employees, that’s $265,000 in annual revenue per employee, up 15 percent, and Hansson credits the industry-specific template he has created around MS Sharepoint. Hansson has partnered with fellow CE Pro 100 integrator Michael Pope of Audio Video Interiors to share the system with other integrators under the banner Integrator Dashboard LLC. Dennis Sage Home Entertainment has already adopted the software.
Sharepoint has been around a long time, but it has been cost prohibitive for the custom installation industry. The U.S. government and companies like Comcast and DISH Network have spent millions of dollars with private programmers to fashion Sharepoint-based operational software. Logic Integration has done all the toiling (and spent thousands of dollars) with programmers to create something custom for CE pros, and now the software is available for a fraction of that cost. It’s still somewhat hefty ($29,950 for the software and small monthly fees from $4 to $20 per license to Microsoft), but Hansson offers his results as an indication of its merits.
“If an integrator attempted to hire an outside programmer to create a template for their custom installation business, it would cost them much more than that,” notes Hansson.
How It Works
MS Sharepoint is a cloud-based website every employee logs into using a password and then logs information into the custom templates created by Logic. All the information is stored on the cloud by Microsoft, which accounts for the monthly license fees. Every employee is engaged daily with the software and everyone is able to quickly get a daily snapshot of every project, sales prospect and service agreement. Managers can use the system to track technicians and sales productivity, and it has even become the primary communications medium with clients, who can also gain limited status to Sharepoint to track their job status.
The industry-specific processes tracked in the system are:
- Installation Calendar: Color coded by installer or install team, see where your installers are, and when projects are scheduled.
- Showroom Calendar—Online booking of showroom rooms such as conference rooms, theaters, etc.
- Time Off/HR Calendar
Sales and Design
- Inventory List: if you company does not have an inventory list this is a great option.
- Sales Funnel List—Sales funnel with ability to filter by sales person, closing probability, type of project, $ amount
- Leads List: Leads tracking, source of lead, who took the lead.
- Design Order - Request to design a system, tracks all systems in the design process, lets sales people know when a design is done.
- Collections: Status of all outstanding AR, phone calls, emails, expected payment date
- Company Vehicles—Mileage tacking, maintenance tracking, who drives what vehicle.
- Invoice Request—Request to invoice a customer for change orders, process billing, or final billing.
- Order Request—Field staff, PM’s, or sales person in need of ordering parts for projects, showroom, or employee purchase
- RMA Tracker: Tracks RMA (returned merchandise authorization) status from pickup at client premises all the way to completion of repair, to re-install. “We used to have shelves of equipment sitting around with Post-It notes on them,” says Hansson.
- Time-off Tracker—Track employee time off in one place. Does monthly/yearly summary reports for accounting
- Travel Request—Employee or team travel request for training, out of town projects. Does car, plane, and hotel.
- Jobs in progress—Tracks what jobs are in progress and how much time is left on those projects.
- Upcoming Jobs—Tracks jobs closed that are not scheduled yet. Allows project managers to have a funnel for the install schedule.
Every day at 3 p.m., Hansson gets an email with a dashboard snapshot of the company to view. “Now, no more emails flying back and forth. This is a real bird’s eye view of the company for each employee and our processes,” he says, noting that it has also become a beneficial tool to use with newly hired employees. “We just show them this and they can instantly see our processes versus walking them around the office.”
Eliminates 1 Hour Per Day, Per Employee in Wasted Time
Logic has not only created a template for the residential A/V business, but also for security- and commercial-based operations. Other twists include a script that an administrative person can use to field every incoming phone call and direct it appropriately, automated emails to customers before a schedule service call and automatically loading service agreements into the installation calendar.
“Because of this system, we have confidently sold $150,000 in service agreements this year. In the past, we had instances where we had forgotten to get by a client’s house for a service call,” says Hansson.
The system takes about 3 weeks to fully implement programming, cloud setup and backup and workflow. It does not require integrators to change the way they do business, Hansson says. The price also includes 8 hours of training for two to three staff members.
“Before we had this system, employees would hang out here in the office with their notebook computers sending emails. Now, they are out the door with iPads in hand and can schedule on the fly,” he says. “We have eliminated one hour per day per employee in lost productivity.
Free Webinars to Check It Out
In order to show the full functionality of the system, Integrator Dashboard is conducting a series of webinars on Wednesday December 5, 2012 at 11:00 a.m. MST (1 p.m. EST); Thursday, December 6, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. MST (4 p.m. EST); Friday, December 7, 2012 at 1:00 p.m. MST (3 p.m. EST). Webinar slots are limited to a maximum of 25, and Hansson says more than 70 dealers have already signed up.
Jason has covered low-voltage electronics as an editor since 1990. He joined EH Publishing in 2000, and before that served as publisher and editor of Security Sales, a leading magazine for the security industry. He served as chairman of the Security Industry Association’s Education Committee from 2000-2004 and sat on the board of that association from 1998-2002. He is also a former board member of the Alarm Industry Research and Educational Foundation. He is currently a member of the CEDIA Education Action Team for Electronic Systems Business. Jason graduated from the University of Southern California. Have a suggestion or a topic you want read more about? Email Jason at [email protected]
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