In this age of technology, we can often find ourselves feeling a little overwhelmed by the options and the never-ending release of new products. While the stone industry is small (but mighty), every business has their own goals and needs that software can help with. There is no one software recipe for all.
So, where do you start? A solid understanding of your shop’s process from sales to install is a vital first step. Once you have those steps, you should be able to see where there are bottlenecks that software can help solve.
Okay, now you know your pain points, bottlenecks, and goals. Awesome! Let’s discuss the capabilities of available software out there so you know what to expect when talking to a software sales rep.
Why is this important? Because it can help your countertop shop see growth and maybe, just maybe, even get you some well-deserved time off on that beach you’ve got as your screensaver.
Estimating and Pricing Software
A lot of times we’ll see shops experiencing growth (great!) and get tripped up at this starting point of the sales process. Estimating software will keep your pricing consistent across your sales team. It will also provide a competitive edge because depending on the software you choose for quoting, you could be able to provide a professional quote same day and even face-to-face. With higher amounts of quotes going out comes higher amounts of jobs!
“Communication is key in every relationship.” Before you roll your eyes, admit that you know how true that old saying is! Communication within your team and communication between your team and your customers are two important elements to a seamless install. Missing information and mistakes lead to frustration and bad reviews.
If you find that the whiteboard and file folders aren’t cutting it, try a software that schedules all your shop’s activities and assigns the right individuals to the task. Better communication and smoother installs will lead to happy customers…and they lead to more customers!
Marketing and customer relationships aren’t something that comes to mind when you think of countertop fabrication. But just like any business, you need to keep track of past customers, current customers, and prospective customers. The opportunities to grow your business are unlimited when you use a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool. From following up with leads to referral programs, be sure to ask about this feature when looking into scheduling software.
“I don’t see my bottleneck on this list”
The good news is that there are more and more specific software solutions being released for countertop fabricators. Really need an inventory program? Want a product that works with your scheduling software and labels your slabs? Need to keep track of your team? There are solutions for most specific issues like these but they require a strong and organized foundation for your shop’s process. The software areas listed above are the starting points for a streamlined workflow. Ask them for advice and recommendations, they should be a knowledgeable industry resource for you!
There is no one size fits all solution
This isn’t as depressing as it sounds, I promise! Each shop is unique in it’s size, style, and team. It’s important for you to be armed with knowledge when you start researching software to help your shop get organized and grow. Knowing your bottlenecks and what your goals are will help you ask the right questions when talking to a software sales rep and will ultimately help you find the right fit for your shop.
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