Four years after CEO Dave Stamm started Stamm Technologies and Stamm Media in 2000, the company grew to seven employees, and Stamm started to experience what he calls “organized chaos,” saying the growth “started to overwhelm us.”
“We didn’t have a lot of administration,” says Stamm. “We were living inside spreadsheets. It wasn’t cutting it.”
Stamm started asking his peers how they handled their billing and quoting needs as their businesses continued to grow and he looked at a handful of platforms before deciding ConnectWise Manage offered the best solution by far.
“It could do everything I’d ever wanted and a lot of things I didn’t even know until we started to get more familiar with it,” says Stamm, who was effusive in his praise of ConnectWise Manage business management platform and its companion quote and proposal automation tool, ConnectWise Sell.
“I wanted to be able to handle big projects and also the little details, everything from the $1 million project to the ticket for a printer that wouldn’t print,” says Stamm. “I was hoping to get all the functionality in one system.”
How ConnectWise Helped Stamm Media
The productivity and stability of ConnectWise’s platform helped Stamm Technologies, a Milwaukee-based IT and building infrastructure integration company, expand into the event technology space as Stamm Media, a nationwide AV, IT and interactive company focused on live events.
Between the two entities, Stamm works in IT, infrastructure (phone systems, Wi-Fi deployment, videoconferencing, server room design, surveillance and access control) and event technology. Rental and staging represent about 80 percent of the business.
As he focused on the learning curve of building their niche in the event industry, Stamm initially put internal operations details for the media company on the back burner, until things started to fall through the cracks.
“As both companies became busy, I knew we had to figure out the best way to do things, and it had to work across both businesses,” he says. That’s why he bought ConnectWise Manage to support Stamm Media in 2014, 10 years after buying it for Stamm Technologies.
With ConnectWise Manage, Stamm Media employees can easily track all the time and expenses they incur in relation to specific jobs and projects, a functionality not all platforms of its kind have built in. The dispatch portal serves as a concierge that takes inbound client requests and assigns resources to handle that request.
Stamm also learned more about ConnectWise Manage’s base sales features, marketing modules and integration with QuickBooks, which used to be the company’s default project and financial management portal.
“We had a small vision for what we wanted and ConnectWise taught us how to do it right, says Stamm. “You should’ve seen our quotes before. They were ugly. Here we are, an event company selling million dollar jobs to multi-billion dollar companies. Our quotes have to look good. Now, with ConnectWise Sell, they are top-notch.”
Stamm describes a typical event bid scenario as providing a quote up to a year in advance, followed by what can be a long wait for client response. “Then all of a sudden we get the ‘ding’ from ConnectWise Sell at maybe 6 months in, which allows my sales team to contact the client at the perfect time,” Stamm says. “My internal sales reps call Sell their secret weapon. We know when they’re more ready to have a conversation about working with us on a project.”
The ConnectWise Difference
Because Stamm’s IT department helps clients integrate new software into their company every day, they’ve been able to help Stamm Media employees decrease the learning curve on ConnectWise Manage and ConnectWise Sell.
“I expected it to take a month or more, but the first day, people were using the dispatch function and the time and expense sheets,” says Stamm.
Before buying ConnectWise Manage, “we weren’t doing some things or we were using multiple systems that weren’t integrated,” he says. There was no information control repository, says Stamm.
Stamm’s field team uses mobile devices to track information about particular jobs and are able to quickly update the progress of the work even though they spend most of their time on the road.
Sometimes to sell a job, Stamm Media spends time doing renderings and design, and that’s also tracked, capturing useful data about the cost of lost sales. Plus, Stamm says, late or incorrect invoices are a thing of the past. Prior to implementing ConnectWise Manage and Sell, monthly invoicing on long-term projects was often overlooked. The ability to now customize invoice templates based on the type of project and specific terms makes billing accurate and easy.
ConnectWise Sell is a “game-changer” for Stamm, with the ability to create default sets of pricing but to also easily configure volume discounts for repeat clients and create and send quotes and invoices from any device.
“You’re cutting out the delay in time by making the edits right away,” says Stamm. “That’s good for us and for the clients.”
ConnectWise Sell also features one function Stamm didn’t think much about when he first heard about it but one that’s become popular among the sales reps: activity points. The reps can track their actions on their various jobs, which give them points along the way to the project’s completion. They compete with each other to rack up points.
“It’s a fun competition for them and obviously it’s a good thing for the business because we know these things are getting done,” says Stamm.
Here’s more from CEO Dave Stamm about how ConnectWise eliminated organized chaos from his business: